Introduction to Ripoff du Jour


Credit information form


In the wake of the recent national election which is sure to bring about the swift demise of the CFPB and set consumer protection law back 50 years (if we’re lucky), I thought it might be a good idea to start a blog about consumer finance, common scams, and how to keep from getting cheated, defamed and harassed by unscrupulous lenders, false credit reporting, and abusive debt collectors.

As a consumer advocate and litigation attorney, my goal is to help people understand consumer credit and personal wealth.  Another goal is to expose common ripoffs that are occurring in Michigan in the hope that less people will get cheated.

Much of what I plan to discuss here will be based on the hundreds of calls I get each month from people who have been taken advantage of.  In many cases, because Michigan is one of the worst states for consumers, I cannot represent these people because the law has been gutted to prevent consumers from suing for fraud.

Most people cannot believe that consumer rights in Michigan are as terrible as they are until they get cheated.  When these consumers call my office, they are shocked and saddened to find out that the Michigan Supreme Court gutted consumer law in the year 2000, and in spite of many attempts to fix this, legislators have failed to do so. Consumer advocates have to find creative ways to fight for their clients, staying one step ahead of the banks and insurance companies who pull the strings that make the politicians move.

When unscrupulous companies are allowed to cheat people without consequence, honest companies cannot compete and they go out of business.  This is where we are at right now in Michigan.  We deserve better.

Wrongful Repossession

Adam G. Taub quoted in the Detroit News. Another consumer fights back against a scam lender.

Upset man holding credit card with laptop on background

The consequences of not understanding credit can be miserable.

This article discusses scam lenders who cheat desperate consumers.  This epidemic of fast-money, payday, and title loans is brought to you by politicians who view their constituents as banks, Fortune 500 corporations, and insurance companies.

These terrible loans are bad for the economy and they are bad for you.  You might be saying to yourself, “What do I care?  How does this effect me?  If someone is stupid or desperate enough to take out one of these loans, that’s their problem, not mine, right?”  Not really.  If your neighbor can’t fix a leaky roof, buy a lawn mower, or pay for school supplies, it directly affects your quality of life.  As more and more people in your area are forced into economic servitude, paying exorbitant and usurious interest on loans for decades, your neighborhood suffers.  Your city suffers.  Your churches and schools suffer because the wealth of the community is being squeezed out by unscrupulous lenders. When your neighbor buys a new roof or your church gets a new lawn mower, you benefit.  When half of your neighbor’s wages go to pay interest, that money cannot be reinvested anything that benefits you or your family.

These loans are immoral and illegal.   The best way for us to combat this type of rip-off is to make sure we take the time to understand how credit works and to hold our leaders accountable to consumers.