Wisconsin Consumer Protection Attorneys
Advocating for Consumers Since 1994
If you have been subjected to abuse and harassment by a creditor or debt collector, you have rights. You should not have to deal with constant calls or threats due to your financial situation. The good news is, the law is on your side.
At Watton Law Group, we have made it our mission to protect consumers from predatory creditors and debt collectors. We are proud to offer caring, compassionate counsel to our clients, while aggressively fighting against those violating their rights. Backed by more than 25 years of experience, we are equipped to handle even the most complex of cases.
Call our Wisconsin office at (414) 409-5422 or send us a message online to request a free consultation with a consumer protection attorney.
Consumer Protection Laws in Wisconsin
Per the Wisconsin Consumer Act § 427.104, a debt collector is prohibited from attempting to:
- Threaten any type of criminal prosecution
- Use force or threaten to use force or violence
- Disclose or threaten to disclose information adversely affecting the consumer’s reputation for creditworthiness if they know the information is false
- Disclose or threaten to disclose information concerning the existence of a debt known to be reasonably disputed by the consumer without disclosing the fact that the consumer is disputing the debt
- Communicate with the consumer or a person related to the consumer with such frequency, at unusual hours, or in any other manner that can be reasonably expected to threaten or harass the consumer
- Engage in other conduct that can be reasonably expected to threaten or harass the consumer or a person related to them
- Use obscene or threatening language in communicating with the consumer or a person related to them
- Use a form of communication that simulates legal or judicial process or that gives the appearance of being authorized, issued, or approved by a government, government agency, or attorney when it is not
- Threaten action against the consumer unless this kind of action is taken in the regular course or is intended with respect to the particular debt
Predatory Lending Practices
The Truth in Lending Act (TILA) requires lenders to disclose certain information to consumers, particularly information about the interest rate or finance charge on a loan. All hidden costs are prohibited under TILA. In fact, lenders are required to have borrowers sign disclosure statements when finalizing a loan. These statements must include information about the interest rate, as well as the cost of the transaction, at the time of the closing.
Unfair Collection Practices and Creditor Harassment
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act(FDCPA) is a key consumer protection law that mandates the following in regards to debt collection practices:
- A debt collector may not communicate with the consumer at unusual times or in places that are known or should be known to be inconvenient to the consumer
- If calling the consumer’s residence, a debt collector shall assume that the convenient time for communication is after 8 a.m. and before 9 p.m.
- A debt collector may not call a consumer if the collector knows the consumer is represented by an attorney with respect to the debt
- A debt collector may not call the consumer’s place of employment if the collector knows or has reason to know that the consumer’s employer prohibits such communication
- A debt collector may not engage in any harassing, oppressive, or abusive conduct with any person in connection with the collection of a debt, such as the use or threat of use of force, obscene or profane language, or continuous phone calls
- A debt collector may not use false, deceptive, or misleading representations or means in connection with the collection of a debt
If a collector violates a provision of the FDCPA, they may be penalized and must pay the consumer’s legal fees.
Credit Reporting Disputes
The Fair Credit Reporting Act sets requirements for credit reporting agencies and creditors for how to maintain accurate and up-to-date information on all credit reports.
If you have inaccurate information on your credit report, you are entitled to have the credit reporting agency review your file and request verification from the creditor who reported that information to the agency.
Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, the consumer must call or write to the agency to request correction on the report. The agency then has 30 days to review the report and make the necessary corrections or to request verification or corrections from the entity responsible for the credit information.
The credit reporting agency can be held liable for negligently reporting false information. What’s more, a consumer can maintain an action against a party that negligently or intentionally reports false or misleading information to an agency, and then fails to take adequate steps to correct the information.
Illegal Auto Repossessions
All too often, vehicle repossession takes place under illegal circumstances. For example, the repo man cannot threaten the consumer or take their vehicle without the consumer’s consent. If the repo man does this, it constitutes an illegal breach of peace.
It is also illegal for a repo man to threaten to have the auto owner put in jail, to use profanity, to employ threats, or to present themself as a law enforcement officer.
These are just a few examples of the laws in place to protect consumers. To learn more about your rights, reach out to a Wisconsin consumer protection lawyer online or at (414) 409-5422.
With over 25 years of experience, our attorneys have perfected a system that makes filing for bankruptcy as easy as possible for you. We offer unparalleled support throughout the entire process and will help you move forward with the best options available to you.
Our Wisconsin consumer protection lawyers are proud to protect individuals from financial scams. If you believe your rights have been violated by a creditor or debt collector, we urge you to contact our firm right away. We truly care about our clients and have gained national recognition for our creative, personalized case strategies.
With no-cost, no-obligation consultations, there is zero risk to contacting our qualified lawyers. We know full well that there is no one-size-fits-all solution, and we have the insight and skill to determine the best course of action for you.
“I spoke with Attorney Watton and he took his time with me to answer all my questions, gave me thoughtful advice, and went above and beyond my expectations.”- Becky & Bronson W.
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