helping people protect their consumer rights
CLS focuses on consumer cases and helps people protect their consumer rights regarding purchases, income, property, contracts, loans and debts.
Did you know?
CLS Consumer Cases Financial Impact
Nationwide Student Debt
Persons receiving $750 or more in Social Security can have some of that income taken for delinquent student loans
Typical Consumer Law Issues
A consumer is a person who buys or leases a product or services for their personal use or the use of the consumer’s family. A person may have a consumer claim if they have been damaged by a service or product.
Consumer claims are very broad ranging under state and federal law and include cases where physical injury results from a product or service which was damaged, faulty or dangerous. Community Legal Services does not handle physical injury claims because private attorneys will represent consumers on a contingent fee basis, i.e., the consumer does not pay legal fees unless their claim is successful.
Community Legal Services does provide assistance in a number of consumer law areas including:
- Automobile Purchases
- Wage and Account Garnishments
- Student Loans
- Debt Collection
- Homeowners Association Assessments
- Title Loans / Predatory Lending
Answers to the most frequently asked questions.
Does Arizona have a lemon law?
Arizona’s lemon law is very limited. For used cars, it provides warranty protection for 15 days or 500 miles (whichever first occurs) if you purchased a used car from a car dealer. If you purchased a new car, the warranty protection is for up to two (2) years or 24,000 miles (whichever first occurs).
Do I have any rights if I did not purchase my car from a car dealer?
If you purchased your car from someone who is not a car dealer, you do have rights. However, those rights are not under the lemon law. You may have rights under Arizona’s Consumer Fraud Act, for breach of contract, fraud, or possibly under certain federal statutes.
Does the law give me time to cancel a contract to buy a car?
Are title loans legal in Arizona?
Yes. Although pay day loans have been outlawed in Arizona, title loans are still lawful. Title lenders may charge interest exceeding 200% and, in addition, the lender takes a lien on the borrower’s car. This means the title lender may repossess the car upon default (failure to make the loan payments) even if there is a prior lender’s lien that is greater than the car’s value.
If I am not paying a debt that is owed, what can a creditor do to collect the debt?
If you owe a debt and are not making the agreed upon payments, a creditor may sue you to collect the debt. If the creditor gets a judgment against you, the creditor may seek wage or account garnishments. A garnishment is a court order requiring your employer (in the case of wages) or bank or credit union (in the case of an account) to turn over a portion of your wages or the funds in an account to the creditor holding the judgment.
Certain types of income are protected from creditors even after judgment. These include Social Security benefits, workers’ and unemployment insurance benefits, child support and veterans’ pensions. Other funds including some private pensions may also be protected, but may lose protection after payment to the recipient.
What can a homeowners association do if I fail to pay my monthly or special assessments?
If you fail to pay your monthly or special assessment, the homeowners association may sue for the delinquent assessments and may file a foreclosure action, even though the property is subject to a mortgage. It is not a defense, to either of these actions, to claim that the homeowners association, its board or its manager is doing a poor job managing the association.
I am having trouble repaying my student loans. Can I change my repayment plan?
What does filing for bankruptcy do?
A bankruptcy is a Federal Court procedure that allows consumers and businesses to “discharge,” i.e., to eliminate personal liability to creditors. During a bankruptcy proceeding, you are protected from creditors; however, your non-exempt assets (those not protected by law) may be sold by the bankruptcy trustee and distributed to creditors.
There are different types of bankruptcy actions. The principal types for individuals are Chapter 7 and Chapter 13.
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