Consumer Law

Agency Powers & The Constitution

Agency Powers & The Constitution

The United States Government will oversee the operations of its independent regulatory agencies. Under the United States Constitution, the Government has the right to delegate certain tasks to Government agencies. Within this right, the Government also has the ability to indirectly monitor these agencies without actually having to complete these tasks on its own. Congress will pass legislation that implements the purpose and exact functions of these agencies.
The Constitution also allows for the adjudication of the orders of the agency. This means that the orders will be reviewed and it can be determined if the agency is acting properly. The legislation, as specified by the U.S. Constitution, which allows Government agencies to act in a certain way is called Enabling Legislation.
Enabling legislation will establish the name of an agency, how and when it will be composed, and the agency’s powers. It will specifically detail what areas of life this agency will be responsible for and how it will go about completing its tasks. The Constitution does not allow for Government agencies to act outside of its enabling legislation.
There are several rules and regulations that the U.S. Government must abide by when monitoring the practices of Government agencies. The Delegation Doctrine of the United States Constitution allows for Congress to establish agencies that will be responsible for enforcing specific legislation. There are many areas of daily life, economy, environment, etc. that the U.S. Government cannot monitor on its own. This is why these organizations will be established and tasked with specific duties.
The Delegation Doctrine allows Government agencies to take on certain responsibilities within the three branches of Government. This process allows for three different operations by agencies: rule-making, enforcement, and adjudication. The Administrative Procedure Act is a piece of legislation that provides rules and regulations that must be followed by the agencies when they are carrying out these three duties.
Under the Constitution, Government agencies are able to create new legislation. This emerges mostly out of the concept of notice and comment rule-making. Due to the fact that the Government agency will be almost entirely responsible for overseeing a particular area of life, the members of the agency will have the authority to suggest new regulations or amendments to current regulations. When a regulation is formed by Congress, the members of the agency will have an opportunity for comment, and this may or may not be included within the new regulation. 
Enforcement is one of the major responsibilities of Government agencies. These agencies will perform investigations that will make it possible for them to determine individuals who are not acting in accordance with the law.  
If a Government agency is not performing its duties properly it may be subject to adjudication. Adjudication is a legal process in which the agency will be investigated. The agency may try to first negotiate a settlement. If no settlement is reached, a formal complaint will be published and there will be a hearing before an Adjudication Administrative Law Judge. After the adjudication hearing the agency will issues an order, and if there is an appeal, the adjudicatory court will issue a final order.

Organization & Structure

Organization & Structure

Agency is a term in business law that refers to the ability of an agent to enter into contractual relationships between a principal and a third party. In this type of business structure a person will authorize an agent to act of his or her behalf to establish a contractual relationship. The person that authorizes the agent is called the principal.
For those people who are engaged in agencies, it is important to be aware of the legislation that regulates these entities. This is because principals will often be liable for the business and legal transactions that an agent conducts on their behalf. If the actions of an agent are considered improper, or the agent causes damage to a third party, the principal is generally held liable for damages. Therefore, agents are always required to act in the best interests of the principal they are representing.
The operations of an agency are based primarily on the agreement between the agent and the principal. As long as the principal legally authorizes the agent to act on his or her behalf, then an agency relationship exists.
This type of relationship often exists between consumers and real estate brokers. In this case, the principal would be the person who desires to sell a home, and the agent would be the real estate broker. The principal gives authorization to the agent to sell his or her home. When the agent finds people that are interested in purchasing the home, the agent enters into a contract with this third party on behalf of the principal. 
An attorney also commonly acts as an agent when the attorney enters into contracts on behalf of his or her principal. Although much of the structure regarding agencies is governed by common law on a case-by-case basis, there is also legislation that regulates these practices. It is the job of the Federal Trade Commission to ensure that this legislation is enforced.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is an Agency of the U.S. Government whose primary goal is to protect consumers and to prohibit the existence of monopolies that eliminate competition. In this case, the Government acts as the principal and allows that FTC to engage in contractual relationships with third parties, while overseeing the actions of the Agency. The Delegation Clause of the U.S. Constitution allows for the Government to establish these independent agencies in order to carry out the tasks and legislation of Congress. 
There are many examples of Government agencies with specific responsibilities. The Federal Trade Commission is one that works with consumers and commercial practices. The FTC was established in 1914 by the Federal Trade Commission Act. The FTC has a Bureau of Consumer Protection that is responsible for protecting consumers against unfair practices, such as fraudulent advertising and identity theft.
The Federal Trade Commission will enforce State legislation that protects against these practices. The FTC Bureau of Competition will enforce legislation that prevents monopolies and other business practices that discourage outside competition. Anti-trust legislation prohibits these practices, and the duty of the FTC is to ensure that these businesses will be dissolved.

Facts You Didn’t Know About Consumer Reports

Facts You Didn't Know About Consumer ReportsWhat are Consumer Reports?

Although a titular publication with regard to the review and analysis of products and services offered for purchase within the commercial market shares the name ‘Consumer Reports’, the notion of Consumer Reports within a legal spectrum speaks to the feedback, analysis, review, and reporting offered on the part of the consumer populace existing within a commercial market.

The information provided within Consumer Reports may include a wide variety of feedback with regard to products and services available for purchase that are reviewed within this forum.

What Will I Find in Consumer Reports?

Although the institution of Consumer Reports is neither considered to be a legally-mandated instrument, nor a governmental regulated activity, a bulk of accredited operations providing Consumer Reports do so in order to oversee the protection of consumer rights in tandem with the investigation of commercial activity in which consumers engage:

Consumer Reports Involving Commercial Policy

These types of Consumer Reports will typically include the investigation of legality and ethics latent within all existing commercial, business, corporate, merchandising, and retail operations. Within the protocols set forth within consumer Law, presumed fraudulent and criminal activity with regard to policies and activities undertaken by vendors may be reported within Consumer Reports – such as:

False Advertising is the purposeful attempt of a commercial vendor to misrepresent products and services offered with the intent to defraud consumers

Predatory or exploitative commercial activity, ranging from unfair service practices, deceptive marketing, and consumer fraud

Consumer Reports Reviewing Products and Services

Consumer Reports involving the reviews of products and services provide feedback set forth by fellow consumers with regard to the integrity of products available on the commercial market, as well the methods undertaken by vendors to rectify faulty products:

Product Liability addresses the legality inherent in the structural integrity and safety with the regard to the manufacturing of a product or service; this may also include the examination of injuries sustained by consumers through use of a particular product or service

Within many Consumer Reports, the mention of recalls – which are classified as faulty or flawed products whose presence on the commercial market poses the threat of injury, damage, or death to users

Consumer Reports including the reviews and analysis of warranties provided in order for vendors to substantiate the viability and integrity of a product or service available for purchase; Consumer Reports reviews of warranties may include supplementary insurance policies, that undertake the method of replacement and adjustment with regard to faulty products

Consumer Reports and Legality

Consumer Reports also provide legal resources to individuals who feel as though they have been the victims of a violation of consumer rights; in many cases, Consumer Reports will include any past history experienced with regard to ongoing illicit or unethical behavior undertaken by a commercial operation. In the event that you feel as though you have been the victim of a consumer or commercial-based crime, you may contact the National Crime Prevention Council through their telephone number: (202) 466-6272.

Types of Agencies

Types of Agencies

The Truth-In-Lending Act

The Truth in Lending Act (TILA) protects consumer rights by ensuring that consumers are aware of the terms and conditions of creditors when borrowing money and making credit card purchases. TILA mandates that creditors are absolutely clear in their terms and make a copy of the pertinent information for the consumer to keep. Terms must be easily understood and accessible by the consumer.
TILA often applies to closed credit transactions, which means that a creditor will lend a specific amount of money to a consumer which he or she must then pay back. This is often seen in mortgage loans. There are certain areas of this type of loan which must be made absolutely clear to the consumer. The agreement must include the name of the institution, the amount being financed, the interest rate, payment schedule, and any other necessary provisions.
There are several different types of agencies within the United States Government. A regulatory agency is generally part of the Government that has authority over a specific activity. Independent regulatory agencies functions are associated with the Government. However, they may receive little in the way of actual supervision. They are meant to function and carry out the tasks of the U.S. Government independently. Although they operate under the Federal Government, they are not a branch of the Government. 
Independent regulatory agencies have tasks, such as performing investigations of audits, protecting consumer rights, and overseeing international trade. These tasks may prove to be very complex and time-consuming, which is why they are generally performed by independent regulatory agencies, as opposed to the Federal Government itself. This allows for greater accuracy and the ability to ensure that legislation is being followed by all citizens. 
For example, the Federal Communications Commission, the Federal Trade Commission, and the Environmental Protection Agency are types of independent regulatory agencies. These independent regulatory agencies are better equipped than the Federal Government to handle specific areas of legislation because they will have expertise in the specific areas.
This concept was introduced by the United States Government in 1887 in order to handle certain aspects of private life. These independent regulatory agencies will operate with little supervision from the Federal executive agencies. However, they still have the authority to enforce legislation. In some cases, they will also be able to create new legislation through suggestion and comment. An existing piece of legislation may be amended based on the suggestion of a Government Agency.   
Although they operate independently of the Government, most independent regulatory agencies are considered to be Federal executive agencies. This is because they operate under the Government. There are many Federal executive agencies that handle a variety of responsibilities. These tasks include protecting the environment, protecting consumers, managing America’s space program, and gathering intelligence. 
There are a select few independent regulatory agencies that are considered to be outside the realm of Federal executive agencies. There are the Library of Congress and the Congressional Budget Office. These Federal executive agencies are considered to be part of the legislative branch of agencies. The Library of Congress is an agency that manages the research library of the United States Government. The Congressional Budget Office will report directly to Congress with economic data on the United States.
This is why it is always beneficial to pay off credit card debt. Most times, a person will be able to pay off the money at intervals by setting up a payment schedule. Wage garnishment is usually a last effort by a creditor to collect debts. 

3 Things You Need to Know About Consumer Complaints

3 Things You Need to Know About Consumer ComplaintsWhat are Consumer Complaints?

Consumer Complaints are classified as grievances and dissatisfaction set forth on the part of the consumer responsible for the purchase of a particular product or service within the commercial market, which is defined as the venue in which the consumer law process and procedure regulates  the facilitation of business activities.

As a result, an implementation of a system congruent to commercial operation is classified as both the provision of a product or service, as well as the purchase of that product or service – this can include both the provision, as well as the purchase of products and services.
Interactions taking place between a consumer and a vendor – one who provides products and services for purchase – are regulated within the scope of commercial and consumer legality; interactions perceived to be absent of legality, ethics, and constitutionality may result in Consumer Complaints.

Consumer Complaints Fact #1

The nature of Consumer Complaints is expansive

Within the realm of consumer law – in addition to the various institutions and legality employed in order to protect the rights of a consumer engaging within the commercial marketplace, resides the fundamental precept in which the statutory legality inherent within commercial and consumer activity be preserved.

As a result, Consumer Complaints can exist with regard to the vast expanse of commerce taking place in modernity; typically, Consumer Complaints can range from an overall grievance with regard to a product or service, to a highly-specified component of an individual product or service.

Consumer Complaints Fact #2

Consumer Law – as well as Commercial Law and Competition Law – protect the rights of the consumer

Consumer Law is the legal field whose primary jurisdictional responsibility is the regulation, oversight, and review of any and all actions undertaken on a commercial basis involving interaction between consumers and vendors; consumer complaints are typically measured in accordance with the statutory legislation expressed within consumer law

Commercial Law is legal field responsible for the regulation of a variety of businesses, methods of commerce, and commercial undertakings that occur in a particular area or region; these types of commercial institutions will typically range in size, staff, service, and industry; the standards and practices expressed within statutory legality will oftentimes substantiate the validity of consumer complaints

Competition Law, to which some refer as ‘Antitrust Law’ regulates the legal oversight with regard to the stipulations and statutes expressed within competing businesses and enterprise within the commercial marketplace; this institution of preventative measures, which disallow for unlawful violation of consumer rights mandate consumer complaints with regard to commercial monopolization

Consumer Complaints Fact #3

Consumer Complaints are not inherently synonymous with Defamation

In the event that a consumer has undergone presumed grievances resulting from a negative experience within the commercial market, they are permitted to express their dissatisfaction through the expression of Consumer Complaints; in accordance to the constitutionality of free expression, Consumer Complaints are considered to be a right granted to every citizen of the United States.

However, slandering – or the unjust expression of a libelous or untrue sentiment resulting in damage is considered to be defamation; all consumer complaints are required to be expressed in a valid, founded, legal, and lawful fashion.

Your Easy Guide to Consumer Law

Your Easy Guide to Consumer LawWhat is Consumer Law?

Consumer Law is the legal field whose primary jurisdictional responsibility is the regulation, oversight, and review of any and all actions undertaken on a commercial basis involving interaction between consumers and vendors. Within the legal spectrum of consumer law, the two primary classifications exist in the form of ‘Consumer’ and ‘Vendor’; individuals or entities named a consumers are defined as parties undertaking the purchase or patronization of goods and services offered within the setting of the commercial market.

Similarly, a vendor is named as an individual or entity that avails products or services for consumer purchase within the setting of the commercial market. Within the realm of consumer law, a variety of legislation exists with regard to interactions involving consumers and vendors.

Types of Consumer Law

Within the setting of Consumer Law, two primary classifications of legislation exist; these are defined as legality protecting the rights of the consumer, as well as the regulation of ethical commerce. Although these two classifications may share certain similarities, legal precepts and tenets innate to these genres of consumer law address different ideology and methodology existing within the Commercial Market:

Consumer Law and Consumer Rights

The engagement of an individual or entity within the Commercial market allows a consumer the agency to purchase products or services in a fair and legal fashion; consumer rights provide legislation disallowing any prospective fraudulent or exploitative measures undertaken by vendors; as per the development of Consumer Law, statutes have been enacted and adjusted in order to ensure that the commercial market within a country or nation provides a setting for legally-sound commerce:

Product Liability is a field within Consumer Law that provides for both the financial protection, as well as the health and wellbeing of consumers engaging within the commercial market; the instrument of product liability provides an agreement that products or services will operate and function in the fashion advertised contingent on proper usage – this field of Consumer Law protects consumers from injustices ranging from financial loss to personal injury

Warranties are instruments that purchased by consumers in an indirect fashion in tandem with the purchase of an individual product or service; within the setting of consumer law, a warranty is provided by commercial vendors in order to substantiate the viability and integrity of a product or service available for purchase – a warranty ensures that products or services purchases will be refunded, fixed, or replaced in the event that they fail undertake a reasonable life span of operation

Consumer Law and Ethical Commerce

Ethical Commerce is an ideology that is regulated, required, and overseen by institutions responsible for the administration of Consumer Law; Ethical Commerce is defined as statutory regulations of the commercial market in order to prohibit any or all commercial practices considered to be unethical or in direct violation of a fair and free market economy:

False Advertising, which is a classification of fraud that exists within the realm of Consumer Law is defined as the misrepresentation of products or services offered resulting in the defrauding of a consumer; however, within the nature of a false advertising charge, the notion of intent accounts for an expressed and purposeful action undertaken in order to commit fraud – however, regardless of intent, a vendor accused of false advertising will be expected to furnish financial restitution to the victims of that crime

The Truth Behind The History of Consumer Protection Laws

The Truth Behind The History of Consumer Protection LawsWhat are Consumer Protection Laws?

Consumer Protection, which is a genre within the overarching legal specialty of Consumer Law, is classified as a legal field that focuses on the protection of consumers engaging in commercial activity within the commercial market.

Consumer Protection Laws not only ensure that the consumers engaging in commercial activity rooted within purchase and consumerism will be regulated in accordance to Consumer Rights legality, as well as provide for the regulation of all commercial activity undertaken by vendor-based commercial operations in order to ensure Consumer Protection. Within the scope of Consumer Protection Laws, a wide variety of criminal activity, unethical dealings, illegal strategies, and unlawful business practices have existed since the inception of commerce.

Consumer Protection Laws of 50 B.C.

The earliest incarnation of Consumer Protection has been recorded as the implementation of the ‘Lex Julia de Annona’ statute, which was passed by the Roman Government in or around 50 B.C; the ‘Lex Julia de Annona’ statute was enforced not only to provide commercial operations with legal protection, but also to provide Consumer Protection for Roman Citizens:

This Consumer Protection Law expressed that any individual attempting to destroy incoming vessels carrying cargo with the attempt to sabotage competing commercial endeavors would be prosecuted for this crime

Not only did this Consumer Law serve to protect the interests of commercial operation, but it served as a form of Consumer Protection, which prevented the institution of a commercial monopoly; as was the trend within a monopoly, the consumer populace was oftentimes subject to predatory and discriminatory pricing resulting from a monopolization of the commercial market

Consumer Protection Laws of 1890

The antitrust and anti-monopoly laws passed both at the close of the 19th century, as well as the early years of the 20th century disallowed for the commercial monopolization of the commercial market for the first time in conjunction with recorded and mandated legislature within the United States; these Consumer Protection Laws prevented consumers from victimization with regard to unethical pricing, the exploitation of the commercial market, and violation of constitutionality – the Consumer Protection Laws banning monopolies continue to provide for Consumer Protection within modernity:

Predatory Pricing is the drastic and unethical, exploitative control of pricing for goods and services due to commercial monopolization

Market control violates consumer rights upon instating unauthorized limitation with regard to consumer purchases

Consumer Protection Laws of Modernity

Electronic Commerce, which is commonly referred to as ‘E-Commerce’ relies on Consumer Protection Law focuses ensuring the regulation of legislation, ethics, legality, and stipulations that exist with regard to the operation and facilitation of commercial activity through the use of digital vending, computer networks, virtual marketplaces, online businesses, and Internet-based consumer activity:

Consumer Protection within the computer age prevents from the defrauding of consumers engaging within the commercial marketplace upon regulating the methods and activities of electronic commerce and transactions

Consumer Protection Laws specific to virtual commerce provide the regulation and oversight of the integrity of products and services offered within a virtual marketplace

Understanding Consumer Affairs

Understanding Consumer AffairsWhat are Consumer Affairs?

Consumer Affairs is considered to be a general catchall term that includes the legality that exists within the commercial market. Within the commercial market, two primary entities exist that participate in the facilitation of commerce; these parties are vendors and consumers.

Consumers are classified as individuals who undertake the purchasing and patronizing of the vast array of products and services available on the commercial market; a vendor is classified as an entity serving to provide these products and services available for commercial and consumer purchase. Institutions both rooted within Consumer Affairs, as well as those facilitated to regulate and oversee the inherent legality and ethics occurring within the commercial and consumer market allow for the rights of the consumer populace to be protected.

Types of Consumer Affairs

However, the notion of Consumer Affairs is quite vast, which results in the topics and procedures – in addition to the focus and statutory analysis – taking place within commerce to retain an expansive nature. As a result, institutions specializing in Consumer Affairs will typically vary within nature, practice, and subject matter:

Consumer Affairs for the Protection of Consumer Rights

Within the scope of the commercial market, prospective criminal activity varying both in nature, as well as severity may take place. Consumer Affairs institutions rooted within the investigation and prevention of consumer-based crimes may undertake measures to not only report ongoing commercial crime to the proper authorities, but also provide the general consumer populace with pertinent information; the following crimes are amongst the most commonly reported by such Consumer Affairs institutions:

Fraud – namely fraud taking place within a commercial setting – is classified as the purposeful and intentional misrepresentation of a product or service on the part of a commercial vendor with the expressed intention of deceiving a consumer; within the notion of consumer fraud investigated by the vary institutions of Consumer Affairs may include product misrepresentation, false advertising, and faulty products that do not adhere to their manufacturer’s agreement

Consumer Affairs for the Prevention on Monopolized Commercial Markets

As per the events transpiring in conjunction with both the Sherman Antitrust Act, as well as the Clayton Antitrust Act, unregulated commercial activities retain the ability to drastically exploit and damage the commercial populace; the monopolization of a commercial market not only disallows for consumer agency and choice, but also may place a consumer under duress to engage in purchase – as a result, Consumer Affairs investigating and preventing commercial monopolization provide consumers with the expressed protection of rights:

In the event that a commercial operation or business endeavor threaten to encompass an entire market, which results in the prevention commercial competition, the prospect exists that consumers may engage in purchase as a result of force in lieu of choice

A latent risk within commercial monopolization – as stated by reports set forth by Institutions of Consumer Affairs, mandate that the prospect of exploitative pricing strategies, as well as the unethical control of the entirety of a market

The Ins and Outs of Consumer Awareness

The Ins and Outs of Consumer AwarenessWhat Does the Phrase ‘Consumer Awareness’ Mean?

The phrase ‘Consumer Awareness’ may be interpreted in a variety of methods; on one hand, Consumer Awareness may describe the proliferation of specific, commercial information assumed to be vital to the consumer populace – on the other hand, Consumer Awareness may involve the methods and ideologies undertaken be vendors, retailers, and manufacturers in order to maximize their respective recognition and presence within the realm of the commercial marketplace

Regardless of the expressed meaning within the term itself, activity undertaken within the commercial marketplace – activity that involves the interactions between vendor and consumer – are regulated by a legal specialty classified as Consumer Law

Within the expanse of consumer law, a variety of genres and fields exist with regard to regulation and administration of statutory legislation in a commercial setting

Consumer Awareness within the Commercial Marketplace

The notion and activity involving the proliferation of Consumer Awareness oftentimes is the result of a piece of urgent information or the details of circumstances that involve events occurring within a commercial setting; in such cases, the desire to alert the general consumer populace through the elevation of Consumer Awareness may be implemented for the following reasons:

Consumer Protection

Consumer Awareness may be required in order to alert consumers of criminal or fraudulent activity within the commercial market place; a scam is defined as an illegal, deceptive, and structured plan utilizing misrepresentation to purposely defraud those engaging in it – fraud is defined as the act of deliberately misrepresenting or falsifying information in order to deceive.

Consumer Reviews

Elevated Consumer Awareness may take place as a result of the release of consumer-based reviews and complaints with regard to products and services available on the commercial marketplace; typically, consumer-provided feedback includes the mention of both satisfaction and grievances expressed by a consumer providing reviews of products and services – overwhelmingly positive or negative consumer reviews may result in heightened consumer awareness.

Product Liability

Product Liability – a legal statute within the field of consumer law – is defined as the determination of fault and responsibility in the event that the usage of a product or service threatens the inherent safety and wellbeing of a consumer or user.

The precepts within product liability require that the product or service be used only in the manner for which its use is intended; personal injuries resulting from improper – or unintended usage – will typically free that manufacturer or vendor of liability. Raised Consumer Awareness may take place with regard to product liability within the following events:

The review of a Commercial Warranty serving as a bond formed between the vendor and the consumer ensuring that the product purchased is functional and satisfactory

A product recall resulting from faulty or flawed products whose presence on the commercial marketplace is considered to cause the threat of injury, damage, or death to consumers and users alike; typically, consumer awareness is at its peak in the event that a product or service has been identified as both faulty and potentially dangerous

Facts You Didn’t know About the Consumer Credit Act

Facts You Didn't know About the Consumer Credit Act

The Consumer Credit Act of 1974 was an Act that was passed by Parliament in the United Kingdom. What this particular Act did was rebuild and reorganize the way in which consumer credit was handled in the United Kingdom. The purpose of this was to provide consumers with more rights and to form a more organized way in which business and the consumption of goods was done. This was helpful in order to regulate business procedures and still benefit the customer.
There are a number of different regulations and stipulations through this particular Consumer Credit Act. Some of them were very specific conditions that needed to be followed in order for business to occur.
For example, if an individual made an agreement of purchase with a business and wanted to cancel this agreement, under the Consumer Credit Act 1974 the consumer has the ability to cancel the agreement as long as they did not sign a contract in the business or shop with whom they are working, or as long as they did not enter into an agreement over the phone. Essentially, they are allowed to initiate the cancellation of the agreement if it was on their terms and territory when they agreed to it.
For sellers, a cancellation could be done through a formal court order if the seller had started to pay off the sale. The Consumer Credit Act of 1974 had many other types of terms and conditions regarding the business of buying and selling goods. However, this Act was replaced and completely changed by the Consumer Credit Act of 2006.