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Maryland Consumer Law Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law for Maryland on
Q: Do I have to pay this?

Got HVAC install. Tech give me work order showing zero owned and wouldn't take check. He stressed "You don't own anything" and also give me a copy of the work order showing a zero balance. They emailed me today from a donotreply email to pay 2 wks later.

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley answered on Sep 24, 2019

(1) Did you receive something of value?

(2) Is the price one that you agreed to pay or reasonably within the dollar amount you expected to pay?

(3) If your answers to the above questions are both "yes", then you owe the money. The law will not allow you to keep a benefit bestowed...
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1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law and Contracts for Maryland on
Q: purchased a vehicle and the dealership only took $1,000 down payment but now they’re trying to make me give a $1,000.

Can they legally do that

Tim Akpinar
Tim Akpinar answered on Sep 21, 2019

A Maryland attorney would know this best, but your question remains open for three weeks. As a general matter, without regard to jurisdiction, making payments would be governed by the underlying sales contract (or financing agreement, depending on how the car was purchased). Check the contract and... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Consumer Law and Products Liability for Maryland on
Q: Can I hold Jiffy Lube responsible for my hood opening while I was driving?

Something crazy just happened with my car. The latch that secures my hood recently stopped functioning correctly. I secured it with a bungie cord. I got my oil changed yesterday. The hood was secure, but it appears that the cord was put back on too tight and it broke while I was driving. Luckily no... Read more »

Peter N. Munsing
Peter N. Munsing answered on Sep 3, 2019

If you had a properly working latch and they broke it, that would be one thing. But you are blaming them for improperly attaching a bungee cord, for which there isn't a designated proper place in the manual. Further, the bungee cord, being stretchable, shouldn't be used in the first place, and if... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Banking and Consumer Law for Maryland on
Q: Is it legal for my friend and I to use our joint acct to charge 10% int on a 4 mth loan to friends that own business

My friend and I have friends with businesses that want to loan money from us at regular intervals. The minimum loan is $10,000 and maximum is $40,000. We are opening a joint bank account for the purpose of giving out loans to our friends and family. We want to charge 10% for a 4 month loan term... Read more »

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley answered on Aug 23, 2019

If the loan agreement is in writing, interest in a loan my not exceed 24% per year, and must comply with numerous other legal requirements in order to avoid the risk of violating the users laws. Owing 10% interest at the end of 4 months is an effective annual interest rate of 30%. Not only is the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation, Contracts and Consumer Law for Maryland on
Q: A drum company has my drums and will not give them back. They will not answer my calls or emails. What can I do?

They say I owe them money but will not answer my emails for months. They are in another state entirely and all I want are my drums back. They actually owe me money for services not rendered but are saying I owe them for storage fees which were never discussed until I wanted to pull the plug on... Read more »

Joseph D. Allen
Joseph D. Allen answered on Aug 6, 2019

Your rights will be defined by what your agreement with the drum company was- plus equitable principles to fill in the gaps. You can hire an attorney to demand the return of the drums and/or work out a deal with the company- or you might be able to sue them.

1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law, Divorce and Family Law for Maryland on
Q: Im A 33yr old married woman and my husband is incarcerated currently but he will be released some time next month

he claims that he has won a law suite against the baltimoe police dept and won how do I find out if this is true or not?

Dawn Renee Gould
Dawn Renee Gould answered on Jul 8, 2019

If you are planning to remain married to him, the only way to find out is to go online to Maryland Judiciary public case search and see if there was in fact a lawsuit. If you are planning on divorcing him, that information can be obtained though the discovery process.

1 Answer | Asked in Banking, Consumer Law, Contracts and Small Claims for Maryland on
Q: can a lender garnish a bank account with only $150.00 in it? on a $10,000 judgement. What can we do?

my wife and I left a leased property early and had a $10,000 judgement entered against us. Today we saw her account with $150.00 was garnished.

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley answered on Jul 6, 2019

Yes. However, all persons in Maryland have statutory exemption rights. Basically, there are various dollar amounts that you can exempt from attachment by judgment creditors. Chief among those exemptions is the $6,000 “wild card” exemption that can be used on any asset you own, including cash in... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law for Maryland on
Q: Do I have to return the wrong order I received?

I purchased shoes online and received some that had clearly been used and returned. I am being asked to send them back before anything can be done and that is upsetting me. Do I have to send it back for them to refund my money or help me at all?

Adam Savett
Adam Savett answered on Jun 26, 2019

It depends on the terms and conditions of the website that you bought the shoes from.

Generally, they can specify what their return policy is, and most websites force you to agree to the terms and conditions before being able to place an order.

Best of luck.

1 Answer | Asked in Banking, Consumer Law and Contracts for Maryland on
Q: Do I need a Maryland Consumer Loan license to lend a friend $6,000.00 and charge 14% interest for a four year term?
Cedulie Renee Laumann
Cedulie Renee Laumann answered on Jun 19, 2019

Your question involves at least two areas of commercial law in this state-- interest rates and lender licensing.

Maryland's laws on lending and usury (maximum interest) are a bit complicated. The legal rate of interest in this state is 6%. To charge more, you must fit within an...
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1 Answer | Asked in Banking, Business Formation, Business Law and Consumer Law for Maryland on
Q: Do I have a Maryland Consumer Loan license to lend a friend $6,000.00 and charge 14% interest for a four year term?
Bruce Alexander Minnick
Bruce Alexander Minnick answered on Jun 18, 2019

Say what? How can anyone know whether you "have a Maryland Consumer Loan license" or not? And why do you not know?

2 Answers | Asked in Car Accidents and Consumer Law for Maryland on
Q: Hi, Is a manufacturer dealership responsible to inform me of any recalls when I’ve taken my car there for repairs

I take my car to the manufacturers dealership for repairs and services

Peter N. Munsing
Peter N. Munsing answered on Jun 12, 2019

They should but it's really the manufacturer itself who should be sending you the information.

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2 Answers | Asked in Consumer Law, Small Claims, Contracts and Arbitration / Mediation Law for Maryland on
Q: My friend gave me money when I was on hard times and did not state it was a loan.

After months of not speaking with me the friend now wants to take me to court for money that is not a loan. Would this action fall under Title 5 Subtitle 9 5-901 Executory Contracts? The amount was 800 however the friend is stating in court that it is $1200. How do I fight this? I offered to pay... Read more »

Rolanzo Richard White
Rolanzo Richard White answered on May 30, 2019

I'm sorry to hear about your "friend."

Your matter is pretty fact dependent, however generally, a "gift" is a voluntary transfer of property by one to another, without any consideration or compensation provided to the transferor. Thus, a gift is a gratuity. Determining whether the money...
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1 Answer | Asked in Civil Rights, Constitutional Law and Consumer Law for Maryland on
Q: My friend passed away and I have a car at his house. The car is titled in my name but his wife wont ler me have it?
Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley answered on May 26, 2019

Legal title means it’s yours. You own it. You cannot be charged with theft of your own property. You can be charged with trespassing, however, or assault if you go there and a fight ensues. If the vehicle is in the public street, go get it (use a spare key or have it towed). If not, or if you... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law, Elder Law and Social Security for Maryland on
Q: My husband is in an assisted living facility and received a writ of summons for a credit card debt, what's next?

He only has Social Security payments and a very small pension. The SS payments are eaten up by the cost of the Assisted Living facility. The pension is below $150. The credit card debt occurred when he suffered a series of strokes and seizures which has necessitated him living at the assisted... Read more »

Peter N. Munsing
Peter N. Munsing answered on May 1, 2019

Do not agree to pay any of it. He is "judgment proof." He may want to file a general denial asking for proof he owed the debt. There may be defenses depending on how old the debt is.

Contact your loal legal aid/legal services organization.

1 Answer | Asked in Banking, Consumer Law and Collections for Maryland on
Q: Can a company you have a bill with take money from your checking account without a judgment
Bennett James Wills
Bennett James Wills answered on Apr 17, 2019

Your question is unclear. You can't be garnished without a judgment. But a company could auto-draft your account if you signed up for such a service.

3 Answers | Asked in Bankruptcy and Consumer Law for Maryland on
Q: Question about 5-101 Maryland. Where does the 3 year date start? It says from the date it accrues?
Terrence M. Nolan
Terrence M. Nolan answered on Apr 5, 2019

The beginning of the measuring period is the date you knew, or should have known, of the wrong. It is generally 36 months for contracts and civil lawsuits. There are exceptions: in some cases measuring years are shorter (one year for assault and battery) and longer (12 years) for contracts under... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law and Family Law for Maryland on
Q: Can they garnish me and my husband's bank account in MD for a debt against my husband alone 8 years before we married

This is my account, and I want to add my husband, but do not want his past creditors to garnish the account.

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley answered on Mar 30, 2019

Yes, they may be able to do that if his name is added. If your bank offers the ability to title the account as “tenants by the entireties” then that would prevent attachment. In Maryland ordinarily only titles to real property are held that way, unlike DC where all property jointly held by... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law and Foreclosure for Maryland on
Q: I don't think my private mortgage lender was licensed in the state of Maryland, how would I find out and what should I o

The private lender has charged me interest only on a mortgage loan. part of the loan was repayed in Sept 2018 and the balance principal was only supposed to be $7k. The lender and lawyer has been going back and forth with the amount that I owe - from 32k to 9k then to 14k and now I am ready to... Read more »

Adam Savett
Adam Savett answered on Mar 11, 2019

You can check the registration status of your lender through NMLS (the Nationwide Multistate Licensing System / Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System and Registry). They maintain a consumer oriented website, here:

Note that not all types of lenders...
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3 Answers | Asked in Consumer Law, Foreclosure, Real Estate Law and Securities Law for Maryland on
Q: Can a settlement agent who signs a loan application also be the notary and witness on a deed of trust.

Seems to be to many roles and a conflict of interest, fraud or unethical. I read somewhere that only an attorney can prepare deeds of trusts.

Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg answered on Mar 3, 2019

If the notary is applying for the loan, he cannot notarize his own signature. Almost all settlement agents are notaries. And, notaries can of course be a witness. That’s pretty much what a notary is: a witness to the authenticity of a signature. Maryland Law does require deeds and deeds of trust... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law, Real Estate Law and Landlord - Tenant for Maryland on
Q: I have satisfied the amount stated in a court case ? Why won’t the other party ask for the case to be dismissed?
Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg answered on Feb 10, 2019

I cannot determine whether your inquiry is from Virginia or Maryland, but, in Maryland, there is a specific rule requiring the filing of a paid & satisfied line when judgment is paid. I haven't researched it in quite a while, but there may be available awards including attorneys fees for failure to... Read more »

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