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DEBT HARRASEMENT

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act applies to those who collect debts owed to creditors for personal, family and household debts. These include car loans, mortgages, charge accounts and money owed for medical bills.  You have rights to protect you if: 

  • They contact you at unreasonable times, for example, before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m., unless you agree; 
  • Contact you at work if you tell the debt collector your employer disapproves; 
  • Contact you after you write a letter telling them to stop, except to notify you if the collector or creditor plans to take a specific action; 
  • Contact your friends, relatives, employer or others, except to find out where you live and work; 
  • Harass you through threats to harm you, profane language or repeated telephone calls; 
  • Make any false statement, or claim that you will be arrested.

If you have been sued by a debt collector, you MUST act promptly or a default judgment will be entered against you. Call us immediately if this happens to you!

CONTRACTORS

Housing – Home Improvements and Repair

Home improvements and repairs can cost thousands of dollars and are the subject of frequent complaints. All too often, it is the homeowner left with inferior or incomplete work and a contractor who has left the job and has stopped returning calls. Fortunately, Pennsylvania  now requires contractor license and compliance with a specific set of contractor-based laws.  In effect as of July 1, 2009, the Act requires all contractors who perform $5,000 or more in home improvements annually to register with the Attorney General’s office. Registered contractors must carry at least $50,000 of personal injury liability coverage and $50,000 of property damage coverage. To read the law yourself, go to the following link to the Pennsylvania Attorney General at http://www.attorneygeneral.gov/uploadedFiles/Consumers/HIC/Act_132_Home_Improvement.pdf

However, it is important when selecting a contractor to do the following:

  • Get recommendations and references.
  • Be sure your contractor is insured
  • Get at least three written estimates.
  • Get the names of suppliers and ask if the contractor makes timely payments.
  • Contact your local building inspection department to check for permit and inspection requirements.
  • Confirm payments to any subcontractors;
  • Set up a payment plan that releases funds upon certain goals or steps being completed;
  • Don’t give money anytime the contractor asks for it;
  • Don’t be afraid to ask questions.
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