Defense Against Deceptive Bank Practices

Due to the pattern of deceptive and unfair trade practices by the financial institutions in this country, the Federal Legislature has approved laws designed to protect the consumers from abuses by these institutions.  One of these legislative pieces is known as the “Truth in Lending Act”.  This legislation is designed to protect debtors and consumers by requiring the financial institutions reveal all the terms of the loan so that the debtor can effectively compare terms from various  institutions.

Under TILA, the lender or financial institution has the obligation to provide the debtor accurate information before signing the loan agreement.  These disclosures are mandatory and include the amount of the loan, the number of payments, pre-payment penalties, if they apply, the expiration date, late penalties, annual percentage interest and any service charges.  If the consumer finds violations of TILA, he/she can recover damages from the financial institution.

Obviously, TILA violations could be extremely useful in the negotiation process insofar as damages caused by violations of the statute could serve as a credit against the institution you are negotiating with.  Therefore, any person in need of this type of service must ensure that he/she has hired an attorney that is knowledgeable of the multiple Federal Statutes designed to protect consumers against the institutional abuses.

Unfortunately, these statutes are somewhat complicated and require specialized knowledge, very few consumers have.  This is why I am baffled when I see advertisements recommending that consumers negotiate their own loan modification because as very few have the knowledge to invoke violations of the aforementioned statute.  If you choose to follow these recommendations you may become a victim of your own lack of knowledge.

Luis A. González
Attorney and Mediator
L. A. González Law Offices, P.A

(407) 649 - 8389
laglaw@cfl.rr.com