Why Do Clients Choose The Simon Law Firm, P.C.?
Our firm has obtained more than $1 billion in verdicts/settlements for our clients in a variety of cases, including numerous cases holding large businesses accountable to their consumers and competitors. We have opposed the world’s largest law firms and corporations and won, thanks to our firm’s extensive resources and the legal skills of our trial lawyers.
We have succeeded against multi-billion dollar companies because our firm has a unique and deliberate approach to large cases like class action consumer fraud claims. Our firm’s success has given us the resources to handle high-stakes, high-cost cases effectively, with the ability to pursue justice for as long as it takes. We are consciously designed to be big enough for the most complex cases, yet small enough to provide personal, efficient, and effective legal representation.
Unfair & Deceptive Acts & Practices Statute (UDAP) & Missouri Merchandising Practices Act (MPA)
Missouri’s UDAP statute is called the Merchandising Practices Act (MPA). Like other states’ UDAPs, the MPA prohibits false, fraudulent, or deceptive merchandising practices.
Deceptive practices include things like:
- Deceptive “rebate” offers
- False solicitations for charity
- False representations about “contest winners”
- False Representations about the value of a good or service
- Offering goods or services without disclosing the conditions or limitations
Under the MPA, both private individuals and the Missouri Attorney General have the right to sue companies that engage in these kinds of practices. If a consumer wins an MPA case, he or she will recover actual damages, and in some cases, punitive damages and attorney fees. The MPA allows consumers to bring class actions.
Product Liability Claims
It can be a violation of the UDAP to fail to disclose a safety risk that is not readily apparent in a product. If a consumer has purchased or leased an unsafe product, that consumer may be able to recover under the Missouri MPA or another state’s UDAP statute.
The Simon Law Firm, P.C. has taken a leading role in shaping Missouri law regarding predatory lending. Our firm has effectively wiped out millions of dollars of debt and provided cash payments to thousands of individuals in Missouri in a successful class action suit against two of the largest payday lenders in the United States.
An unscrupulous lender can take advantage of unsuspecting consumers by engaging in predatory lending. Various financial agreements can be subject to predatory practices, including car loans, payday loans, title loans, tax refund loans, credit card cash advances, student loans, and bank overdraft fees.
“Predatory lending” includes, but is not limited to, a variety of abuses like the following:
- Hidden fees
- Unreasonable interest rates
- Aggressive collection tactics
- Misrepresentations about the party trying to collect
- Misrepresentations in marketing or advertising a loan product
Some unscrupulous businesses advertise or promise a reasonable base price for a product or service, then tack on excessive or hidden fees when they send a bill.
Some “junk fee” practices include, but are not limited to:
- “Cramming” (adding a charge to a monthly bill for a service a customer didn’t order, agree to, or use)
- “Stacking” late fees (using part of an on-time monthly payment to pay a previous month’s late fee, incurring another late fee charge)
- Collecting “taxes” that are not actually paid to the government
- Mislabeling a fee to disguise its nature or suggest it is required by the government
Many companies bill themselves as “debt adjusters,” encouraging borrowers to pay fees to them and not to creditors. Ignoring creditors can lead to lawsuits, default judgments, repossessions, and harassing collection practices.
Some of the problems with debt adjustment companies are:
- The borrowers targeted by debt adjustment advertisements are generally the least likely to benefit
- Debt adjustment companies charge fees so high that borrowers can no longer make payments to their creditors
- Debt adjustment often ruins a borrower’s credit
- Consumers in debt settlement programs continue to face collection efforts
- Rather than “adjusting” downward, debts actually continue to grow as creditors pile on fees and interest accrues