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Questions Answered by Daniel Timothy LeBel
3 Answers | Asked in Consumer Law and Collections for California on
Q: I have received an email requesting I pay or they will send me to court, I have never received any legitimate info

I have received this email and I want to know if it is legitimate, I emailed asking what it was in regards to and they sent an email with minimal information and told me to pay a certain amount of money to close it. They could not tell me when where or how they got my information, but that they... Read more »

Daniel Timothy LeBel
Daniel Timothy LeBel answered on Jul 2, 2020

Your suspicion seems justified. This has the earmarks of a phishing scam. Since you haven't lost any money it is unlikely your local police department will get involved.

You should report it to the FTC. To do so, forward the message to the Anti-Phishing Working Group at reportphishing@apwg.org.

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3 Answers | Asked in Consumer Law and Lemon Law for California on
Q: Seller did not fully disclose mileage despite claiming original miles.

I recently purchased a vehicle which was listed as "125k original miles."

I found a service document listing this vehicle at 161,422 miles on 7/20/17. The VIN and license number match. However, the gauge cluster reads 125k miles. Because of the increase in miles, there is a... Read more »

Daniel Timothy LeBel
Daniel Timothy LeBel answered on Jun 8, 2020

Dear auto purchaser,

Federal statutes were enacted to protect consumers from odometer fraud. For the reasons you mention and others, misrepresenting the actual mileage of a used vehicle can cause serious problems. You should contact a competent attorney who has a specialized consumer law...
Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Consumer Law for California on
Q: Online purchase

I bought a bike online and i returned it after 10 days because the bike had problem in their policy was 10% to 30% penalty of bike’s costs now my question is could they get this penalty?

Daniel Timothy LeBel
Daniel Timothy LeBel answered on May 31, 2020

Dear cyclist,

Unfortunately, we're missing some relevant information to provide an evaluation. If the bike had a problem that could be fixed under warranty, the business should fix it free of charge. If you simply want to return it, it is reasonable that they have a restocking policy...
Read more »

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3 Answers | Asked in Car Accidents and Consumer Law for California on
Q: What can I do if I find out my New/Used car was in several car accidents not listed on the CarFax?

I bought a New/used car from a Honda Dealership in the Bay Area of California in Feb 2020. It's a 2016 Honda Civic touring. The price came out to $21,000. I noticed something a little off about the paint job after few weeks after purchase but thought it was the effects of the paint. Getting my... Read more »

Daniel Timothy LeBel
Daniel Timothy LeBel answered on May 30, 2020

Dear Bay Area driver,

I agree with Mr. Kaufman and add that it is unlikely a dealership could miss the telltale signs of collision damage combined with poor quality repairs. Even more so if the vehicle was in more than one collision.

The dealership cannot hide behind a clean CarFax...
Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Consumer Law for California on
Q: How do I best protect myself so that if I pay a part owner of a car with lienholder on it, that I get the title?

He needs the money that someone pays to pay off the car. He said that we could call the lienholder together, and they could send him documentation stating the balance is now 0 and that he is the legal owner. However, I do not know if that documentation is good enough. We then discussed he would... Read more »

Daniel Timothy LeBel
Daniel Timothy LeBel answered on May 17, 2020

When manufacturers buy back "lemon" vehicles, they often ask the consumer to get a payoff quote from the lender prior to the exchange. There's no real legal right for the manufacturer to do this written into the statute, but the car company has the money and the consumer has the... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Consumer Law, Civil Rights and Constitutional Law for California on
Q: Can a store deny me service for not being able to buy mask

I sent to my local 99 cent store to purchase battery and they had there security gaurd stop me from entering the store without a mask they said I could not enter and they will refuse service and that it was the law

Daniel Timothy LeBel
Daniel Timothy LeBel answered on May 8, 2020

The security guard was correct. It would be a violation of the law for the store to allow you to enter. Under current state and local county orders concerning the COVID-19 pandemic all patrons of grocery or other retail stores are required to wear masks for their own safety, for the safety of other... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law for California on
Q: Can a merchant deduct money from bank without authorization?

My mother and I have the same name. Due to COVID-19 my mother fell behind on payments, including to a leasing agency. Today I noticed the same agency took money from my account. I never shared any of my information with this company, I’ve never dealt with this company. What can I do? How did... Read more »

Daniel Timothy LeBel
Daniel Timothy LeBel answered on May 6, 2020

Dear consumer,

I am sorry to hear about your mother's situation, obviously she is one of many in our country who are struggling financially right now due to the wide-ranging effects of the virus.

Unless you were a co-signer on the lease, this company has no right to acquire...
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1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law, Contracts, Civil Litigation and Civil Rights for California on
Q: I sent carmax a letter of demand and sent the proof they ignore me when I send all of the proof

They do not email me back whenever I send they proof they ask me for ( trying to dodge the bullet and act as if they never received it) the contacts were manipulated and I don't know where I can find am attornery I have inquired online haven't heard back

Daniel Timothy LeBel
Daniel Timothy LeBel answered on Mar 23, 2020

Dear Consumer,

It is not unusual for a business, particularly a large corporation, to ignore consumer complaints. To protect your interests going forward, try to always communicate in writing. If you feel that you cannot get relief on your own, you should contact a reputable consumer...
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1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law for California on
Q: To request my full consumer file disclosure, in writing, from a specialty CRA, what do I put in the letter?

What personal details should I put in the letter? Should I provide proof of identity, such as a copy of my driver's license?

Daniel Timothy LeBel
Daniel Timothy LeBel answered on Mar 18, 2020

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau ("CFPB") as of the time of writing, still maintains a convenient list of specialty consumer reporting agencies. You can click on the link for each company to find more specific information including the CRA's website and address to send a... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law and Small Claims for California on
Q: I paid a debt off to a creditor who had several attorneys file against me - we paid off the bad debt but still not clear

We do not show the debt as settled the creditor is still saying we owe they filed two different cases against me for the same debt?

Daniel Timothy LeBel
Daniel Timothy LeBel answered on Feb 20, 2020

Dear consumer,

It's unclear what your question is here. If the debt is paid off, there should be no further action. Regardless, there should only be one court case based on a single debt.

It sounds like you should contact a legal services organization or clinic or a private...
Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Consumer Law for California on
Q: Can i Sue money gram for not refunding a cancelled transfer?

I signed up for a MoneyGram account online so I could send a friend of mine whose abroad a loan. MoneyGram cancelled my account and also cancelled the transfer as well. I've been trying to get my money back which was a high dollar amount back but have had one issue after another getting it... Read more »

Daniel Timothy LeBel
Daniel Timothy LeBel answered on Jan 28, 2020

Recently I helped a consumer obtain a full refund in a similar situation. I would need more facts and to review your documentation to evaluate your situation, but this sounds like a situation where an experienced consumer attorney could help you get your money back.

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2 Answers | Asked in Consumer Law and Small Claims for California on
Q: I am a Truck Driver which drove from California to Connecticut. On my way back, the company's bank repossess the truck

Do I have any rights as a consumer to receive my money for completing a job. I was told the individual that works as the accountant took the money that was suppose to pay for the truck therefore not paying me for a job I completed. Need your help...thank you in advance.

Daniel Timothy LeBel
Daniel Timothy LeBel answered on Jan 2, 2020

In the situation you've described, you're not a consumer, you're an employee or contractor. If this is not a small claims matter, you should contact an attorney who practices in those areas. Good luck!

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1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for California on
Q: Can I be arrested if I cant pay my kennel bill

I have had my dog at a boarding place since October and I want her back but the place is not accepting payments or trying to work with me. I am nervous that any day now I could be arrested because she is still there.

Daniel Timothy LeBel
Daniel Timothy LeBel answered on Dec 29, 2019

We do not have debtors' prisons in California. Your debt to the kennel is a civil matter. Under the facts you have provided you do not have a reason to fear jail time. If the kennel is telling you otherwise, they may be in violation of the law and you should contact a qualified attorney immediately.

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for California on
Q: Is there a statue of limitations on unlicensed dog citations? I got one in 2008 and now collections is harassing me.
Daniel Timothy LeBel
Daniel Timothy LeBel answered on Aug 15, 2019

If you're being harassed by a third party debt collector, it's an issue where you don't have to sit back and take the abuse. You would have a right to proceed under the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act ("FDCPA") and likely also under the analogous state law. This does... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for California on
Q: My neighbor leaves their dog out in the patio even when the temperatures gets to triple digits. Should I report it?

I recently moved into an apartment. Every time I walk towards my parking area I would pass my neighbor’s patio. Their dog would always bark every time someone walks by but today I noticed it didn’t and looked like it was suffering from the weather. Even though he was under a shade the heat was... Read more »

Daniel Timothy LeBel
Daniel Timothy LeBel answered on Jul 15, 2019

Yes, you may--and it sounds like, should--report this condition to your local animal control center.

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2 Answers | Asked in Business Law, Consumer Law and Personal Injury for California on
Q: Wrongful repossession a few months after we paid in full the lender including repo fees and repo company to recover it?

We defaulted a $2500 loan car was repossessed and we were given the opportunity to recover it. Pay in full the amount of loan, with the agreed interest, penalties, repo fees, etc... Also upon picking up our vehicle from the Auto auction where it was located have another $200+ dollars for an... Read more »

Daniel Timothy LeBel
Daniel Timothy LeBel answered on Jul 13, 2019

Dear consumer,

More facts would be necessary to evaluate your situation. Filling in some of the blanks, it sounds like this lender failed to comply with California law which requires post repossession notice.

Further, under any states' laws, if you had already paid off the...
Read more »

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