GM and Chrysler engineers come up with a new car to compete with Mercedes. Well, maybe.
Complaints about debt collectors are higher than any other type of complaint to the Federal Trade Commission, having increased higher in each of the last 6 years. It's a sign of the times.
As the economy tightens, credit card companies, banks, suppliers and companies of all types are fighting to collect on bills that they once might have written off. ANd their tactics are getting worse, even when the debt is not really owed at all.
And more often than ever the collection effort involves "old debt" that in many cases is legally barred from any collection at all (sometimes called zombie debt by lawyers who sue debt collectors). In other cases the debts being sued on are for claims that were dismissed before or already resolved but the "crumbs" of its existence in computer records are being bought up by third party debt buyers along with other legitimate debt.
These companies are called "bottom feeders" and usually pay pennies (or less) on the dollar to buy the debt or the chance to collect on the debt. Cash-strapped companies that have written the debt off long ago, on the other hand, see a chance to create income out of nothing so they have every incentive to brush the dust off old uncollectable accounts that they themselves have already closed out, given up, sued on, compromised, or written off.
It isn't unusual anymore to get debt collector calls (they rarely use ordinary dunning letters anymore) trying to collect on bills that are ten to fifteen years old and which, in many cases, the consumer settled with the merchant years earlier. The problem is the merchant may have written off the unpaid balance and it is that unpaid balance that is now showing up in the hands of bottom feeder debt collectors, who aren't shy about their aggressive collection tactics.
There are laws to control crazy debt collectors but many consumes don't know about them. They limit phone calls, for instance, to only a certain time frame in the day. They also ban threats and harassment, but that doesn't always stop it from happening.
For more on what your credit rights are if you're being harassed, check out www.OhioFairCredit.com. There you'll find explanations of
- Repo Rights
- Fair Debt Collection Rights
- Fair Debt Collection FAQs
- Fair Credit Record Rights
- Has Your Credit Application Been Turned Down?
- Credit Report FAQs
- Your Consumer Credit Rights
Helping Consumers Protect Themselves Since 1978
Now sponsored in part by Progressive, the contest began back in 2006 and holds out the prize to the first person to build a car capable of being mass produced in quantities of at least 10,000. The field of hot competitors has been whittled down to about 10 or so and Popular Mechanics has named what they think are the top ten contenders.
It's a curious mix of modified normal looking vehicles and space age styles that look like they are out of Star Trek, and everything in between.
There's the bunch of teenagers working on their plug in sports car-looking hybrid, aided by some Boeing engineers and some MBA types from Drexel University.
At the other end is cash-rich Tata Motors, who built the world's cheapest new car at $2,500 and dubbed the Nano and sold in India, the company's home country. These are the folks who bought up Jaguar and Land Rover and own Tetley Teas. What they have going for them more than anyone else in the race is lots of cash.
In between is a curious mix of marvelous cars. There's Tesla Motors, whose all electric roadster is already on sale. The VentureOne is a 3 wheel hybrid loosely based on the Carter One in Europe and using a gas or E-85 fuel.
But the one we love is the Aptera Tp-1, which projects mpg numbers at a remarkable 300 mpg. Its style is like nothing you have ever seen and nothing else out there. Popular Mechanics took one for a test drive and the video is seen by clicking here.
Better yet, the promo video for the Aptera is on YouTube here. You can actually place your order now for the car, which is expected to be delivered in 2009 and be a plug in electric that requires just an ordinary electrical outlet. This company is committed to delivery and looks likely to deliver regardless of whether or not they win the X Prize.
They all look and sound not just Green but also great, especially the Aptera. But if you've got a gas burner right now that's a lemon, we can help get rid of it and get your money back. Who knows ... you just might use the money to get one of these non-gas burners. That might be a step in the right direction in a lot of ways.
Helping Consumers Get Rid of Lemons Since 1978
If you think that car salesman ripped you off, you might be right. The dealership management might even know it because they caught the guy ripping them off before and thought he could do a good job for them too --- perhaps ripping you off?
Dealership embezzlers showing up working for other dealerships – sometimes even in the same town – it might be surprising but it actually is more common than you might think. But in this case, after conviction and while free on bail pending an appeal, apparently the dealer was so impressed that this convicted embezzler actually got his job back.
This story was detailed in the Sagit Valley Herald. In 2002, Frontier Ford in Anacortes, Washington (a small town north of Seattle) discovered that the general manager and the controller (the employee in charge of the financial books for the dealership) conspired to systematically steal $1.2 million of company money. That's called embezzlement, folks.
The newspaper reported that Kevin Dean had been working for the dealership for six years by the time he was charged with the theft and had risen to the General Manager position. Lisa Mullen served as the dealership controller and had worked at the dealership for 16 years. According to the newspaper, the theft of the $1.2 million took place over a six-year period.
After being convicted, both Dean and Mullen have been free on bail pending an appeal of their convictions. This February, their convictions will be three years old!
The Sagit Valley Herald reports that Kevin Dean was rehired back to his General Manager job at Frontier Ford. It just goes to show you. The dealer reportedly said “He was good at his job.”
Okay, so the guy is a thief and a really good one. And that's the guy they want running the place? We don't live in the Seattle area, but if you do and you need a good local auto sales fraud lawyer, just click here for help.
Meanwhile, remember, if you are out for a drive north of Seattle and you see a Ford dealership, you might want to keep right on driving.
We've been commenting on Washington's poor attitude toward Detroit for some time now, but nothing can say it better than award-winning author and Detroiter Mitch Albom's Nov. 23 column says it best. Here's a piece of it, and follow the link to read the entire (and very thoughtful) column.
OK. It's a fantasy. But if I had five minutes in front of Congress last week, here's what I would've said:"First of all, before you ask, I flew commercial. Northwest Airlines. Had a bag of peanuts for breakfast. Of course, that's Northwest, which just merged with Delta, a merger you, our government, approved -- and one which, inevitably, will lead to big bonuses for their executives and higher costs for us. You seem to be OK with that kind of business.
"Which makes me wonder why you're so against our kind of business? The kind we do in Detroit. The kind that gets your fingernails dirty. The kind where people use hammers and drills, not keystrokes. The kind where you get paid for making something, not moving money around a board and skimming a percentage.
You've already given hundreds of billions to banking and finance companies -- and hardly demanded anything. Yet you balk at the very idea of giving $25 billion to the Detroit Three. Heck, you shoveled that exact amount to Citigroup -- $25 billion -- just weeks ago, and that place is about to crumble anyhow.
Does the word "hypocrisy" ring a bell?"
Oh, how very true indeed. If you haven't read the column, it's well worth jumping over to read at this link here.
Albom then quite correctly points out how Washington literally threw money at Wall Street without requiring so much as a "pretty please."
If most voters had been asked to choose between a bail out for Wall Street or a bail out for the Big 3 in Detroit, one or the other, I doubt that many would have voted for Wall Street at all. Albom's right.
In Detroit they build things. On Wall Street they move money around and just skim some off the top for themselves. Who do you think deserves a helping hand?
Contact MITCH ALBOM at 313-223-4581 or firstname.lastname@example.org and catch "The Mitch Albom Show" 5-7 p.m. weekdays on WJR-AM (760).
The simple fact is that he's right and, like more than one person has said, conservative Congress people are just plain wrong.
Contact your Congressional representative and tell them so. Otherwise, they just won't listen.
As taxpayers, we are all going to be left holding the unemployment bag if GM or Chrysler or Ford fail. As consumers, we can't afford to have the people who made our cars erase our warranty rights from existence. And as voters, we can't afford the "head in the sand" approach promoted by conservative "let them fail" politicians.
It's time to be reasonable. It's time to help American workers keep their jobs.
Helping consumers protect themselves since 1978.
When the dismal history of the last few months of Auto Industry Woes is written, a special page needs to be written for Senator Bob Corker (R-Tenn), who single-handedly killed the bipartisan financial aid bill that a Republican president worked out with the House of Representatives, quite possibly forcing GM into bankruptcy.
Toyota and Nissan have plants in Tennessee and Chatanooga is on track for construction of a major new automotive manufacturing facility. Heck, even Setco Automotive from India is there. Was it coincidence that a Tennessee Senator dealt the death blow to the hard work the House of Representatives and the White House put into saving Detroit? Well, Saturn has a plant there too, so nothing on the surface of this makes sense. Then again, a lot of this does not make sense.
There's a car dealer named Jim Jackson whose letter to the editor of a local newspaper made big time news pointing out all the upside of American car makers and the big misconception that existed about their quality both inside and outside of the halls of Congress, among many other strong points. He rightly points out that what Detroit needs is only a tiny fraction of what Wall Street got with no strings attached and how Detroit is also a victim of the financial mess that all of us are in. He's right.
Meanwhile Senator Corker and his Republican cohorts freely admit that they want to see GM go into bankruptcy. In his address to the Senate, the transcript of which is proudly posted on the Senator's website, when it came to the possibility of GM's bankruptcy, he said "We have a lot of Republicans that would like to see that happen" including himself. Well that might be fine for Republicans, but it won't help the millions of workers who would find themselves in the unemployment and welfare lines if the only major manufacturing industry left in the US collapses.
As Jim Jackson wondered, perhaps these senators drive too many Mercedes cars and haven't "driven a Ford lately?"
Detroit needs financial help. It doesn't need Republican Senators like Corker deriding them and prodding them further into trouble.
It is beyond reason to think that "Corker & the Gang" can let Wall Street crooks get billions and billions of dollars with no oversight, and then think they know that bankruptcy is best for Detroit. I'm sure there's a lot of voters that may eventually be standing in welfare lines and thinking differently. Some of them might even end up being in Tennessee.
In its restructuring plan, GM says it will drop 8 vehicle nameplates within the next 3 years. Is your car one of them?
In documents which Automotive News reported to be filed with the US Congress in early December, GM said that by 2012 it will reduce its nameplates from the current 48 (31 cars and "crossover" vehicles and 17 trucks) down to 40 (29 cars and crossover vehicles and 11 trucks). Although they didn't say which ones are being dropped, industry insiders noted that the Chevy Trailblazer and Uplander were already on the Death List.
In addition to the Trailblazer and Uplander, other nameplates believed to be on the Death List may include the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon, GM's compact pickup trucks, and 2 Cadillacs.
One of the probable Death List Caddys is the two-seat sportscar, the XLR model. That idea harkens our memories of the demise of the Oldsmobile make some years ago. At the time we noted that the Olds line was, in our Lemon Law experience, the most reliable and trouble-free brand that GM had and it made no sense to us that they would kill it off. Now the Cadillac XLR? We have to say that we have never heard of a lemon Cadillac XLR. Once again, GM seems to prefer to kill off quality in the name of another brand's profit margin. Well, with the economy being what it is, maybe this time they had no choice.
GM did say that the Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet and GMC brands are "core" to its business and that Pontiac will become a "niche" builder with probably only 2 nameplated vehicle lines. GM publicly has said that Saab and Hummer are for sale and it is widely expected that Saturn's days are now numbered too. Elimination of those three makes alone would knock out 10 vehicle nameplates and meet its "reinvented" business model projection.
Keeping Buick certainly makes good sense, and Chevrolet too, given the huge sales of both that occur in China and the Far East. Losing that nameplate would be economic suicide for GM. No matter what one might say about the suits in the GM tower, they aren't that dumb.
Meanwhile, Chevrolet has plans in place to bring out a new young-market Camaro and the green-market Volt, and will replace the Chevrolet Cobalt with a new model called Cruze by 2012.
Chrysler and Ford have kept their plans much more secret for now, but they have to also be creating their own model Death List. Smaller in size, release of their Death Lists could create considerably more employee and industry unrest, so keeping their plans quiet for now is a smart management move. GM couldn't do that in light of the huge amount of continuing talk of the cost of GM's death, by bankruptcy or otherwise, and the blog speculation over GM's model line future (to say nothing about the speculation over GM's very survival).
So, if you're going car shopping in the next year, be careful that you don't end up with an orphan. Those models historically fade fast but their repair and service needs don't.
Helping Consumers Protect Themselves Since 1978.
It takes place in the context of an interview with Richard Foster, coauthor of the 2001 book Creative Destruction. In essence, he describes how there is a basic business cycle that has been repeating itself in American for many decades. It is one where, as he sees it, honest entrepreneurs and businesses find themselves in a marketplace collapse.
That collapse results in government placing blame and setting up a new institution or agency to deal with the perceived problem. Then honest entrepreneurs realize they can't do that business that way again so they come up with a new model for their business effort. It succeeds because it gets around current regulations.
"Eventually," he says, "all the truly good guys who are going to get into that business have done so. The opportunity starts drawing less savory figures—charlatans who overmarket, cut corners, establish usurious contracts, and do other clever things to generate profit for themselves. They end up bringing the system down." Then government steps in again, fixes blame, and sets up another agency to prevent it from occurring and the whole thing starts all over again.
He points to all the regulatory agencies whose birth occurred as a direct result of marketplace failures during the 20th century as evidence and he seems quite accurate.
So, what does that mean today? Well, it may just mean that there is more to this "car czar" idea than pundits will admit. Certainly taxpayers don't like any of this "bailout" talk when no one is bailing them out of their own problems and sooner or later taxpayers make known to politicians what they think and why and politicians, in turn, realize they need to deal with it or they could end up out on the street, like many of their unemployed constituents.
More to the point, perhaps, is how all this works at the retail level in the car business. Honest businesses can't compete with the predatory buy here pay here lots, so a few of them gloss up the operation and call it sub prime financing. That generates so much profit that sub prime goes "legit" and gets into the mortgage business. That generates so much profit that legit mortgage companies get into the business too, just like legit car dealers expanded their share of the subprime car sales business by pushing credit-borderline customers into subprime where the profit margin for the dealer was greater.
It all begins to look like it's feeding on itself and snowballing into a bigger and bigger mess.
We aren't "Ph.D" economists or anything like that, so maybe we're wrong on this. On the other hand, it doesn't take a genuis (or an economist) to realize that $700 billion dollars ought to be able to fix darn near anything if you use it right. So how come the marketplace is not much better now than it was a month or two ago? Could it be that the "entrepreneurs" figured out that the best way to get around the current regulations was to just dive straight into a federal no-strings-attached bailout that was driven by panic-stricken politicians who might have been crying wolf? When all the while the wolf was wearing a suit and tie and working on Wall Street?
A lot of people think something smells rotten in Denmark, or in Washington DC. That smell may be coming from Wall Street. Problem is, Detroit saw that it can work so why not make it work for them too?
You might want to watch your wallet. The smell seems to be getting stronger.
The annual list is made of vehicles that earned top scores in front, side and rear crash tests and are also equipped with electronic stability and control systems. The big surprise? A record number of vehicles made the list, nearly doubling last year's total and three times the number from the 2007 list.
No doubt about it, cars are getting safer. In this soft economy, no one can afford to be off work due to accidental injury so if you are in the market for a new vehicle, finding a safer one is a wise buying decision.
Ford and Volvo and Mazda earned the most awards, but it was Acura whose entire model line made the list. Here's the rest of the list:
LARGE CARS: Acura RL, Audi A6, Cacillac CTS, Ford Taurus, Lincoln MKS, Mercury Sable, Toyota Avalon, Volvo S80
MIDSIZE CARS: Acura TL and TSX, Audi A3 and A4, BMW 3 Series, Ford Fusion, Honda Accord, Mercedes Benz C, Mercury Milan, Saab 9-3, Subaru Legacy, VW Jetta and Passat
MID SIZE CONVERTIBLES: Saab 9-3, VW Eos, Volvo C70
SMALL CARS: Honda Civic, Mitsubishi Lancer, Scion xB, Subaru Impreza, Toyota Corolla, VW Rabbit
MINI-Car: Honda Fit (but only with the option ESC)
MINIVANS: Honda Odyssey, Hyundai Entourage (but if you buy one be sure that within 30 days you send them a registered letter saying you reject their binding arbitration or they automatically rip off your legal rights), and Kia Sedona
LARGE SUVs & CROSSOVERS: Audi Q7, Buick Enclave, Chevrolet Traverse, GMC Acadia, Saturn Outlook
MIDSIZE SUVs & CROSSOVERS: Acura MDX and RDX, BMW X3 and X5 (our personal favorite for its remarkable navigation system and hidaway 3rd row of seats and rear climate control), Ford Edge and Flex and Taurus X, Honda Pilot, Hyundai Sante Fe and Veracruz (but if you buy one be sure that within 30 days you send them a registered letter saying you reject their binding arbitration or they automatically rip off your legal rights), Infiniti EX35, Lincoln MKX, Mercedes M Class, Nissan Murano, Saturn Vue, Subaru Tribeca, Toyota FJ Cruiser and Highlander, Volvo XC90
SMALL SUVs & CROSSOVERS: Ford Escape, Honda CR-V and Element, Mazda Tribute, Mercury Mariner, Mitsuibishi Outlander, Nissan Rogue, Subaru Forester, Toyota RAV4, VW Tiguan (where do they get these VW names?)
LARGE PICKUP TRUCKS: Ford F-150 (in spite of its many, many defect issues and recalls over the years, it just keeps on selling), Honda Ridgeline, Toyota Tundra
SMALL PICKUP TRUCKS: Toyota Tacoma
Out of 72 models on the list, here's the American Big 3 Scorecard: Ford 12, GM 6, and Chrysler -0-. That's only 25% of the vehicles on the list. Not a single Big 3 product made the Small Car or Small Truck category. Stranger yet is the fact that in the Large Pickup Truck list only Ford made the list and it only made it with one model.
What that shows is that the Big 3 make vehicles that are riskier to drive or ride in and riskier on taxpayers too, what with their beggin for a bailout. Detroit needs to turn that around, and quick. We went to the Moon and we can't build a small car or small truck that the insurance industry can say is among the safest made? What is wrong with that picture?
Well, until we do, don't waste your money. Don't just buy what looks good. Buy what's safe to drive too. And while you're at it, before you plunk down your hard earned money, check out the reliability record of the car and truck model lines before you buy too. No point in buying a lemon that is safe to drive only because it won't run.
Helping consumer get rid of lemons since 1978.
It turns out that in Ohio there were less than 5 trials per Common Pleas Court Judge (there is one Common Pleas Court in each Ohio county). It actually works out to an average of 4.7. That's barely one trial every 3 months. Page 33 of the Report (click here to read it) showed that there were a lot more criminal trials (where someone is threatened with jail time) than civil trials (where corporations and people are suing other corporations and people for money).
When comes to what the court system defines as product liability trials, the stuff of "tort reform" claims by the insurance protection industry, it turns out that there were only 5 trials in the entire state in the entire year (see page 45 of the Report). Cleveland only had one. Columbus had none at all and neither did Cincinnati.
Hard line conservatives have joined the National Chamber of Commerce (a strong pro-business organization that has opposed consumer protection reforms) for years, in crying out that tort reform was needed to stop the lawsuit crisis. Well, it turns out there is no lawsuit crisis.
'course the problem is that Americans have been hearing the media cry wolf so long that everyone thinks there really is a wolf in the courthouse. There is, alright, but it's the insurance company that is the wolf in the courthouse.
And too many lawsuits? Well, it turns out that in truth there were actually fewer lawsuits at the end of the year than there were at the start of the year (see page 29 of the Report).
You can argue and debate all you like, but the numbers from Ohio's highest Court are the numbers that exist. So what does this teach us?
For one thing, when the insurance industry and the conservative pundits cry wolf, watch your wallet. I don't know about you, but my insurance rates didn't go down when the cries about wolf went up.
Helping Consumers Protect Themselves Since 1978.
To find a consumer law lawyer near you, anywhere in the US, click here.
One day they are flush and flying private planes. When that doesn't work, they line up the 'lectric cars to prove they know how to make them. Maybe that'll get them their millions of bailout money.
Chrysler, for its part, is saying that it can't financially sponsor or back the caravan that their suppliers and workers are planning. But that won't stop it from happening, no doubt.
A caravan to DC? Folks, that's not enough. This isn't about jet planes or electric cars. It's not about the worker's union pay scale either. It's not even about the $25 billion. It's about cleaning house and we're not talking about the workers on the line. We're talking about the suits.
Did you know that most of the suits that run the auto companies only have a small (in some cases, far less than a fraction of 1%) invested in the companies they run? They want taxpayers to pony up billions to invest in a company that they themselves won't stand behind. Oh, they stand behind, alright. Way far behind.
To fix Detroit, the Detroit paradigm must change. We're not a genuis, we'll admit, but some things are obvious. And besides, there's no shortage of advice out there on fixing Detroit.
Warren Buffet thinks the minions that run Detroit should be required to invest their money in what they sell. Makes sense. After all, if they don't have enough faith in their business to invest their own money, why should taxpayers?
While trying to get union workers to help out sounds good, why treat them any differently than the way Wall Street workers were treated when the big investment companies were bailed out? Nobody asked them to take a pay cut. And their pay scale is a heck of a lot higher than a factory line worker in Detroit. Worse yet, has everyone forgotten what Ford did that caused unions to take hold in the first place?
Nonunion workers are an approach that works in some areas but it doesn't work everywhere. The Detroit Big 3 don't have the same belief system that made Toyota famous. After all, these are the car companies who own big private jets for their executives who don't have enough brains to know that you don't go begging wearing a tux. Workers need to watch 'em and be careful to protect themselves.
One more thing. It's okay to give them a loan, but it's time to force Detroit to increase the mpg rating of their fleets. Average fuel economy now is hardly any better than it was 30 and more years ago, in spite of all the so-called engineering and technology advancements. And we can't just trust them either. Detroit fought airbags for decades because it would cost a few extra bucks.
Some legislators are already talking about tieing any loan to mandatory mpg increases and they're right. Detroit ought to go electric and dump fossil fuel, but they won't do it voluntarily and they won't do it easily.
So, take the best ideas and marry them to a bailout. Start with requiring the CEO's to buy their own stock and freeze their salaries until the loan is paid off. And no stock options either. Next, leave union wages alone. Okay, don't raise them, but don't reduce them either.
Follow that up with a mandatory 50 mpg fleet increase within 5 years. Impossible? Hey, we went to the moon using computers that had less power than a Nintendo Wii. And when it hit the fan in Apollo 13 they saved the day with a roll of duct tape. Don't tell us 50 mpg in 5 years is impossible. If Congress had mandated it ten years ago, we'd of had it by now.
Will it work? Who knows for sure. But a lot of taxpayers would feel a lot better about the bailout if they did at least this much.
Maybe then they'll stop building lemons one day too. A pipedream? Not necessarily.
Because life is too short to put up with a lemon.
Recent reports of the bad economy undoubtedly worry consumers about the risk that the "target" defendant in their case may file bankruptcy and they probably are wondering what that would mean to their case if they did. Here's our thoughts.
There are two types of bankruptcies a business usually files and all lawsuits or claims are immediately stopped when any kind of bankruptcy is filed.
A "Chapter 7" bankruptcy is one where the entire business is completely liquidated, including all assets and all liabilities. The claims in a consumer's case would be a "liability" which would be included in that kind of bankruptcy. No more lawsuits are allowed to be filed and all the consumer can do is file a claim (sometimes called a "disputed and unliquidated" claim) in the bankruptcy proceedings for how much money they think is owed them. The bankrupt company’s attorney has the right to dispute any claim and the consumer would be notified if they did. All of the assets of the company are then sold or liquidated in one fashion or another to generate money and the bankruptcy court trustee, who is in charge of all of this, divides up the money according to the priority order of claims that is established by Federal Law. The bottom line is that it is very unlikely that a consumer would get much of anything out of a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. A Chapter 7 bankruptcy kills all legal liabilities of the bankrupt company.
Another kind of bankruptcy that a business can file is a "Chapter 11" bankruptcy.
In this kind of proceeding the bankrupt company basically files bankruptcy on all of its debts, but says that it wants to stay in business and keep operating. This kind of bankruptcy gives the company the ability to create a payment plan for all of the claims against it (and that would include the consumer's claim) while they continue to do business and struggle to survive. The consumer would have to file a claim again, in a fashion similar to what they would do in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. The difference is that the consumer might have a slightly better chance of getting something out of a Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceeding because eventually the bankrupt company must explain to the bankruptcy court how it will pay off all the debt it has and that could end up being "pennies on the dollar" over several years. This kind of bankruptcy can be extremely complicated and often the bankrupt company can classify different kinds of debt and treat them differently. The bottom line to the consumer is that a Chapter 11 bankruptcy means they may get paid very little if they are lucky and they may get nothing at all. Frankly, some companies file a Chapter 11 bankruptcy just so they can liquidate the company and shut it down in an orderly way.
The filing of any kind of business bankruptcy is bad news for consumers. They lose all of their rights, they can no longer file any kind of lawsuit or continue fighting any kind of lawsuit against the bankrupt company, and they end up filing a claim in bankruptcy court and hope that they might get something out of it and often they get either nothing at all.
Many companies go out of business without ever filing a bankruptcy of any type. They simply close the doors when the money runs out. In that situation, it is very difficult to recover anything at all.
All of these are very significant risks that consumer have to consider in hard economic times. If you're trying to settle a lemon law claim with a manufacturer, you may want to take less in order to get it now and be sure you get something. You just never know ...
If you've got a lemon motor vehicle and you need help settling your case quickly, call us right now, 1-888-331-6422 Toll Free, or email us right now for fast help. We've been settling lemon law claims since 1978. We know how to get your money back. Fast.
In spite of the hostile treatment, apparently there's been a back-room deal cut for billions in US aid to head to Detroit's coffers soon. None of the details have been released but they should be leaking out soon.
Surprisingly, during the hearing the Big 3 repeatedly called the bailout a "bridge loan" but no one called it a bridge to nowhere, which many have argued it will be. We don't think so. Detroit needs the money, sure, but just paying last month's bills without changing the way the bills are generated isn't going to help the industry.
Meantime, there's no automatic relief here. Congress still has to pass a bill thru both houses and that won't be easy. Then the President has to sign off on it and that, too, won't be easy. It could easily take another month or two before it's done, and that is if it gets done at all.
So, don't count your dollar bills just yet, Detroit. There's still a lot of bricks to make before that bridge gets built, no matter where it's going.
Meanwhile, if you've got a lemon car or truck, you may want to try to settle up and get your money sooner rather than later --- just in case the bailout bails out and your lemon's manufacturer goes bust.
For years the insurance industry has done a great job of convincing the public that there are two many lawsuits clogging up the courts. In spite of numerous government and private studies that show the numbers aren't true, the public still believes what the insurance industry says.
Well, now there are a dozen states that either have, or are, setting up a new type of court to deal with the increasing number of lawsuits. It's called a Commercial Court and it only handles lawsuits between business companies. That's right. Corporations are clogging the system with lawsuits against other corporations.
Ohio is the latest state to establish Commercial Courts, setting up temporary rules to allow the new Court to set up shop in 5 counties, with one county already up and running while 3 others have agreed and one is still mulling it over. All of them are counties with a large population base and a large business base, Hamilton County (Cincinnati), Franklin County (where the state capital city exists, Columbus), Cuyahoga County (Cleveland), and Lucas County (the Toledo, Ohio area). The fifth one is rumored to be Montgomery County, covering the metropolitan Dayton, Ohio area.
Well, whaddaya know. The increase in litigation wasn't being caused by personal injury lawyers after all. Medical malpractice lawsuits by greedy consumers wasn't the reason either. You mean it wasn't auto accident cases either? Nope.
Turns out the cause has basically been the rash of corporate boardroom lawsuits against one another all across America. But you don't hear the conservative press talking about that. Or any press at all.
So, the next time someone says there's too many lawsuits going on in our society, you can agree. Just be sure to point out that it's businesses suing each other that are clogging up the court system. Problem is, they probably still won't believe you. You'd think consumers would get angry over the snow job the insurance industry has used to justify jacking up rates.
This is probably the first time that an industry did such a good job selling a lie as the truth, that when the truth came out, people thought it was the lie.
Bruce Beattie knows ...
Daytona Beach News-Journal
Nov 5, 2008
Getting Rid of Lemons Since 1978
Click here to see what your state's Lemon Law says.
To find a Lemon Law lawyer near you, click here.
In a country that invented the automobile industry, it is inconceivable that the industry could go down the drain or bought up by foreigners, never mind the fact that we're really practically all foreigners anyway at least at our roots. It's just wrong.
Out of all brands of motor vehicles, only 5 had higher sales in October than the same time last year and not one of them was American made. There's something wrong with an industry that is so out of touch that they are losing money hand over fist while Audi, Ferrari, Mini Cooper, Rolls Royce and Smart are making it.
At a time when the overall US sales are down 31.9%, Min sales were up 56%, Ferrari sales were up 44% and Rolls was up 76%.
It's certainly true that Detroit needs help. GM's prediction that at the present rate it will run out of money in the middle of 2009 had to convince any skeptic that remained. But what to do, oh what to do.
The simple fact is that this society can not let Detroit fail. Why? Because every small town in America has a local auto parts store and that's just the obvious tip of the iceberg. Too many jobs in our economy depend on the auto industry. Washington has to step in and help out. After all, at least in Detroit they actually make things and that's a lot better than just juggling dollar bills and stock certificates.
However, if the industry is to survive it must evolve. Gasoline engines are marvelous but outdated and about as "ungreen" as one can get. Washington ought to make loans to Detroit and tie them to new technologies that can revolutionize the industry and put it on the best path for long-term dominance of the very industry which it created. That means fossil fuel burning engines have to go.
Whether it's electric power or what, who knows, but it's time for Detroit to tighten its belt even more, invent something new, invest heavily in places it has not gone. In short, to evolve.
Sure, we'e okay with giving Detroit loans, but tie it to planning for the future and not to paying for past mistakes.
The 2009 Ford F150 debut has been moved back about two months to give dealers time to unload the oversupply of 2008 models still gathering dust on America's showroom floors. GM sales are off 45% from a year ago. Ford is down 32%. The whole industry is having weak sales. GM and Chrysler are even trying to figure out how to buy each other with taxpayer money so they can give most of Chrysler's models the axe.
Meanwhile, there's one car brand that sells for sticker every time and has since it came out. It's sold out constantly and dealers take orders for the cars that haven't even been built yet. Dealers can't get enough inventory and are practically begging for more. It's smart. The Smart car, that is.
In its first year 25,000 of the cute little cars barely stopped in their showrooms on their way into consumer's driveways nationwide.
Other brands not only offer discounts but throw in rebates and anything else that helps move the iron.
Meanwhile, Smart dealers are being urged not to charge more than the MSRP sticker price, but the temptation is big. There's not a lot of profit when the sticker price bottoms out at under $12,000 and tops out at under $17,000. The margin is thin but let's hope dealers do the right thing by their customers.
We first saw the Smart on the streets of Rome 4 years ago with a Mercedes badge on it and it was remarkable. When it finally got to the USA, most of it was the same and US buyers reacted just like the Europeans did --- they loved it. In fact, we would have bought one for our office vehicle except that the selling dealership network is limited and the dealer who had one was a dealer we've sued lots of times before over sales fraud issues so we just wouldn't go near the place.
Still, the Smart car is a great buy with good looks and great mileage. Just be careful if you're in the market for a Smart car. And if you end up with a lemon, don't forget to call us. We know how to get rid of lemons because it's what we do. Everyday.
Because life's too short to put up with a lemon.
See what your state's Lemon Law says by clicking here.
Click here to find a Lemon Law lawyer near you.
All this political stuff has finally overflowed the patience of many people who just want the election over with so we can get back to normal. Do yourself (and your email friends) a favor and don’t bother them with forwards of anti-Obama rumors, gossip, attempted-jokes, and the like. Don’t bother them with anti-McCain ones either.
If this nation keeps talking like a bunch of right wingers and left wingers, pretty soon there won't be anyone left in the middle. The middle? You remember that. It's the spot where sanity still resides, along with a little respect for elders and patience for the rest.
People are getting tired of all the drivel and slander that everyone is throwing around so gleefully nowadays, trying to think up the last garbage they can sling toward whoever the "other side" of their own argument may be. Let's face it, folks, Emails like that are a waste of your electrons and someone else's time.
It's bad enough someone out there wasted their time in the first place and worse yet that it keeps getting sent on to other folks. The stuff we've seen lately is worse than those chain letters people used to mail out. The only reason there is so much more of it nowadays is that an email goes out for free --- not even the cost of a postage stamp. All it takes is time and attitude, and not necessarily the right amount of either.
Obama is not a nut job or any other brand of extremist, no more than McCain can be called a right wing religious nut job or zealot.
The ones who are nuts are the ones who throw civility aside and keep propagating garbage like this breed we've been seeing lately that appeals purely to the darker side of humanity. The first time you see one of these emails, it might be mildly humorous but it all gets carried away so fast and so easily anymore.
We don’t know what happened to civility and courtesy but it all seems gone by the wayside in a political season filled with nothing but “the sky is falling” derogation if “the other one” is who gets elected instead of the other "other guy." It’s all rather ridiculous. And scairy.
This is the first election where there have been political ads actually paid for by presidential candidates that say the other guy is outright lieing. No niceties and no mincing of words. The position Obama and McCain both seek to fill deserves a cleaner and more meaningful discussion of important issues than all this mudslinging. How low you can go ought to be just a line from an old song and not a challange to the other side's evil-doers.
We do not believe that either candidate is of low character, a socialist, or any other crazy brand that both of the political parties now rather quickly say the other guy is part of.
The world will not end on January 20, no matter whose right hand is raised (and, that’s right, we don’t believe anything but the Bible is what their left hand will be on, no matter who gets elected).
McCain is a great war hero who deserves to be treated better and Obama is great leader in his own way and he deserves to be treated better too. All this paranoid frenzy being bandied about by their far out fringe self-proclaimed “supporters” is an insult to the system itself and the reaction to it in no small part may likely cost McCain the election.
So if you are going to send us any emails, all we ask is that you refrain from sending this hate-mongering and anger-inciting stuff to use or anyone else. We prefer good natured and light-hearted humor. Life is too short for all the mud slinging and doomsday forecasts and grief the politicians’ "best friends" are inundating us with.
Considerations when testing vehicles include:
- Safety. Each car is tested at its handing limit, determining how the vehicle will respond to emergency avoidance maneuvers and extreme road conditions.
- Real World Fuel Economy. Those who test the vehicles gauge the fuel economy of both everyday driving and driving on a controlled track.
- Ride Comfort. Ech vehicle is driven for thousands of miles and comfort is one of many important factors when rating an automobile.
With those considerations in mind, Consumer Reports' highest scoring vehicle (Lexus LS460L) earned a 99 on the 100 point scale. Below are the five lowest scoring vehicles for 2008.
1. Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sahara
Main Areas of Concern: Braking, Noise Level, Reliability, Fuel Economy
2. Hummer H3 (5 cyl)
Main Areas of Concern: Acceleration, Fuel Economy, Emergency Handling
3. Jeep Liberty Sport
Main Areas of Concern: Fuel Economy, Noise, Agility
4. Chevrolet Aveo LS (Manual)
Main Areas of Concern: Acceleration, Handling
5. Chevrolet Aveo LS (Automatic)
Main Areas of Concern: Acceleration, Handling
While Consumer Reports isn't the only organization that is currently testing vehicles, it is important to remember that these evaluations are completely unbiased. Consumer Reports receives no money for advertising or any other services. For that reason alone, it would be shrewd for drivers to consider the magazine's opinions when purchasing a new vehicle.
By-line: Heather Johnson is a freelance business, finance and credit writer, as well as a regular contributor for Business Credit Cards, a site for comparing business credit cards. She welcomes questions, comments, and freelancing job inquiries at her email address email@example.com.
If you've got a lemon car or lemon truck or an Rv lemon, maybe you're wondering if you can get the factory or dealer to take it back without having to hire a lawyer. Think again.
The simple fact is that consumers who have an experienced Lemon Law attorney almost always get more money in their pocket than those who go it alone. We've seen lots of times where a consumer will come to us after they have made a deal on their lemon vehicle with the manufacturer, usually for very little money and maybe an extended warranty (if they argued really hard), but they end up keeping the vehicle and they come to us later when either the same problem never really gets fixed or even more problems come up.
If you settle your lemon law claim, then that part of your car's history is over with when you go see a lawyer later and they won't be able to use that part of your defects or breakdowns to try to get rid of your lemon vehicle.
That's true even if the worst of your defects were at the beginning before you settled your claim. Once you settle, that part is over with. It's as though all of those repairs and your complaints were just erased from existence.
What makes it so bad is that most lemon laws only cover those early miles and months of your use. Ohio's is for 12 months or 18,000 miles but some states are only 12 months and 12,000 miles. So by the time more defects arise and you realize that they are never going to be able to get it fixed, your state Lemon Law rights are long gone.
That's exactly why they offer you some money or an extended warranty when you don't have an attorney helping you. The factory people realize that you probably don't know just how good your case is, you are looking for the quick way out of things, and they can say whatever they want to persuade you that your best bet is to take what they are offering. Folks, it isn't true what they are telling you.
I've heard of factory and dealer people telling the consumer that the Lemon Law didn't cover them, but it really did; the definition of a lemon didn't include their kind of vehicle, but it really did; the consumer didn't have a right to his or her money back, but they really did; the factory could deduct for mileage on the lemon vehicle, but they really couldn't; the factory had the right to charge the consumer for the replacement vehicle or for part of the cost of the replacement, but they really couldn't; the consumer couldn't make the factory pay for an attorney if they hired one, but you really could.
Hey, they don't own those great big car lots because they willingly buy back the lemon cars, folks. If you've got a lemon vehicle, you've got a choice. You can go it alone and take what little they will give you, or you can hire an attorney and get what you deserve. It really is that simple.
If you've got a lemon car, don't put up with the run around. Get an experienced Lemon Lawyer to help you get your money back and rid of your lemon. Get a Burdge attorney. Getting rid of lemons is what we do. Since 1978.
Call us right now, 1-888-331-6422 Toll Free, or email us for free and quick help to get rid of your lemon.