• Consumer Protection Law and Advocacy — Chicago, IL

My Credit Report isn't right - Chicago Consumer Attorney - Bardo Law PC

Committed to Consumer Justice – COVID-19 Action Plan

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As we face challenging times, I want to assure our clients, friends, and colleagues that we remain committed to consumer justice. While the firm will be employing remote work for the foreseeable future, and courts are now closed to non-essential business, here is what we are doing:

(1) maintaining contacts – potential and current clients will receive calls or e-mails back within 24 hours and we can continue to employ remote conferencing when necessary;

(2) continuing work – while judges will not be seeing most litigants or their counsel face-to-face, both Illinois and federal courts require e-filing so motions and complaints will continue to be filed and discovery will proceed as swiftly as practical;

(3) extending courtesies – we always believe in having good working relationships, even with our opponents, and we will, with client permission, adapt and be as flexible as possible to ensure the health, safety, and well-being of witnesses, court reporters, and each other; and

(4) reflecting – without the hustle of a daily commute or a rush to court, we can continue to be strategic and plan ahead.

In sum, we remain “open” for business, working on current files, and speaking with new clients to evaluate their cases. Do not hesitate to reach out with questions, concerns, to request an update or just to say hi. Stay well, be kind, and let’s work together to help our community.

Yours very truly,
Stacy M. Bardo

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The Shifting Ground on Standing Issues in Consumer Law – Stacy Bardo Presents at the Chicago Bar Association

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Even though it has been several years since the Supreme Court issued the decision in Spokeo v. Robbins, standing issues in consumer law are more relevant than ever.

This program is intended to discuss current and developing issues regarding standing, including recent decisions under consumer protection laws such as the FDCPA and FCRA, the status of class actions with new standards guiding whether a class can be certified when members have different standing concerns, and developments in consumer credit (identity theft and credit repair) and privacy related topics (FACTA, data breach, and the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act, including discussion of Rosenbach v. Six Flags).

Topics:
– Ongoing effect of Spokeo on consumer cases.
– Recurring standing issues in class cases.
– Unique standing arguments and case developments in consumer and privacy-related cases, including FDCPA, FCRA, data breach, BIPA, identity theft, and credit repair.

Speakers:

Bryan Thompson, Chicago Consumer Law Center, P.C.

Stacy Bardo, Bardo Law, P.C.

Steven Uhrich, Uhrich Law, P.C.

Katrina Carroll, Carlson Lynch LLP

Moderator:
Robert Harrer, Chicago Consumer Law Center, P.C; Vice-Chair, CBA Consumer Law Committee

National Consumer Law Center - Bardo Law PC

The Consumer Rights Litigation Conference

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Stacy Bardo is once again an invited panelist at the National Consumer Law Center’s annual Consumer Rights Litigation Conference.  On Thursday, November 14, 2019, Ms. Bardo will speak on settlement negotiation tactics.  Together with Steve Koval, Koval Law Firm, LLC, and Mandi Matlock, Texas RioGrande Legal Aid, the panel will discuss tax ramifications, confidentiality clauses, and other common clauses impacting consumer law litigation settlements.

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Identity Theft and Data Security

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Identity theft and data security top the consumer concern list. From data breaches to credit and debit card compromises, more and more consumers are impacted. Unfortunately, it’s no longer a question of if your data will be stolen but when.

A new crop of businesses now promise consumer protection. Some offer “dark web” checks. The dark web can’t be accessed by commonly used web browsers — you need a special browser to get there. The dark web isn’t all bad but it’s the place to buy and sell stolen personal information, often with Bitcoins or cryptocurrency. Businesses offering dark web monitoring may let you know your information is for sale. But they can’t remove the information once posted. When you are not dealing with legitimate agencies, they don’t cooperate with fraud victims.

Be aware of dark web monitoring limitations. Don’t pay for promises that can’t be kept. But dark web monitoring can let you know if your information is posted. This way, you can take your own action to limit your information’s use. Do this through credit freezes or two-step verification for online purchases.

The Consumer Federation of America’s survey shows that 36% of consumers don’t understand dark web monitoring services. Check out the survey results and other helpful tips at https://consumerfed.org/consumers-are-in-the-dark-about-dark-web-monitoring-services/.

There are plenty of no cost resources for identity theft victims. Visit the Federal Trade Commission’s www.identitytheft.gov, and the nonprofit Identity Theft Resource Center, www.idtheftcenter.org.

If your information has been compromised and you’re contacted by unfamiliar creditors or debt collectors, contact a lawyer for help. The federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and Fair Credit Reporting Act and state fraud laws provide redress for identity theft victims.

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Make Your Voice Heard

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Public Comments Due August 19, 2019

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau needs to hear from consumers to understand the problems with the Bureau’s proposed new debt collection rule. Under the proposed new rule, debt collectors would be permitted to:

The proposed rule would allow collectors to:

  • Call you 7 times per week, per debt. 
  • Contact you by text, email, or direct message without your permission, and send important information through hyperlinks;
  • Sue you without the collector’s attorneys reviewing original account documents to ensure you are the right person and the debt is the right amount; and
  • Collect debt so old, the deadline for a lawsuit has already expired.

You can e-mail your comments and stories with harassing debt collectors directly to 2019-NPRM-DebtCollection@cfpb.gov.  More information can be found by visiting https://www.nclc.org/issues/take-action-debt-collection-rule.html.

If you have a story to share or want more information regarding your right to fight back against unfair debt collectors, please contact our office.

24th Annual Consumer Financial Services Institute – Chicago

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Stacy Bardo has once again been invited to speak as a panelist at PLI’s Consumer Financial Services Institute.  2019 will mark the 24th year of this program, considered the premier consumer financial services CLE program in the country.

The program is designed to update attendees on current litigation trends and also focuses on what is keeping government regulators and enforcement agencies busy.

 

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Trans Union Credit Report Settlement – Update

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Trans Union’s credit report settlement impacts consumers who may have had a tax lien or civil judgment reported on their credit reports.  The district court approved a class action settlement in the case of Clark v. Trans Union, LLC.  Details about the settlement are available at http://www.tupublicrecordsettlementadr.com.

The Clark case alleged that Trans Union included inaccurate information about public records on its credit reports and did not disclose from whom it obtained the public record information.  While Trans Union denied that it did anything wrong, it agreed to settle the case on a class action basis.

The following consumers may be eligible to participate in the credit report settlement:

  • If the consumer requested a Trans Union credit report between May 20, 2009 and March 23, 2018;
  • The requested credit report contained a public record (such as a bankruptcy, judgment, or tax lien);
  • The public record information was inaccurate or did not belong to the consumer.

Now that the district court has approved the credit report settlement, Trans Union is establishing an Alternative Dispute Resolution Program.  If consumers are able to show they were injured because of inaccurate public records information on their credit reports, the consumer may get a payment of at least $1,500.

For more information, please contact Bardo Law or the lawyers who settled the case:

TransUnion Settlement Class Counsel
763 J. Clyde Morris Blvd., Suite 1A
Newport News, VA 23601

National Consumer Law Center - Bardo Law PC

Consumer Rights Litigation Conference

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Stacy Bardo will speak at NCLC’s annual Consumer Rights Litigation Conference.  This year, Stacy is honored to present with attorneys Anna Prakash of Nichols Kaster, PLLP and Vildan Teske of Teske Katz Kitzer &  Rochel, PLLP to discuss discovery issues commonly facing litigators.  In 2015, the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure were amended to add proportionality requirements and new sanctions remedies but how have those amendments played out in practice?  Stacy looks forward to a spirited discussion of the challenges facing consumer plaintiffs in the discovery process.

Recognizing Our Military And Protecting Service Members

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Military Consumer Month kicks off this July at the Federal Trade Commission:

“Empowering servicemembers, veterans, and their families is a top priority,” Chairman Joe Simons said. “During Military Consumer Month, we will highlight the agency’s resources to help the military community avoid imposter scams – but our work on behalf of those who serve continues throughout the year.”

Service members and their dependents have special rights relating to consumer debt issues.  The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act should ease financial burdens during military service and covers full-time active duty members of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard.  The Act also covers reservists on federal active duty and National Guard members under orders for more than 30 days.  Servicemembers lawfully absent from duty are also protected.

The Act’s benefits include:

  • A 6% interest cap on debt owed before joining the military (credit card, auto loan or mortgage)
  • Protection against entry of default judgments by creditors
  • No repossessions without a court order
  • Extra options for lease terminations

To learn more about the Act, visit the Department of Justice’s website at https://www.justice.gov/servicemembers/servicemembers-veterans-and-military-family-members.

Practising Law Institute – Representing the Consumer

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Stacy Bardo will be in San Francisco to help train other attorneys on representing consumer clients.

Why You Should Attend
Volunteer lawyers are needed to help the many low income clients facing a wide assortment of consumer law matters who are unrepresented.  Attend this program to learn the basics of consumer law so that you can competently represent a client in need and learn new advocacy skills. 

What You Will Learn
• 
Introduction to Fair Credit Reporting Act
• Overview of State and Federal Restraints on Debt Collection
• A Primer on Automobile Fraud
• Representing the Unsecured Debtor
• Mortgage Servicer Litigation
• Assisting Student Loan Borrowers
• Developing a Working Relationship with Legal Services Organizations