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Iowa Consumer Law Questions & Answers
0 Answers | Asked in Consumer Law, Criminal Law and Business Law for Iowa on
Q: If I am a paying customer of a business can I be asked to leave if I'm in the business for an extended period of time?

If I buy something from a convenience store and I stand and talk to and employee I know as they work can I be told to leave under the pretence that I am loitering? As far as I know I can be in any business as long as I want after I have bought something as long as I'm not stopping the flow of... Read more »

0 Answers | Asked in Consumer Law, Small Claims and Collections for Iowa on
Q: What is the statute of limitations for a community college to collect on a Pell grant return due to class withdraw?

I attended a community college in Iowa over 6 years ago. Evidently, they are now holding my taxes to pay back a Pell Grant return due to withdrawing from classes. If it’s been longer than 6 years, are they able to collect on this debt?

1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law and Collections for Iowa on
Q: Can a Collection agency charge interest in Iowa on a medical debt that has no interest in the billing contract?

They have served me papers including interest and fees.

Barry W. Kaufman
Barry W. Kaufman
answered on Feb 24, 2023

Maybe. Prejudgment interest can accrue at a statutory rate on the amount owed. An Attorney would have to review the complaint.

1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law, Criminal Law, Employment Law and Collections for Iowa on
Q: If some one keeps giving out your phone number knowing that they are doing it falsely, is there any grounds for a suite?

who ever had my number before keeps giving it out for every thing under the sun that they don't want to ever pay or deal with. And it has been over 10 years. Is there any thing here I can do on the legal end to stop them?

Barry W. Kaufman
Barry W. Kaufman
answered on Sep 28, 2022

You can talk to a local lawyer whether this constitutes harassment but you have to determine who is responsible for doing so. Or you can change your phone number.

1 Answer | Asked in Bankruptcy, Collections and Consumer Law for Iowa on
Q: I filed chapter 7 last year, final. One creditor refused to be notified over phone, called me many times during

All other creditors took filing and attorney info over the phone (call recorded by me). Bankruptcy had been final for a time when the bank in question FINALLY took the attorney's information OVER THE PHONE! While it was happening I researched the number (would not answer it, as it was... Read more »

Timothy Denison
Timothy Denison
answered on Aug 6, 2022

You should sue them or at the very least bring contempt proceedings against them for violations the stay.

2 Answers | Asked in Banking, Consumer Law and Contracts for Iowa on
Q: I was paid over $5000 by a company to advertise on my car. I deposited it into my bank and spent it.

The checks came back as fake and now my bank wants me to pay all the money back to them. I'm on Social Security Disability and can't afford to do that. Since my bank is FDIC insured, won't they get their money back that way? Am I really obligated? After all, the only true victim is... Read more »

Ana Maria Del Valle-Aguilera
Ana Maria Del Valle-Aguilera
answered on Sep 3, 2020

FDIC insurance covers you (the funds in your deposit account) if the bank fails (kind of like going bankrupt). As an account holder you are responsible to the bank for all checks deposited into your account. This is covered by law (under the Uniform Commercial Code) in every state, and all banks... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law for Iowa on
Q: Violation of 14th constitution rights
Tim Akpinar
Tim Akpinar
answered on Dec 23, 2019

If you added a couple of lines about what your matter involves (without including your personal information), it could be easier for the right type of attorney here to reply. The 14th Amendment covers lots of ground, from due process to equal protection. That means it could touch the expertise of a... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law, Real Estate Law and Collections for Iowa on
Q: I own a timeshare in Mass and paid my maintenance fee late. They are refusing my payment (check).

I did not find any emails from them until I looked at my spam so it looked like I was avoiding them. I informed them by email that I was waiting for my tax return because I saw that there was a one-time Maintenance increase for an owner agreed on repairs. I have asked them to work with me but... Read more »

Michael Hales
Michael Hales
answered on Jun 5, 2019

If they never sent you paper bills, you may have an argument that they did not give you notice. If that does not work, you may have an attorney negotiate with the collection agency. Most timeshare companies use the same collection companies. I've found that they'll typically negotiate on... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law and Civil Rights for Iowa on
Q: Walmart is searching customers after they've paid, as they try to leave the store.

I don't need help, BUT.... I’m in Iowa. Lately, I've gotten into heated arguments w/”Greeters" at several different Walmarts in three different towns, after seeing them stop customers & SEARCH through their items that have already been paid for as the shoppers attempt to... Read more »

Gary Kollin
Gary Kollin
answered on Aug 9, 2018

Here is a law review article from 2009 discussing this issue

1 Answer | Asked in Bankruptcy, Consumer Law, Civil Litigation and Collections for Iowa on
Q: What is my legal recourse in being garnished for my ex-husband’s medical bill?
Timothy Denison
Timothy Denison
answered on Apr 16, 2018

If you signed or co-signed as guarantor debt or have some legal obligation to pay them, there is no recourse. However, if you have been garnished for his bills and arenot liable for them, you can bring a wrongful garnishment suit against those creditors.

1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law for Iowa on
Q: I bought a vehicle from a dealer and the transmission went out in it after 5 days of ownership.

What kind of attorney do I need to hire?

Harley C. Erbe
Harley C. Erbe
answered on Apr 15, 2018

You need an attorney that practices consumer fraud law. Specifically, Iowa Code 714H, Iowa's consumer fraud statute, is probably your best bet.

1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law, Contracts, Small Claims and Civil Litigation for Iowa on
Q: Can you sue in small claims court for money and the termination of a contract on a car?

I was sold a car and the dealership committed fraud and lied in their contract. The contract is worth 18,000. I want to retrieve $5,000 from them and also want the debt of the contract to be gone. Can I do this if the small claims court max is $5,000?

Harley C. Erbe
Harley C. Erbe
answered on Jan 11, 2018

If you have good evidence of fraud, there's no reason to limit yourself to small claims court. You should instead pursue a claim in regular district court under Iowa's private consumer fraud act, Iowa Code Chapter 714H. I have information about that law on my website. Iowa Code Chapter... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law, Divorce and Car Accidents for Iowa on
Q: What are my options concerning a credit hit I took for my ex wife not paying her vehicle loan?

We both signed, and a judge signed, the stipulation for our divorce, and it literally states "(she) shall be awarded the 2012 Cruze automobile free and clear from any claim of (me) and she shall assume any indebtedness thereon, holding (me) free from any liability thereon".

2... Read more »

Stephen Douglas Lombardi
Stephen Douglas Lombardi
answered on Dec 17, 2017

You can file with the divorce court an application for her to show cause why the Court should not hold her in contempt. You can ask the Court to award you attorney fees but during the pendency of the action you will have to pay your own lawyer.

1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law, Contracts and Animal / Dog Law for Iowa on
Q: Iowa - Is it illegal to record personal phone calls without the other persons consent?

I have an app on my phone that records all my phone calls. I've recently been harassed and threatened. Can I use those recorded calls in court even though I didn't have the other persons consent or knowledge of the call being recorded?

Stephen Douglas Lombardi
Stephen Douglas Lombardi
answered on Oct 25, 2017

Generally speaking so long as one person to a conversation has given permission, the call can be recorded. If recordings are legally obtained, so long as there is not another reason, the evidence is admissible.

2 Answers | Asked in Consumer Law, Personal Injury and Products Liability for Iowa on
Q: Bed bug infestation from rental furniture do I have a case

I noticed what appeared to be a rash on Monday June 26, by Friday I was itching all over. I was sitting on the floor in the bed room and this bug crawled across my dark pants, I killed it, looked it up on the internet, it looked just like a picture of a bed bug. I called the apartment manager and... Read more »

Peter N. Munsing
Peter N. Munsing
answered on Jul 7, 2017

Yes, but it's on you to prove the bed bugs came with or from the furniture and not from a guest, etc.

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1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law, Real Estate Law, Contracts and Legal Malpractice for Iowa on
Q: I was not given any advance notification that my attorney was leaving the law firm, is this acceptable?

I retained an attorney in Iowa (I live in Montana) to represent me in a real estate matter concerning property in Iowa, in March 2016. I have sent a $12,500 retainer, and about half of it has been spent. Today I was informed the the attorney has left that firm and another attorney is picking up... Read more »

Peter N. Munsing
Peter N. Munsing
answered on Aug 18, 2016

You should have been told in advance, but if there was an emergency--illness etc--then advance notice need not be sent.

As they have your file assuming things are moving along, you need to speak with them find out what their background is what their plans are etc.

1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law for Iowa on
Q: At work we have a bad roach infestation. Can I get in trouble for reporting them?

Last time I worked a coworker opened a box to find 5 roaches and they ran everywhere possibly even on the food that was going out. They refuse to bring in an exterminator and they only use roach traps. They say they do have an exterminator come but I fail to see why we have such an infestation if... Read more »

Robert Jason De Groot
Robert Jason De Groot
answered on Sep 8, 2015

What do you mean by "trouble?" What you need to do is go see a labor lawyer for the specifically tailored legal advice that you need.

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