Welcome to our September newsletter! For over twenty five years we have helped people facing abusive debt collectors, predatory lenders, credit reporting errors, wrongful foreclosure and car repossessions. In this newsletter, we highlight strategies to avoid overpriced car sales and focus on the difficult problem of medical debt. This newsletter and our website are full of information on how to protect yourself in the constantly evolving world of consumer privacy and financial abuse. If you find them useful, we hope you will share our tips!
Car Troubles
Buying a car can be exciting, but fast talking high pressure sales people, complicated paperwork, misleading advertising and contract add-ons can result in a car purchase that is more than you bargained for. Beware of unwanted add-ons, like undercoating, fabric protection, and extended warranties. After some car dealers know how big of a loan you qualify for, they will try to max out your sales price by "packing in" these added products. Also, while GAP insurance and extended warranties may be something you are interested in, check the rates with your current car insurance provider. Often they can provide the same or better coverage for less than the auto dealer is offering. Check out this list of resources and if you find yourself with a contract that is not what you signed, contact us for a review of your rights.

Even a brand new car can have problems. If a car turns out to be a lemon, check out Maryland's lemon law and contact us with questions.
Surprise Medical Bills
With or without health insurance, paying for medical care is not easy. Many folks lucky enough to have insurance still face co-pays and high deductibles. In the case of an emergency, the financial stakes can be even higher. Although the hospital might be in-network, the surgeon or anesthesiologist, for example, might not be. In those cases, patients have been hit with exorbitant medical bills, for services they didn't know they were agreeing to. These "surprise medical bills" can be financially devastating. The rate charged is often significantly higher than one charged to an insurance company and the ability to negotiate may be limited. Recent news articles have highlighted these outrageous practices in Virginia and New Mexico , but it's happening across the country.
Medical Debt Can Cause Serious Problems
According to a recent study, 66% of bankruptcies are a result of medical debt. As patients struggle to pay their medical bills, some hospitals get aggressive, suing the patient directly or selling the debt to a private collector. These actions can be enormously stressful, cause damage to your credit rating, and even result in wage garnishment. A recent study by the AFL-CIO of Johns Hopkins Hospital found the hospital filed more than 2,400 lawsuits since 2009, most of them against the working class and poor. There are laws protecting consumers from being unfairly pursued. If you are being hounded for medical debt contact us for a review of your situation.
Inaccurate Credit Report?
Y our credit report will be used to verify your loan eligibility, affect the finance rate you are offered, impact your rental application, and may even affect your ability to get a job. Therefore, it's important to be sure it's accurate. Mistakes do happen. An FTC study estimated that 26% of consumers who checked their credit reports found potentially damaging errors. You are entitled to a free credit report yearly at Annual Credit Report . There are websites pretending to be a credible resource for your credit report, but make sure you use the one we listed here!

Check out our website for tips on how to stay on top of your credit score. If you find an error on your report, take the steps listed here to correct the report and protect your reputation.
Helpful Organizations
 Did you know that there are national and regional organizations dedicated to protecting consumer rights and fighting back against business abuses? Peter Holland is on the board of directors for the National Association of Consumer Advocates. Emanwel Turnbull is on the board of directors for Maryland Consumer Rights Coalition. Both Peter and Emanwel are members of Law Zebra, a new groundbreaking consumer rights organization of independent consumer rights lawyers who hail from several states across the country.
We Are Here to Help. Call Us!
Do you know someone being hounded by debt collectors for a mortgage, student loan, medical debt, residential lease, car loan, or credit card debt ? Do you know someone who is the victim of Identity Theft or Credit Reporting Errors? We can help. Call us at 410 280 6133!
Check Out Our New Website
We recently revamped our entire website and launched a LinkedIn page. Check them out and let us know what you think!

Peter A. Holland
The Holland Law Firm, P.C.
Annapolis, MD
410 280 6133

NOTE: This newsletter may be considered to constitute advertising under Rule 7.2 of the Maryland Code of Professional Conduct and other state rules. Peter Holland is responsible for the content.