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Michigan Consumer Law Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law for Michigan on
Q: If I have title and provenance to a vehicle, but someone has assumed physical possession, how can I get it back?

Bought an old, classic RV. Seller agreed I could leave it in his yard for some time to arrange transport. Agreed to keep my number in case it became a problem. I called in Feb to let him know I still did not know when I could get it. He said it was fine, to call when I could. I again asked him to... Read more »

Trent Harris
Trent Harris answered on Oct 1, 2018

You don't have a security agreement with the person who has possession of your RV now, so it appears that you don't have the right to self-help repossession. But if you have a tow company that will do it for you nevertheless, then more power to ya.

That said, you can anticipate that if you...
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1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law for Michigan on
Q: What are my options? I am on SSD. A judgement of 140,800.00 has been entered against me. My daughter was driving car

No insurance she suited state farm and they suited me. I was going thru a personal crisis Disassociate disorder. I was not capable of responsibility

Trent Harris
Trent Harris answered on Sep 21, 2018

If the judgment is recent, you might still have time to file an appeal. It's hard to say whether your personal crisis/dissaociative disorder would give you a defense. I'm assuming the car was yours.

In Michigan you can file an appeal by right for 21 days following the judgment. You should...
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2 Answers | Asked in Consumer Law, Contracts, Products Liability and Real Estate Law for Michigan on
Q: What is filed in civil court veras small claims when the police refuse to go criminally after a contractor?

My contractor took money and did not do or finish jobs. Also found out he took money he claimed to give the subcontractor and didn't give him that money either. I am not over budget and 23 weeks behind. I want to go after the contractor and was told some of what he did was criminal and the police... Read more »

Trent Harris
Trent Harris answered on Sep 20, 2018

If you are out more than $30,000 due to the contractor’s breach of contract, you’ll need to file suit in circuit court. The district court only covers claims up to $25,000, and small claims only up to $6,000.

As always, you get what you pay for. Be sure to talk to a qualified attorney...
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1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law, Contracts, Divorce and Animal / Dog Law for Michigan on
Q: I've owned my ex girlfriends dog for 5 months. She wants him back now that I have a new girlfriend. What can I do?

He's licensed to her but she isn't his caregiver and doesn't take care of him. He lives with me. My new girlfriend and my family love him.

Trent Harris
Trent Harris answered on Sep 18, 2018

I guess it depends on why you were allowed to keep the dog after you broke up with ex-girlfriend. Did she tell you you could have the dog? Or was the dog with you temporarily, with an understanding that she could have it back? You said you’ve “owned” the dog for 5 months, which implies... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law and Small Claims for Michigan on
Q: Can I sue a repo company?, For a repo that wasn't peaceful on the Company Part?

Repo Company, was looking for my car, around July. My neighbor took a video an I also have a statements that the Repo Company told the BBB on what happened. And I also have screenshots that one of the repo drivers girlfriend messageing a friend of mine who lives in Florida, asking her where I work... Read more »

Trent Harris
Trent Harris answered on Sep 17, 2018

Michigan law allows a creditor, or their agent (repo company) to repossess a car using self-help if it can be done without breach of the peace. Breach of the peace usually means that you (the debtor) were there when the repo company came, and you clearly and vocally objected to the repossession... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law, Contracts, Arbitration / Mediation Law and Civil Litigation for Michigan on
Q: Contracted with Lowe's for roof install. Contractor didn't have certification for install or warranty. Damage occured.

Contract stated that a certain company would be the contractor and installer. Contractor on contract then subcontracted work but was unable to install the roof correctly. Contractor should have had master elite certification through GAF per the contract so that I could receive the silver warranty... Read more »

Trent Harris
Trent Harris answered on Sep 12, 2018

It sounds like you have a possible breach of contract case. Your contract with Lowe's probably includes provisions about what to do in the event of a dispute. You will need to follow the contract, including any procedures for alternate dispute resolution. Because Lowe's is a big company and does a... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law, Contracts, Products Liability and Small Claims for Michigan on
Q: Deal went bad no specific evidence I have witnesses he claims he has imaginary witnesses. Not sure if I have case?

I agreed the person can have 9 logs for painting my home. A month later still not finished painting kept having excuses n i noticed when I needed some logs he took 11 extra 20 missing...I had one person on the phone they heard the deal the other person was sitting heard also but no one was watching... Read more »

Trent Harris
Trent Harris answered on Sep 12, 2018

Like many legal disputes, the situation you describe involves conflicting claims and evidence. In the abstract: yes, you could have a case. But practically speaking, I wouldn't go to court over being out $300. It isn't worth it. Resolve to never do business with that person again, you are once... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Consumer Law for Michigan on
Q: Can students sue their university if their football team doesn't do well?
Adam Alexander
Adam Alexander answered on Sep 8, 2018

Basically, you can sue anyone for anything. I think you want to know if such a lawsuit would have merit and potentially be successful. Of course the answer is: "No". The two main components of a civil lawsuit are "liability" and "damages". A Plaintiff must initially prove that the Defendant... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law and Contracts for Michigan on
Q: Is there anything I can do at this point to get this fradulent debt discharged?

I was just served papers for debt collection on a private student loan originally issued by Chase Bank and now owned by National Collegiate Student Loan Trust. The original loan was taken out in 2007. I personally had no knowledge of this loan and the signature of borrower on the loan request was... Read more »

Trent Harris
Trent Harris answered on Sep 6, 2018

It sounds like you and/or your grandmother may possibly have been victims of identity theft. Also, be careful, because this could itself be a phishing scam trying that get you to give up personal and financial information.

If what you are saying is true, you could contest the collection...
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1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law for Michigan on
Q: i got a summons for jury service, completely deaf in left ear. Is that a permanent disqualification?

In order for me to hear correctly I would need a surgically implanted hearing device, do to the fact of this physical disability I would not be able to fully and completely comprehend the hearing of the trial. Does this make me permanently disqualified from jury service?

Trent Harris
Trent Harris answered on Aug 28, 2018

No. What you are asking is whether a physical disability (being deaf in one ear) exempts you from jury service. Courts are covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act. People who are deaf, blind, or otherwise still can and do serve on juries. You can/should ask the court for an accommodation... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law for Michigan on
Q: Can a tobacco shop refuse a refund for selling moldy/unusable/unsafe tobacco?

I went to The Tobacco Shoppe on 4857 S Westnedge Ave, Kalamazoo, Michigan to pick up some Tobacco for my mother. Upon returning home, she opened it to find mold all throughout the tobacco. The clerk claimed they just received the shipment, but the canister was layered with dust, and possessed... Read more »

Trent Harris
Trent Harris answered on Aug 28, 2018

A no-returns policy is not enforceable if the product was defective or not as represented. The Michigan attorney general has more information on this topic at:,4534,7-359-81903_20942-44683--,00.html

That page includes the following information:

"If you...
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1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law and Communications Law for Michigan on
Q: In Michigan, is it legal to record then publish phone conversation I am a party to without the consent of the other?

I purchased an item from a dealer who misrepresented the item and began lying about that misrepresentation the minute my check was cashed so I began recording conversations with them without their consent. I want to put these recordings in reviews online and give to the corporation/ brand of... Read more »

Trent Harris
Trent Harris answered on Aug 27, 2018

Your question raises a couple different issues, so I'll break it down in parts.

(1) Is it illegal to record the phone call?

No, probably not. A person can record a phone conversation in Michigan, if the person recording the call is a participant in the phone call and the other...
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1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law for Michigan on
Q: Purchased a degree replica for novelty/motivational purposes. Not to actually use. Never attempted to use it. Illegal?

If a degree was purchased for novelty purposes and not to actually used in MI to gain employment. Is there any law against that?

Trent Harris
Trent Harris answered on Aug 27, 2018

No, there isn't a law against buying a fake degree, if that's all that was done. But if a person *uses* a fake degree in Michigan, that's a different story.

The Authentic Credentials in Education Act, forbids a person from using a fake degree for employment, education, or financial/loan...
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1 Answer | Asked in Bankruptcy, Civil Litigation, Consumer Law and Contracts for Michigan on
Q: After a chapter 7 discharge of a land contract, debtors signed a post agreement not reaffirmation during proceedings

Is this contract valid after bankruptcy court discharged this debt?

Timothy Denison
Timothy Denison answered on Aug 3, 2018

Yes, if they signed it post petition and received consideration for it.

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law, Consumer Law and Landlord - Tenant for Michigan on
Q: Can a landlord deduct carpet cleaning fees from security deposit

My wife and I are moving from an apartment to a house and when we signed our lease we were given a move out list. When we gave our 30 day they gave us another paper stating we would have $150 deducted from the deposit if we don’t steam clean the carpets.

Kenneth V Zichi
Kenneth V Zichi answered on May 9, 2018

"Normal" wear and tear is not something that can be taken from a security deposit. If you vacuum and keep the carpet presentable, that is enough.

This is OFTEN an issue, and the problem is that for the kind of money you're talking about people rarely sue, or bring the issue to court. Just...
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1 Answer | Asked in Banking, Consumer Law and Contracts for Michigan on
Q: If a company discharges a debt can they still come after you for the money ?

This was a car lease that was repossessed and I recently found out they have discharged the loan

Thomas. R. Morris
Thomas. R. Morris answered on May 7, 2018

Quite possibly. I don't know what you mean by the creditor "discharging" the loan. That's probably not the proper term. If the creditor "wrote off" the debt, it is no longer carried as an asset on its books, but the act of writing it off (which also goes by other names) does not extinguish the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law and Real Estate Law for Michigan on
Q: Spouse is not on the MTG Note, but is on the Deed, can we speak to spouse without express permission from borrower
David Soble
David Soble answered on Apr 29, 2018

You should be able to speak with all parties who had signed on the mortgage or related real estate transaction documents. Depending on what the nature of your relationship to the property or to the mortgage, whether they wish to speak with you is another matter.

1 Answer | Asked in Business Formation, Consumer Law and Insurance Bad Faith for Michigan on
Q: Can a Financial Institution in Michigan add "Forced Place Insurance" on an Auto loan in light of the Wells Fargo suit?

On August 20, 2015, I entered into an Used Car Loan with People's Driven Credit Union (PDCU) in Southfield, MI for less than a $20k loan at 2.49% via Champs Auto Sales in Detroit, MI. My down payment was $5k & for six months I made timely payments of $420 ($2,520) then PDCU Forced Placed Insurance... Read more »

Adam Alexander
Adam Alexander answered on Apr 20, 2018

If your auto loan has a provision permitting forced-placed insurance it is likely legal and enforceable. Did you let your insurance policy lapse? Or did you not carry the minimum amount of coverage called for in the contract? If so, the CU may be able to force it. I would have to read the contract... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts and Consumer Law for Michigan on
Q: My travel trailer is past due and the company that matched me with a buyer will not repossess from the party that has it

In 2016 I agreed to allow someone that Coast to Coast RV and Coach matched me with to assume my trailer payments. We signed a contract and the contract states that if the buyer defaults coast to coast will repossess the trailer at their expense and try to match me with a new buyer. Now the... Read more »

Adam Alexander
Adam Alexander answered on Apr 4, 2018

I suggest you contact a consumer lawyer in Michigan to review the contract you have with Coast to Coast. Your legal rights largely depend on the contractual language.

1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law and Collections for Michigan on
Q: How much can collection agencies add in fees/interest on top of an original principal balance owed?

I have a debt that was turned over to a collection agency. They added over $800 for Collection Cost. What governs how much they can add and how much I should really pay them?

Adam Alexander
Adam Alexander answered on Mar 28, 2018

Generally the original contract will govern the potential collection costs. But State and Federal law may limit the collector. I would advise you to let a consumer protection lawyer review all relevant documents before you negotiate with this debt collector.

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