Category: Consumer Law


Brown Announces $13 Million Settlement With DIRECTV, Restitution to Customers

Author: Lowell Steiger

Published On: October 15, 2010

Brown vs. Directv Consumer Victory!!! The Press Release says it all: SAN DIEGO – Attorney General Edmund G. Brown Jr. today announced a $13 million settlement with DIRECTV plus restitution for customers who were subjected to the satellite TV company’s misleading sales and marketing practices. “DIRECTV won customers by offering special deals with hidden costs, and also extended customers’ contracts without telling them,” Brown said. “With this settlement, DIRECTV will reimburse customers and change its sales and advertising practices to comply with the law.” The settlement by Brown and 48 other state attorneys general was filed today in San Diego… Read More

Do I Need An Estate Plan? Cute Video

Author: Lowell Steiger

Published On: July 9, 2010

Hi Folks, I thought I’d like to use a bit of creativity and make a short, cute and informative video pointing out a couple of pluses when it comes to why we all need an estate plan. Naturally, I’m telling you this because we, at the Law Office of Lowell Steiger, provide this necessary legal service for you.

Estate Planning: Important to You and Your Loved Ones

Author: Lowell Steiger

Published On: June 3, 2010

Estate planning ensures that: Final property wishes are honored Health care issues are clarified and honored Loved ones are provided for in your absence Estate planning resolves these (and other) legal questions when someone dies: State of their financial affairs Who gets what? Guardianship of minor children How much tax will need to be paid to transfer property Appropriate funeral arrangements What An Estate Planning Attorney Does For You We will help you plan your estate. At the Law Offices of Lowell Steiger, we can advise you and then prepare, your legal documents: Wills Trusts Powers of Attorney Domestic Partnership… Read More

Digital Copiers Loaded With Secrets

Author: Lowell Steiger

Published On: May 13, 2010

I was absolutely blown away by the CBS News Report on the danger of digital copy machines to your security. Digital copy machines manufactured after 2002 all contain hard drives which take a picture of every document that they scan, print, copy and e-mail. When the machine is put on the used copier market, it can be purchased by anyone. The data on the hard drive can be read by generic software which is found free on the Internet. The data can include anything from copies of a grocery list to your social security number and sensitive medical information. Encryption… Read More

Tax Consequences for Cancellation of Debt Income

Author: Lowell Steiger

Published On: February 28, 2010

What follows is a blog post written by my colleague,David N. Stonehill, Tax and Real Estate Attorney. I’m @HRMargo on twitter. As an HR and Social Media Consultant in his firm, I see sad stories like this every day. Employees are drowning in debt, particularly after the recession of 2009. Below is a case study, and a real story about one of Stonehill’s clients. He has since helped her out of this awful jam, but the fact remains clear. Our tax code has to change. It is my hope that those who read this post will become as outraged as we did. There is… Read More

Rules of Debt Collection – Don’t Let ‘Em Walk All Over You!

Author: Lowell Steiger

Published On: November 19, 2009

In this tough economy, more and more people are finding themselves with debt problems. And things gets worse when debt collectors get aggressive. Everyone should know their rights – what is considered “fair debt collection” as defined by the Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, or FDCPA. FDCPA prohibits debt collectors from being abusive. Note that FDCPA regulates debt collectors who work for collection agencies and does not cover debt collectors who work for the original creditor (the company that originally lent you the money). We’d like to think that most bill collectors act professionally and follow the law when contacting… Read More

Power Windows: Danger to Children

Author: Lowell Steiger

Published On: November 3, 2009

This morning I read a very common-sense article in the New York Times entitled Power Windows Pose Great Risk to Children, Says Consumer Group. It piqued my interest so I decided to look a little further into the issue. It makes logical sense that, absent safety precautions, power windows are potentially quite dangerous. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates 1,995 power window related injuries (mostly minor) and six deaths per year. Janette Fennell, president of KidsAndCars.org disputes these numbers saying that her phone and Internet surveys indicate that there have been about 13.6 million power window related injuries over an unspecified… Read More

Are You Entitled to Compensation For Your Car’s Loss in Value After an Accident?

Author: Lowell Steiger

Published On: October 2, 2009

What happens when you’re in an accident, it’s the other driver’s fault, their insurance fixes your car but now your car is worth less than it was before the accident? In legal terms, this decrease in value is called Diminution in Value. The vehicle looks okay but disclosing that it was in an accident will certainly decrease the amount a buyer is willing to pay. So, it begs the question “Can I ask to be paid for this decrease in my vehicle’s value?” The answer is a qualified “yes.” The law in the State of California (it may be different in different… Read More

Choosing to Sue in Small Claims Court: When Is It Appropriate?

Author: Lowell Steiger

Published On: September 26, 2009

Small Claims Court handles civil cases where the plaintiff (person or entity who sues) is asking for $7,500 or less from the defendant(person or entity being sued). Disputes are resolved quickly and inexpensively in Small Claims Court.* Although you can ask a lawyer’s advice before or after the court hearing, in California you are not allowed to have a lawyer represent you at the Small Claims Court Hearing. The hearing is relatively informal: no lawyers, no rules of evidence, no juries. A judge, or a judge pro tem, will hear and decide your case. Why Do I Occasionally Advise Clients To Go To Small Claims Court? Why… Read More

Is Your Home a Former Drug Lab? What Can You Do?

Author: Lowell Steiger

Published On: July 20, 2009

Earlier today I read an article in the New York Times about a family that, unbeknownst to them, purchased and moved into a home which was formerly a methamphetamine lab. So? They moved in five years ago, what’s the big deal? The big deal is, as it turns out, that these houses are contaminated by the meth. The contamination can permeate drywall, carpets, insulation and air ducts. And? Well, this contamination can cause respiratory ailments and other health problems. The case in point is described in the NYT article Illnesses Afflict Homes With a Criminal Past which describes the Rhonda and Jason… Read More

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