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We hope the articles below help you understand your rights as a consumer. You can scroll through the titles, or sort by Practice Area or Topic. You can also use the search feature to locate information by keyword.

Flitter Milz represents people with a variety of problems involving consumer credit and collections. If you have a particular question or believe your consumer rights have been violated, Contact Us for a no cost consultation.

Consumer Laws Protects the Military

Flitter Milz Attorneys meet with JAG officers at local bases to discuss Military Consumer Law

This past summer our attorneys visited Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst in New Jersey and Dover Air Force Base in Delaware to educate military lawyers (commonly known as Judge Advocates General or “JAGs”) about common scams targeting servicemembers and how consumer protection laws exist to give our men and women in uniform some measure of relief.

Scams to our Servicemembers

Young and impressionable servicemembers often become targets of scammers.  Factors such as reliable pay checks and great military benefits, as well as being subject to sudden deployment and relocation, make servicemembers easy prey for payday lenders, buy-here-pay-here auto dealers, and sub-prime finance companies.

The Law is on your side

Fortunately, the “Military Lending Act” places caps on interest rates to be charged, mandates certain disclosures, and prohibits the use of arbitration clauses in credit agreements. A violating seller can face punitive damages and having to pay the servicemember’s attorney fees.


The “Servicemembers Civil Relief Act” or SCRA provides additional protections. It says a creditor may not take a default judgment against an active servicemember.  SCRA requires a landlord abide protections for leasing rentals to active military, and empowers courts to stay (or temporarily halt) certain foreclosure and repossession proceedings.  The servicemember can also seek damages and their attorney fees for a violation.

Consumer Protection Laws for Servicemembers

Of course, all the other consumer protection laws Flitter Milz, PC routinely uses are also available to servicemembers. We have had military clients utilize the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) to remedy errors on their credit profiles that kept them from getting a promotion or security clearance.  Others have used the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) to stave-off harassing collection attempts and repos.  Over all, we have helped thousands of consumers get relief from abusive commercial practices.

Seek Legal Help at No Cost

Flitter Milz is a nationally recognized consumer protection law firm that assists servicemembers who have become victim to credit reporting privacy and accuracy violations, abuse from debt collectors, and vehicle repossessions by aggressive lenders and repo agents.

If you’re a servicemember who has been exposed to unfair, fraudulent or deceptive conduct by a business, CONTACT US for a no cost consultation.  We may be able to help.

Pictured above:  Attorneys Cary Flitter (center), Andy Milz (left), Jody López-Jacobs (right).

Solar Fraudsters Target Elderly

Our firm gets a lot of calls from consumers who are senior citizens, or from their children, after they have realized that the “free” solar panel deal they were promised is nothing of the sort.

Maybe the consumer got the first bill from the solar company and wondered “what’s this?” Or, perhaps the consumer tried to sell the home and learned the solar company has a lien on it from a solar installation.  Maybe they’ve only just learned of a 25-year contract with ever-increasing prices because it was sent to a bad email address or one the distraught solar customer never had or used.

Common Deceptive Statements in Solar Sales

Every week, we hear similar complaints from consumers who met with a solar sales representative and felt taken. Statements such as the following may be deceptive or outright false:
– “The salesman said it was a government program to help seniors save money…”
– “The salesman said the panels would be free and wouldn’t cost me anything…”
– “I was told I’d have no more electric bills…”

But that does not stop aggressive door-to-door solar salesmen from using them in their pitch to older consumers.

Were you promised a Federal Solar Tax Credit?

Salespeople are likely to tout a 30% federal solar tax credit (for 2023). Consumers must be careful, this is not cash or a refund, but rather a tax credit to count against the taxes you pay.  Some seniors pay only minimal taxes or no taxes at all (if, for instance, their sole income is Social Security) and may not benefit at all from this promised “government program.”  Other times, the company keeps the tax credit for itself.

Were you told there would be No Upfront Costs?

Salesmen also like to tout a “no cost installation” or “no upfront cost” because this makes it sound like the consumer is getting the solar panels for free.  That is not the case.  With programs like solar leases or power purchase agreements (PPAs), it is the solar company, not the consumer, who owns the panels that are installed on the roof.

Do I pay for the energy produced by the panels?

While the solar company may not charge upfront for the panels and the installation, the consumer is bound to pay for the energy that’s produced by the panels at ever-increasing rates – sometimes for 25-years or more – forcing some elderly consumers to pay expensive rates until they’re over 100 years old.  All the while, they are still obligated to pay their electric bill.

Why must I sign an i-Pad?

Solar sales can be expensive and burdensome to consumers.  Solar salesmen know this, and that’s why they use electronically displayed and signed contract documents (instead of a paper contract that you hold and keep) with deceptive language to hide the agreement from elderly consumers by using a bum email address or making up an email address that only the sellers control.

Seek Qualified Legal Help

If you’re considering solar, make sure to read all the fine print and demand paper contract documents on the spot before you sign anything.  If a solar company cheated you, CALL US.  We may be able to help.  There is no charge for the consult and if you have a case to bring, the solar company, not the consumer, will pay any legal fees.

Flitter Milz is a nationally recognized consumer protection law firm that evaluates solar panel sales matters involving fraud related to forged contracts, identity theft, and credit reporting privacy violations.
Pictured: Attorneys Cary Flitter (center), Andy Milz (left), Jody López-Jacobs (right).


What do I need to know about Auto Repossession?


An unexpected illness, loss of employment, or divorce may cause financial hardships that make it difficult for borrowers to maintain payments on an auto loan. While the borrower juggles to keep up with obligations, banks and lenders may take steps to get paid.  In the case of auto loans, the lender may repossess the vehicle without prior notice to the borrower.

Before a Vehicle Repossession

If you anticipate a repossession occurring, evaluate the items left in your vehicle. Although personal property can be retrieved after repossession, items could go missing or be damaged in the process of repossession.

Take steps to protect your possessions:
-Remove all important car purchase and finance documents from the vehicle
-Remove all personal items – car seats, laptops, medications, handbags, etc.
-Note the mileage on the vehicle
-Photograph or Video the condition of your vehicle — interior and exterior.

During the Auto Repossession

-Take note of events during the repossession.
-Videotape/photograph the vehicle and events at the scene.
-Date and time
-Repo Company Name
-Witness names
-Police Officer names & badge #


After the Auto Repossession

The lender is required to provide notices to the borrower after the repossession and sale of the vehicle.  These notices are called:

Notice of Intent to Sell Property
The first notice confirms the vehicle was repossessed and informs the borrower of the amount owed and terms to retrieve the vehicle. It will state the vehicle’s location for retrieval of personal property. If the borrower can not meet the terms, the lender will sell the vehicle at an auction or private sale.

Deficiency Notice
Once the vehicle is sold, a second letter is sent to the borrower.  It confirms the selling price of the vehicle and calculates any remaining balance owed to satisfy the loan, including charges for storage and the repossession fee.
If the vehicle sold for more than the amount owed to satisfy the loan, the notice will detail the surplus balance.

Collection of Deficient Auto Loan Balance

The lender may attempt to collect the deficient balance from the borrower or assign the collection to an agency or collection law firm. If the debt is not collected, the lender may choose to file a lawsuit against the borrower.


If you have been sued, do not ignore it.

A default judgment could be entered against you. Judgments are dangerous. The lender attempt collection of the judgment through bank attachment, seizure of property, or in many states, wage garnishment.


Seek Legal Help from a Qualified Consumer Lawyer

Flitter Milz is a nationally recognized consumer protection law firm experienced in auto repossession law and the pursuit of cases against banks, credit unions, or financial institutions that violated the borrower’s consumer rights. For a no cost consultation,  Contact Us.  We will ask that you gather a copy of your complete signed loan agreement, along with correspondence from the lender sent AFTER the repossession, for the legal review.



Cosigning a Loan = Risky Business

You might need to consider getting someone to cosign an auto loan if you are unable to qualify for the credit.  Frequently, poor credit or lack of credit history, lack of income, or being able to make a down payment are reasons that a lender would require the borrower to get a cosigner.  But co-signing holds a lot of responsibility…even if you’re doing it for a family member or close friend.

Borrowers need credit approval
The co-signer’s good name and credit history provide additional assurance to the lender that the terms of the loan agreement will be honored with payments being made in full and on time.



Equal Responsibility for the Loan

Both the co-signer and primary borrower hold equal responsibility for the signed auto loan. When payments are late or missed, the lender has the right to repossess the vehicle.  Credit reports for both the borrower and co-signer will list a negative payment history and the repossession.


Obligation to Satisfy the Deficient Balance
The lender may contact the co-signer, and/or the primary borrower, after a vehicle has been repossessed. The bank, credit union or financial institution will look to the co-signer to bring the account current or satisfy the loan in full.  Credit scores may drop as a result and impact existing credit, or make it difficult to obtain new credit for both the borrower and co-signer.

Responsibility transfers to co-signer after default
The responsibility for payment of the loan transfers to the co-signer after primary borrower passes away, loses a job, goes through a divorce, files for bankruptcy, or fails to make scheduled payments.

Seek Legal Help from Consumer Law Attorneys

If you have cosigned an auto loan and the vehicle has been repossessed, seek advice from a qualified consumer protection law firm.

Flitter Milz attorneys are nationally recognized consumer protection lawyers that understand vehicle repossession law and how to help the borrowers after a repossession has occurred.  For a no cost consultation, CONTACT US.
Pictured:  Flitter Milz Attorneys
Cary Flitter (center), Andy Milz (left), Jody López-Jacobs (right)

Mixed Credit Files…a common problem

Scenarios involving mixed credit files are all too common today.  A mixed credit file, or mis-merged file, can happen when your credit information is commingled with someone else’s on your credit report. For years, the credit bureaus have been told their methods of matching consumer data is fundamentally flawed, but the often-devastating errors keep happening.

TRUE STORY from Flitter Milz
A Flitter Milz client was denied an auto loan for a car, despite having perfect credit.  When he asked the dealership for his credit report, he was shocked to find a negative collection account belonging to his father, who had a similar name, but different date of birth and SSN.  A lawsuit was filed for our client against the collection agency and credit bureaus under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) for mixing our client’s file with his dad’s.  A federal court awarded our client $360,000 plus attorneys fees for continuing to report inaccurate information on his credit reports.

Common mixed file scenarios

1) A parent’s account appearing on their child’s credit file.
2) A child’s debt negatively effecting the parent’s good credit.
3) A total stranger’s delinquent auto loan appears on an innocent consumer’s credit report simply because they share a similar name or social security number.
4) John Q. Public’s criminal conviction in Ohio is listed on John T. Public’s employment screening report in New Jersey, preventing John T. Public from getting a job.

The impact of mixed credit files

Mixed credit files can have a serious affect on your life.

Credit Denials: Credit files that have been mixed between one consumer and another can lead to credit denials for an auto loan, mortgage, education or other personal loan.
Employment Denials: Errors like these can also cause you not to get a job, promotional or security clearance.
Housing Denial: You can also be denied housing, if a landlord relied on an inaccurate credit report.

Steps to address Mixed Credit Files

If you have experienced a credit denial due to a mixed or mis-merged credit file take the following steps.

Step 1: Obtain current credit reports
Write to the main credit bureaus — Transunion, Experian, and Equifax — to request a current copy of your reports, or visit  You may need to provide proof of identity, such as a current driver’s license, utility bill or pay stub to have the reports sent to you.

Step 2:  Review your credit reports for accuracy
Review listings on each report as information may vary from one report to another.  If you do not recognize accounts or if the information is incorrect, you will need to take steps to get the errors corrected.  Common signs of mixed files include:
– Name spelled incorrectly
– Wrong SSN, addresses, or phone numbers
– Wrong employers listed
– Accounts you do not recognize
– Inquiries you don’t recognize
– Public records or judgments from courts in cities you never lived in
– Criminal records that don’t belong to you

Step 3:  Gather denial letters and supporting documents
Collect copies of all denial letters received from creditors, employers, or landlords, and all other documents related to the error.

Step 4: Contact qualified Consumer Law Attorneys

Attorneys Cary Flitter, Andy Milz and Jody López-Jacobs are nationally recognized consumer protection lawyers with experience to evaluate your credit reporting problem. There is no cost for the legal review.  Contact Us Today. Pictured:  Attorneys Cary Flitter (center), Andy Milz (left), Jody López-Jacobs (right).

Flitter Milz Wins Again Against the Credit Bureaus

Federal court in Philadelphia rules TransUnion must go to trial

On April 11, 2023, the United State District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania ruled that a class action case on behalf of consumers against TransUnion may proceed to trial for failing to investigate consumer disputes.

In Norman v. TransUnion, Flitter Milz client Duane Norman alleges that TransUnion failed to investigate his two disputes of an inquiry made on his credit report without permission. As well, he claims that TransUnion, as a company practice, chooses to not investigate disputed inquiries which is in violation of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).

In August 2020, the Court decided that Mr. Norman’s case should proceed as a class action for all other consumers across the country who disputed inquiries to TransUnion, only to have TransUnion do nothing in response to their disputes.

In Tuesday’s opinion, the court denied TransUnion’s motion to have the case thrown out on summary judgment before trial.  The court found that there was enough evidence that TransUnion acted willfully in violation of the FCRA, and that the class of consumers represented by our firm can proceed with their claims for punitive damages at trial.

The court reiterated that inquiries (notations on your credit report that show you applied for credit) can be disputed by consumers and TransUnion is obligated by law to investigate those disputes.

Seek Help from a Fair Credit Reporting Lawyer

If you have an inquiry you don’t recognize on your credit report, you should dispute it and request that the credit bureau perform an investigation of your dispute.  If they do not, you may have a case!

Flitter Milz attorneys are nationally recognized consumer protection lawyers with the experience to evaluate your credit reporting problems.

To provide a no cost legal evaluation, we will request a current copy of your credit report coming directly from each of the three main bureaus — Transunion, Experian and Equifax.  As well, we will need documents supporting your claim.

CLICK HERE:  Learn how to Dispute Credit Report Errors Effectively

Pictured above:  Flitter Milz Attorneys
Cary Flitter (center), Andy Milz (left), Jody López-Jacobs (right)

3 Simple Steps to get your Financial Life in Order

Errors on your credit reports can derail your finances, and sometimes prevent you from obtaining the credit you may need. By checking your credit reports regularly with the three main bureaus — Transunion, Experian and Equifax — you can make sure negative entries and inaccurate listings don’t stand in your way of getting the car loan, mortgage, job or apartment you deserve.  Take these steps to work towards your financial freedom.

TRUE STORY from Flitter Milz
Our client purchased a new car after trading in his old car.  The finance company failed to report to the credit bureaus that his old car loan was paid in full, and reported him late for several months.  The credit bureaus refused to correct their reporting, despite the client’s dispute letters.  After hiring Flitter Milz to help sue the credit bureaus. The credit bureaus paid a confidential settlement for slandering his credit.

Step 1:  Write for your credit reports

Request a current report from each of the three main credit bureaus –Transunion, Experian, and Equifax.  You will need to enclose two forms of identification, such as a current driver’s license and utility bill, with your letter. CLICK HERE:  Obtain credit reports from Transunion, Experian and Equifax.

Step 2:  Identify problems on your report

Credit reports show the history of credit accounts and illustrate whether a consumer is a good credit risk.  Consumers must review their reports for accuracy and take steps to correct inaccurate information.  Common credit reporting problems are:

  • Mixed Files
    Someone else’s information on your report. For example, family members or people with similar names could be mixed with your file.  CLICK HERE:  Is your Credit Report mixed with someone else’s information?
  • Ex-spouse’s information
    It’s a common misperception that a divorce decree changes contracts with lenders.  Actually, the divorce decree is only an agreement between you and the court. After divorce if an ex-spouse’s information is listed on your credit accounts, you must write the creditor to have his or her name removed.
    CLICK HERE How to maintain good credit during divorce.
  • Incorrect notations for Closed Accounts
    A closed account on your credit report is an account that is no longer active, meaning it was either closed upon your request or automatically closed by the creditor. The effect of a closed account on your credit report may differ depending on the account standing.  An account in positive standing won’t have any negative payment history. Should an account appear to be closed by the creditor when you closed it, this notation could carry negative weight on your credit report and the notation must be corrected.
  • Public Record Errors
    Judgments, tax liens, bankruptcies, and lawsuits must be listed accurately on credit reports.  If a public record is listed incorrectly, or does not belong to you, a dispute letter must be sent to the credit bureau with documents that explain the error.
  • Bankruptcy listings
    Accounts discharged in bankruptcy need to be identified correctly on your credit report as “discharged in bankruptcy”. In some cases, a bankruptcy can appear on your report because of mistaken identity, identity theft, administrative mistakes, or a completely random error.
  • Identity Theft
    Accounts opened fraudulently in your name or used without your authorization could appear on your credit reports. Specific steps to stop the theft need to be taken.    CLICK HERE: What to do if your Identity is Stolen
  • Strange Inquiries
    You must provide permission for someone to access your credit report.  If there are entries you do not recognize, letters must be sent to the credit bureau to request who obtained your report and for what reason.
  • Obsolete Information
    In most cases, a credit reporting agency may not report negative information that is more than 7 years old, or bankruptcies that are more than 10 years old.  When outdated information is listed on credit reports, a dispute letter must be sent to the credit bureau with documents that support your request for the information to be corrected.
  • Errors
    Incorrect payment histories, payment status, closed accounts, etc. must be listed accurately.  When credit reports list incorrect information, written disputes must be submitted to the bureaus with documents that support your dispute and illustrate why the error is to be corrected.  CLICK HERE:  Learn how to read a credit report

Step 3: Have a No Cost Legal Review

Flitter Milz attorneys are nationally recognized consumer protection lawyers with the experience to evaluate your credit reporting problems.

To provide a no cost legal evaluation, we will request that you provide a current copy of your report from each of the three main bureaus — Transunion, Experian, and Equifax, plus documents that illustrate why the information must be corrected. If it appears that you have a valid problem,  we may request that you send disputes to the credit bureaus and/or credit furnishers in an attempt to get the problem corrected.  Should the error remain, there may be a violation to your consumer rights.

CLICK HERE:  Learn to Dispute Credit Report Errors Effectively

Flitter Milz Attorneys (pictured above):
Cary Flitter (center), Andy Milz (left), Jody López-Jacobs (right).




Avoid Solar Panel Scams

The addition of solar panels to your home may sound like a great idea. From lower energy bills to a reduced carbon footprint, it’s the “green” thing to do.  However, you must assess whether it is the right decision for your home and your budget.

Consumers considering solar energy must take time to research the pros and cons of solar power, and then investigate the companies that sell, install and finance the panels. Do not feel pressured in to signing a contract for solar panels. Informed decisions make the best decisions.

Is the Solar Salesperson being truthful?

Many times, the sales process begins with an unsolicited call at your door.  You’re greeted by a salesperson that is personable and knowledgeable about the benefits of solar power.  They’re professional and trained to earn your trust. Most homeowners are persuaded with promises of free panels, reduced costs for energy, and low maintenance.

How did I end up in a contract for solar panels?

Maybe you aren’t completely sold on solar panels, and simply want more information about switching to solar power.  Beware. At this point of the presentation, the salesperson may casually suggest that you submit an application, just to see whether or not you qualify for solar panels. You’ll be offered an iPad or tablet to sign, and be told not to worry because you’ll receive copies of all documents by email.

Dangers of E-Signing 

Placing your signature or initials on an iPad, tablet, or phone may seem easy. However, your electronic signature or initials may be copied and affixed to a contract or other forms that you did not intend.

A signature on a contractual document or other written agreement, demonstrates that a party has read, understood and consents to the terms and conditions of the contract.

Before signing anything, insist on a paper copy of every document in advance.  Take time to read each document.  If the terms do not make sense, consult an attorney.

Written Permission to Access Credit Reports

Solar companies rely on financing to make solar panels available to consumers. Credit reports are accessed to evaluate a potential customer’s creditworthiness. The consumer must provide written permission for the solar company to obtain these reports.

If you do not want your credit accessed, do not provide your E-signature on an electronic device. That signature could be copied to a credit request form. Credit files accessed without permission could be a violation to the consumer’s rights under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).  This federal law offers protections to consumers for the privacy and accuracy of their credit information.

Common Misrepresentations to the Consumer

Solar panels will be free.
Many salespeople tell consumers that solar panels are free. In most cases, they are not free; in fact, they can cost you $20,000 to $30,000, or more. And, you can be in a 20+ year contract to pay for the panels.  As well, the consumer will pay for electricity that is produced by the panels, usually through a lease or power purchase agreement.

Tax rebates 
Many times, the solar panel company may not want to sell you the panels. If you, the buyer, purchases the panels, you would receive the tax credit, not the solar company. If the solar company leases you panels and only promises to sell you the solar power, the solar sales company may receive the tax credit, not you, the homeowner.

Your Neighbors Are Doing It!
A popular tactic used by solar salespeople to gain credibility is to mention that your neighbor signed the same contract as the one offered to you.  Don’t feel pressured. Speak with your neighbor first and find out about his experience.

Four Important Steps to protect yourself from Scams: 

  • Research whether adding solar panels is right for you. You may wish to visit websites for the Federal Trade Commission, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau or the Department of Energy
  • Evaluate the reputation of solar providers — Solar panels companies, installers and finance companies.
  • Consult consumers who have entered solar panel contracts. Visit websites for the Better Business Bureau, your State Attorney General, Federal Trade Commission, or online consumer complaint forums.
  • Review the solar panel contract. Understand the terms and financial obligation. Get answers to your questions. Once you sign, you may be on the hook for 20 years or more.

Seek Legal Help from a Qualified Consumer Law Firm

Flitter Milz is a nationally recognized consumer protection law firm that evaluates solar panel sales matters for potential violation of the consumer protection laws involving fraud, such as forged contracts, identity theft and credit reporting privacy violations.  Contact Us for a no cost evaluation.

Pictured:  Cary Flitter (center), Andy Milz (left), Jody López-Jacobs (right).


Timeshare Deception Lawsuit: Jury Awards over $1M to Consumers

 Pictured:  Attorney Joe Solseng, Clients Jay & Carmen Seda, Attorneys Andy Milz & Dave Ricci

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J.Oct. 6, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — A Superior Court jury in New Jersey decided in favor of consumers deceived by timeshare seller FantaSea Resorts, awarding the plaintiffs a $1,069,285 verdict for the Atlantic City resort’s intentionally deceptive sales practices. The victory for consumers was championed by Schroeter Goldmark & Bender along with partners, Flitter Milz, PC and the Law Office of David Ricci.

The jury verdict will compensate a group of 19 plaintiffs whose consumer protection rights were violated by repeated misrepresentations throughout FantaSea Resort’s routine, deceptive sales practices. The jury agreed that FantaSea’s tactics left consumers with timeshare purchases they couldn’t use as described, with payments and rising maintenance fees they couldn’t escape.

“FantaSea stacked the deck against these families from the start,” said Joe Solseng, attorney with Schroeter Goldmark & Bender. “We’re grateful for the jury’s hard work and their willingness to hold FantaSea accountable for its systemic lies and deception, which turned a promised fantasy into a nightmare.”

In trial, FantaSea Resorts admitted to making knowingly false statements to lure potential buyers into binding timeshare sales agreements through a sales process that violated the New Jersey Real Estate Timeshare Act (RETA). According to court documents, FantaSea intentionally withheld important sales documents from the buyers until after they had completed the transaction, contrary to what they are legally required to do.

FantaSea, a participant in the Resort Owner’s Coalition (ROC) of the American Resort Development Association (ARDA) whose properties include its Flagship, Atlantic Palace and La Sammana resorts, also misled consumer plaintiffs into believing that their purchase was a real estate investment that would increase in value over time. Instead, plaintiffs in the suit found that they were not only unable to sell their timeshare purchase but that it had effectively no resale value.

“FantaSea Resorts had every opportunity to change its deceptive practices and comply with consumer protection laws before these plaintiffs were forced to bring this lawsuit against them. These families simply wanted out of these oppressive contracts, but FantaSea doubled down  on their deception and made these families bring their case to trial. We hope this verdict sends a message that fraud of this nature won’t be tolerated,” said attorney Andrew Milz with Cherry Hill, New Jersey-based law firm Flitter Milz, PC.  

FantaSea Resorts admitted to committing multiple violations throughout the sales process by failing to inform buyers of required legal disclosures and withholding important documents that revealed details about the timeshare until after the buyer had signed a purchase and sale agreement.

What’s more, FantaSea’s timeshare sales were rigged so that timeshare owners would routinely pay more for a vacation stay than non-owners, according to court documents. In one case, over the length of the plaintiff’s 10-year mortgage, she would pay more than $17,000 for five one-week stays throughout the decade. A non-owner would pay just $3,965 for those same five stays. Even if the plaintiff continued to use her timeshare after her 10-year mortgage was paid off, it would take more than 150 years to break even with the non-owner. Another plaintiff testified at trial that it would take him 168 years to break even with a non-owner. Pictured above:  Attorneys Joe Solseng (l), Andy Milz (r), & Clients Brian & Jenny Roward

“What’s concerning for consumers is that business models like these, that are intentionally built to take advantage of good people, are not unique to FantaSea – and in fact, there are many resorts in the timeshare space that are even more egregious in their deceptive practices,” Solseng said. “I don’t recommend that anyone attend a timeshare presentation, no matter how much they entice you with gifts.”

Solseng added, “FantaSea and certain other ARDA timeshare outfits often use the word ‘Vacation Ownership’ so as to not call it a timeshare. But it’s a timeshare through and through, and the so-called vacation ownership can quickly turn into a vacation nightmare. We hope that the jury’s verdict and nullification of these FantaSea contracts will help other FantaSea timeshare owners and their lawyers. We hope this verdict is a way forward for plaintiff’s lawyers across the country to help timeshare consumers who are in the same position our clients were.”

About Plaintiffs Counsel

Flitter Milz, P.C. 

Flitter Milz, PC, with offices in PA, NJ, and NY, is a nationally recognized leader in consumer protection law, with over 30 years’ experience in the field. The firm represents victims of finance fraud, illegal vehicle repossessions, unfair debt collection practices, credit report errors, civil rights abuses, and other consumer protection matters in individual and class action cases.  Pictured:  Cary Flitter (center), Andy Milz (left), Jody López-Jacobs (right).

Schroeter Goldmark & Bender

Founded in 1969, Schroeter Goldmark & Bender (SGB) is a nationally recognized law firm based in Seattle that holds the most powerful companies, government agencies, and people accountable for their wrongdoing. SGB focuses on representing individuals in consumer protection cases, along with injured persons in aviation, asbestos and mesothelioma, catastrophic injury, brain/spinal cord injury, medical malpractice, unsafe products, wrongful death, sexual assault and harassment, as well as individual and class action employment cases. The firm believes the law is a force of good and is committed to achieving justice for people who have been harmed.

Employment or Tenant Reports Often Mix Consumers’ Files

Background Check Wrongly Says I’m a Criminal!

All it takes is someone with the same or similar name, birthdate, address, or other matching identifying information to have a stranger’s record inaccurately mixed with yours.  Their DUI, their theft conviction, or their sex offence can then show up on YOUR report.  It’s no surprise then that bad background checks for employment, rent, or security clearance can ruin someone’s livelihood and reputation in an instant.

F L I T T E R  M I L Z:   Client Story

Flitter Milz understands the impact of employment background checks. Recently, a client of ours was moving to a new town.  He applied for a job, and a rental home.  He was denied the job, and the rental. Our client inquired with the employer and landlord.  After receiving a copy of the background screening report, he found that a stranger’s criminal history appeared on his report.  This story is all too common today. 

CFPB on Background Reports:  Accuracy and Privacy

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) recently published an advisory warning that background check companies must take care not to mix consumers’ files or otherwise threaten consumer privacy.   According to CFPB Director Rohit Chopra, “The CFPB will be taking steps to use the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) to combat misuse and abuse of personal data on background screening and credit reports.”


Permissible Purpose to Obtain Background Check

More than 90% of prospective employers, landlords, insurance companies and banks use background check data as part of their application process.  These companies must have a legally permissible purpose to obtain a copy of a consumer’s background report when evaluating the consumer for credit, insurance, housing, or employment decisions. The consumer is entitled to a copy of the background check report used to evaluate his or her application.

Background Reports to be Accurate and Kept Private

Background reports include information such as, employment history, credit information and legal problems. In some cases, social media accounts may show up.  The more data listed in a background check could mean a greater possibility for error.  As a result, the consumer could be denied a job, housing, insurance or credit. Just one error on a background report can cause significant harm.  Procedures for maintaining and dispensing accurate information are critical. Background reports must ensure proper identification of the applicant, plus accurate data related to the applicant.  Disclaimers by background reporting companies do not cure permissible violations.  Instead, they could violate a person’s privacy, which is strictly prohibited under the FCRA.

Written Permission for a Background Check

When a background check is required, the prospective employer or landlord must obtain written permission from the applicant to request a report.  A Disclosure Notice and Authorization form must be filled out and signed by the applicant, then submitted to the background check company. Most authorization forms require the applicant’s full name, date of birth, social security number, current zip code, phone number and email address.  Screening for some types of employment may require additional information, such as motor vehicle reports, employment verifications or international criminal checks.

Victim of a Mixed Credit Files?  Steps to Take

If you’re the victim of a mixed file, take steps to dispute the errors with the reporting bureau.

  • Obtain a copy of the screening report used by the employer or landlord to evaluate your application.
  • Prepare a written dispute and send it to the background check company. Enclose a copy of the report with the error highlighted. Include documents which illustrate why the reported information is incorrect.
  • Request investigation of your dispute. The background company must send a response to your dispute, and correct or remove the inaccuracy within 30 days of your dispute.

Seek help from a Fair Credit Reporting Lawyer

The attorneys at Flitter Milz have extensive experience dealing with violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act.  If a background checking company fails to correct information on your report, and you’ve suffer the loss of a job, rental, or other damages, you may be able to sue the company for money – and your legal fees will be paid by that violating reporting bureau.  Contact us today for a no cost legal evaluation.
Pictured:  Cary Flitter (center), Andy Milz (left), Jody López-Jacobs (right).