Consumer Protection

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.

US Dollar banknotes money and Pile of credit cards using as consumer payment, debt or financial management.


Did you know?

$ 0

CLS Consumer Cases Financial Impact

$1. 0 Trillion

Nationwide Student Debt

$ 0 +

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
  • Bankruptcy 

What do I do when a debt collector threatens to take money from my paycheck?

Wage Garnishments and Your Paycheck

What you should know.
Download garnishment Information

What do I need to know before buying a used car?

Buying a Used Car?

Before you start shopping for a used car, do some homework.
Download Used Car Buying Information

Do you need guidance on student loan debt?

Dealing with Federally Guaranteed Student Debt

Information regarding federally guaranteed student loan debt.
Download Student Loan debt information

What should I do when a creditor demands payment on a debt that I don't think I owe?

Request a Written Verification of a Debt

Sample letter
Download Sample Debt Verification Request Letter

“Do you need access to these documents in a language other than English? Please email us at


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?

No, in Arizona, there is no 48 or 72 hour (or any time period) right to cancel a contract to purchase 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.

Homeowners Associations

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.

Student Loans

I am having trouble repaying my student loans. Can I change my repayment plan?

You may be able to do so. If you have a loan that was funded by the U.S. Department of Education, the Department offers different repayment plans. You may find additional information at the Federal Student Aid website.


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.

find additional help

Resources & Information

Federal Trade Commission

Protecting America's consumers

Arizona Attorney General

Consumer protection and complaint information

U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Arizona

Filer information - Debtor Help Page

Modest Means Project

Provides low-cost legal assistance to individuals who don't qualify for free legal services, but can't afford the expertise of attorneys at the standard rate.

Federal Student Aid

Find plans and information to repay your student loans.

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

​The CFPB is a U.S. government agency that helps consumers get fair treatment from businesses.

​MCBA Lawyer Referral Service

The Lawyer Referral Service of the Maricopa County Bar Association can arrange an appointment for brief advice from a private attorney for a small fee.

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