Welcome to our December newsletter! For over twenty five years we have helped people facing identity theft , abusive debt collectors , predatory lenders, credit reporting errors , wrongful foreclosure , student loan debt collection and car repossessions . 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!
Holland Law Firm - In the News
Peter Holland was a featured guest on The Doctors , a nationally syndicated talk show, in a segment called "Money V$ Medicine." One of the main points: surprise medical bills are increasing at alarming rates around the country and hospitals are suing their patients for payment. Peter explained during the interview with Dr. Travis Stork that medical debt is different, it is not like other debt. Out of nowhere you can have a medical emergency and you don't have a choice in the cost of services. Four in 10 Americans couldn't cover a $400 emergency according to a 2017 Federal Reserve Board study. So this kind of debt can be devastating for a family and put them in line for filing for bankruptcy. Surprise medical debt is quickly becoming a national crisis. The segment airs in December.
Forced Arbitration: Consumers Left Out
Chances are when you sign a contract for a new cell phone, lease on a car, open a bank account, or for nursing home services, you have "agreed" to forced arbitration. Buried in the fine print, many contracts state that when a problem arises with the service or product, you cannot sue in court. And if you do sue, you can be forced into arbitration. Arbitration is a process with no judge, no jury and no right of appeal. Moreover, most forced arbitration clauses contain a ban on class actions. The result: most people cannot find a lawyer to take a consumer case to arbitration. So the bad practices continue without the light of day being shined by an impartial jury or judge.
For more background on forced arbitration, read this excellent three part series from the New York Times .
Legislation is currently pending to address forced arbitration: H.R. 1423 The Forced Arbitration Injustice Repeal Act (FAIR) Act . It passed the house with bipartisan support but it is now sitting in the Senate Judiciary Committee. The bill has the backing of both the National Consumer Law Center and the National Association of Consumer Advocates.
Buying a New or Used Car: Often the Dealership Financing has the
Highest Interest Rate
When you decide to buy a new or used car, do you sometimes feel as though you are going to do battle? Has a car dealer ever asked "how much do you want to pay per month?" Most financial advisers would tell you don't finance through the dealership. Instead, get pre-approved financing through your bank or credit union or directly from an auto finance company , and then go to the dealership. Most dealers will not disclose that when you apply for financing through the dealer, many will shop your application to different lenders and then select the lender that will give the dealer the highest "dealer participation" fee. The higher the interest rate, the bigger the fee to the car dealer. The solution is to take out the middle person: get your financing ahead of time from a bank, credit union or auto finance company . That way, the only thing you have to negotiate is the cash price. Read former car dealer Remar Sutton's advice from " Don't Get Taken Every Time ." Here is Chapter One, " A Day in the Life of Killer Monsoon " which is a fictional account of what is really going on from the car dealer's perspective when you walk on to the lot.
The Holland Law Firm recently sponsored a hole at the Federal Bar Association's (Maryland Chapter) 10th Annual Columbus Day golf outing.

Peter also attended a conference in Boston last month to celebrate the National Consumer Law Center's 50th anniversary.

Peter 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 , an 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 may be able to help.

CONTACT US us for a consultation.
Also, visit our LinkedIn page.
Peter A. Holland
T he Holland Law Firm, P.C.
914 Bay Ridge Road, Suite 230
Annapolis, MD 21403
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.