Article by F. PAUL BLAND JR., OPINION CONTRIBUTOR at “The Hill” – 07/11/17 01:40 PM EDT
Executive Director, Public Justice
1620 L Street, N.W., Suite 630
Washington, D.C. 20036
In May 2016, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) proposed a new rule designed to rein in some of the worst behaviors of big banks and predatory lenders.
For decades, these financial institutions have been using forced arbitration clauses — fine-print language usually buried deep within multi-page agreements with a consumer — to wipe away customers’ rights to band together and sue them in court. These clauses allowed banks and payday lenders, among others, to break the law, trick their customers in illegal ways and not have to face any consumer lawsuits.
After a lengthy empirical study proved, beyond doubt, that forced arbitration clauses harmed consumers and enabled banks to break the law and get away with it, the CFPB has issued a rule banning forced arbitration clauses with class action bans in financial services contracts.
Read more here.
So you think that maybe having a helmet and some condoms might do the trick; think again… Unfortunately, with all of today’s electronic devices, distracted drivers are a real problem and those driving cars often just don’t see us or anything else except their smartphone screen. At some point, if you are an avid biker, chances are that you might be involved in an accident. It is even more likely that you will not be at fault in this accident and that the driver of the other vehicle, usually a car or truck, will not suffer any injuries at all and only minimal damage to his or her car.
Here in Florida, chances are extremely high that the at-fault driver won’t have any insurance to cover your injuries. For that matter, bodily injury coverage that applies to such an event is not even required in this state and therefore you will most likely have to rely upon your own insurance. Additionally, many drivers in this state fail to maintain even the ten thousand dollars in property damage coverage that would cover damages to your bike.
Don’t wait until you are forced to call your own insurance company to find out you have no coverage on your bike or for your own injuries. You need uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage (UM) which will pay for your injuries and property damage in the event you are involved in an accident with an at-fault party that is either underinsured or has no insurance. UM coverage can be purchased in various increments and you should purchase a policy that you can afford and that is high enough to cover your wages, preferably for 6 months to a year should you be out of work and to cover medical bills and expenses during that time. Failing to carry such insurance can create a devastating financial blow to an individual or family.
I often represent a bikers involved in an accident where the at-fault party, as usual, does not have the optional coverage to pay for my client’s medical bills and expenses or lost wages and is not personally collectible even if I went to trial to obtain a judgment for my client. Please don’t go unprotected, even if you can only afford a small policy, shop the different insurance carriers and get some coverage. Don’t wait until you are involved in an accident only to find out that you do not have the proper insurance coverage.
I’m Aldo Bolliger, a Disabled American Veteran, a Small Business Owner and A Regular Guy. To receive a free review of your insurance policy and advice on what types of coverage to purchase, call me today for free advice.
Florida’s Lemon Law covers defective vehicles and is contained in Florida Statute 681.101 and is officially titled the “Motor Vehicle Warranty Enforcement Act”.
In order to qualify for relief under the Act you must have purchased or leased a new car, light truck, or recreational vehicle (RV). Unfortunately, used vehicles do not qualify under the lemon law, nor do vehicles with a GVWR weight of more than 10.000 pounds. Only four wheeled vehicles qualify, motorcycles, mopeds, boats and airplanes are excluded. The vehicle must be within the first two years of the date it was purchased or leased and the claim must be officially filed no later than 60 days after that two-year sale or lease date.
If your vehicle is not covered by Florida’s lemon law or is beyond the two year statute, don’t panic, there may be other laws at your disposal. For example, there is federal Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, which covers any consumer product costing $25.00 or more. Under this Act, defects in any consumer product, including cars, trucks, boats, airplanes, computers and other electronics that arise up to four years from the date of purchase or even the last repair on the product are covered. Additionally, under this Act there is no requirement that the product had to be purchased new.
I’m Aldo Bolliger, a Disabled American Veteran, a Small Business Owner and A Regular Guy. For more information on lemon laws and other consumer statutes, call me today for free advice.
Unfortunately car dealers who cheat, rip-off and scam customers are everywhere. Unless you are a master mechanic, buying a used car is a stressful process where sneaky dealers try to take advantage of you at every turn. Most used car purchases today are made “as is” and because of this, unless you receive some sort of warranty the dealer is not obligated to make repairs, even if something breaks five minutes after you drive off of the lot. This does not mean that dealer is free to lie, cheat, or steal during the transaction and then hide behind an “as is disclaimer; “as-is” is not a shield for fraud.
If you ask the dealer whether the vehicle was involved in an accident you should get an honest answer. A dealer cannot make false representations, material omissions, or lie about a vehicle’s history and then hide behind an “as-is” disclaimer. To do so is a violation of Florida’s Unfair and Deceptive Trade Practices Act, Florida Statute 501.975 and may also qualify as fraud.
I’m Aldo Bolliger, a Disabled American Veteran, a Small Business Owner and A Regular Guy. If you think you were cheated, ripped-off or defrauded by a car dealer, call me today for free advice.