All states have enacted consumer protection statutes, which are modeled after the Federal Trade Commission Act, which prohibits ‘‘unfair or deceptive acts or practices in or affecting commerce.” Minnesota is no different. The state enacted the Uniform Deceptive Trade Practices Act (UDTPA) in 1973. The unfair and deceptive trade practices are just that: when a
Minneapolis Consumer Rights Attorney
Did you suffer a financial loss because of car dealer fraud, deceptive advertising or unfair trade practices? Were you denied credit because of inaccurate credit reporting? Were you harmed by predatory mortgage lending, mortgage fraud or a foreclosure rescue scam? Was a loved one injured because of a dangerous product? Has your insurance company failed to pay your valid claim for insurance benefits?
At Thompson Hall Santi Cerny & Dooley we are dedicated to representing clients who are overwhelmed with complex consumer law disputes. Whether you have been a victim of debt collection harassment or are facing wrongful foreclosure due to improper mortgage services you need representation that can secure your financial future and protect your rights immediately.
We believe consumers need to be educated about consumer fraud, and need to stand up for their rights whether by pursuing an individual or class action claim when the facts warrant pursuing such an action. We also believe consumers should be compensated for injury caused by defective or deceptive products. Every year thousands of consumers are ripped off for billions of dollars by unscrupulous companies and businesses.
Current trend in Minnesota Consumer Fraud
Minnesota courts have often said, in the past, that the purpose of consumer protection laws is to rectify an imbalance of power between consumers and sellers in an attempt to prevent the powerful from coercing the weak. However, the Minnesota Supreme Court has recently held that, because the attorney general only prosecutes cases for the “public benefit,” any private action brought under the private attorney general statute must also carry a “public benefit” aspect.1 Therefore, there is less of a focus on equitable and restorative remedies, and more of a focus on public policy. If the fraudulent practices effect only a small group of people, or a corporation, rather than a natural person, a MN court will be less likely to consider it viable as a private cause of action. MN courts have been much more willing to offer a positive judgment in class actions or multiple plaintiff suits.2
Protecting Your Rights
Legislators have passed laws designed to protect consumers like you from predatory lenders, overzealous debt collectors, careless credit bureaus and other harmful business practices. At the Thompson Hall Santi Cerny & Katkov, LLC, we work to enforce existing consumer protection statutes to resolve consumer problems with:
- Unfair collection practices Unfair Debt Collection Practices
- Unwanted telemarketing calls, text messages and e-mails and junk faxes
- Identity theft
- Credit reporting problems
- Debt collection harassment
- Car repossession
We provide debt collection defense against payday and other high interest lenders and predatory mortgage companies, and also assist clients with tenant rights issues, with wage and hour claims and with consumer class action lawsuits.
Companies who profit from taking advantage of innocent consumers deserve to be held accountable for their actions. Don’t let embarrassment prevent you from seeking justice. It’s likely you were not the only consumer who was harmed. Contact the Thompson Hall Santi Cerny & Katkov, LLC for more information about how to protect your rights and recover your losses.
- Ly v. Nystrom, 615 N.W.2d 302 (Minn. 2000).
- Prentiss Cox, Goliath has the Slingshot: Public Benefit and Private Enforcement of Minnesota Consumer Protection Laws, 33 W. Mitch. L. Rev. 181-87 (2006).
Minnesota Data Breach Notification
Unfortunately for businesses, there is not one place in federal statutes or state law that contains all data privacy law. Therefore, business owners and professionals have to make sure they become acquainted with various data privacy laws, especially laws that deal with the personal information that the business uses, but does not own. If the
Plastic Card Security Act
In 2007, Minnesota was the first state to pass an act that allows financial institutions (e.g., banks and credit unions) with the ability to sue organizations/merchants that expose payment card data due to a security breach. Minnesota passed the Plastic Card Security Act (“PCSA”) in the wake of the TJX Companies breach, wherein 45 million
Common Law Negligent Misrepresentation
Similar to fraudulent misrepresentation, a negligent misrepresentation claim is hard to prove. Usually, a plaintiff will allege both fraudulent and negligent misrepresentation because with negligent misrepresentation no proof is required regarding a defendant’s intent to defraud. The Restatement Second of Torts defines “negligent misrepresentation” as, One who, in the course of his business, profession or
Statutory Fraud Claims: Uniform Deceptive Trade Practices Act
Minnesota has a number of statutory fraud claims and the Uniform Deceptive Trade Practices Act (“UDTPA”), found in Minn. Stat. §§ 325D.43,et seq., is one of those claims. There are thirteen ways in which a person can engage in deceptive trade practices. Minn. Stat. § 325D.44 states, A person engages in a deceptive trade practice
Telephone Consumer Protection Act
Can a Violation Under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act Serve as a Basis for a Federal Debt Collections Practices Act? A Pennsylvania federal court judge has ruled an unequivocal “no.” This case arises out of a pre-recorded message to Ninouska Gomez. The messaged asked for Gomez, offered a pause for someone to hang up if
Minnesota Supreme Court: Two Questions of First Impression Under Minnesota’s Uniform Fraudulent Transfer Act (“MUFTA”)
In Finn and Lighthouse Mgmt. Group, Inc. v. Alliance Bank, et al., --- N.W.2d --- (Minn. 2015, the Minnesota Supreme Court decided two questions of first impression in Minnesota: 1) does the “Ponzi-scheme presumption” adopted by some federal courts apply to claims brought under MUFTA and 2) whether the statute of limitations governing claims “for
Federal Government Bidding: Who Ensures It Is a Fair Process?
The U.S. government is the world’s largest buyer of products and services—to the tune of about $200 million a year. It is obvious that many companies elect to bid on federal government contracts because they can provide a benefit to any business. However, with so much money at stake, how can a business be sure
False Advertising: The Lanham Act
Mayonnaise behemoth Conopco, Inc. d/b/a as Unilever, better known as Hellman’s, recently sued Hampton Creek, a small San Francisco based start-up and self-proclaimed provider of “healthier and affordable food.” Hellman’s is claiming, among other things, that Hampton Creek’s product “Just Mayo” is being falsely advertised because the product does not contain eggs and, according to
False Statement in Advertising Act
Minnesota’s False Statement in Advertising Act (“FSAA”) prohibits an advertisement which “contains any material assertion, representation, or statement of fact which is untrue, deceptive or misleading.” Minn. Stat. § 325f.67. There are two issues under the FSAA regarding the scope of the statute. First, the conduct must be an advertisement disseminated to the public. Second,
The Fair Credit Reporting Act of 1971 (“FCRA”)
The Fair Credit Reporting Act Of 1971 was created to require consumer reporting agencies to adopt reasonable procedures to meet the needs of commerce for consumer credit personnel, insurance, and other information in a manner which is fair and equitable to the consumer. Essentially, the act was created to insure accuracy and fairness of credit
Commercial/Product Disparagement in Minnesota and Under the Lanham Act
Commercial disparagement under the common law allows for cause of action for when a defendant makes a false, misleading, or deceptive representation about another’s goods or services. In Minnesota, under the common law a claim of product disparagement “requires allegations that the defendant made a false statement tending to disparage the plaintiff’s products or services,
Common-law and statutes allow for a cause of action when a company misrepresents the nature or characteristics of its goods to consumers. In Minnesota, a false statement in an advertisement is defined as follows, Any person, firm, corporation, or association who, with intent to sell or in anywise dispose of merchandise, securities, service, or anything
Deceptive Trade Practices: Passing Off
In Minnesota, a person engages in a deceptive trade practice when, in the course of business, vocation, or occupation, the person: Passes off goods or services as those of another; Causes likelihood of confusion or of misunderstanding as to the source, sponsorship, approval, or certification of goods or services; Causes likelihood of confusion or of
The Anti-Cybersquatting Consumer Protection Act (“ACPA”)
What is cybersquatting? Cybersquatting is the act of purchasing a domain name that uses the names of existing businesses, which are usually trademarked, for the sole purpose of either profiting from the goodwill of that person’s business/trademark or holding the domain name hostage in exchange for a sum of money from the business or person
Equal Credit Opportunity Act (“ECOA”)
The ECOA in 1974 was enacted to protect women from discrimination in the extension of credit. The ECOA was then broadened to prevent discrimination against all applicants with respect to a credit transaction based on race, color, religion, national origin, sex, or marital status or age. The ECOA also protects any discrimination because all are
“Knowingly False Publication” Insurance Exclusion
Commercial general liability insurance policies for businesses are necessary. They provide businesses with protection of their property in case of damages or if they are ever sued. However, there are a number of exclusions in a lot of commercial general liability policies. One of those exclusions is the Knowingly False Publication Exclusion. Coverage is excluded
Minnesota’s Deceptive Trade Practices Act
Minnesota’s Deceptive Trade Practices Act (“DTP”) creates a private right of action for a person who is injured by a deceptive trade practice. Deceptive Trade Practice is defined as: passes off goods or services as those of another, causes likelihood of confusion or of misunderstanding as to the source, sponsorship, approval, or certification of goods
Common Law Fraudulent Misrepresentation
Although it has a variety of different names, including just misrepresentation and just fraud, the Minnesota Supreme Court has defined fraudulent misrepresentation as having the following elements: A false representation by a party of a past or existing material fact that is susceptible of knowledge, The person making the representation made it either a) with
Consumer Fraud Act
The Minnesota Consumer Fraud Act states: the act, use, or employment by any person under any fraud, false pretense, false promise, false representation, misleading statement, or deceptive practice, with the intent that others rely thereon and in connection with the sale of any merchandise, where or not any person has in fact been misled, deceived,