Financial law encompasses a wide variety of topics, including consumer fraud, violations of consumer protection laws and stock fraud. Banks and other financial institutions are governed by federal and state laws and regulations to ensure consumers and investors are protected from violations of financial law. Although there are many laws designed to protect consumers and investors, including the Consumer Credit Protection Act and ERISA, consumers may still find themselves unknowingly affected by investment scams, financial fraud, non-disclosure of financial solvency, or illegal lending practices.
Consumer Banking & Lending Violations & Deceptive PracticesIssues with financial institutions—including banks, credit card issuers and mortgage lenders—occur when consumers are not properly informed about the fees and other risks associated with their accounts or when the financial institution fails to uphold its end of a contract. Examples of consumer banking or lending violations can include issues with HELOC (Home Equity Line of Credit) contracts, mortgage fraud, abusive overdraft policies, and excessive fees for various banking transactions.
In addition, consumer banking violations can occur when a particular class or group of individuals is excluded from certain banking services or not made aware that such services are available.
Consumer FraudConsumer fraud occurs when money is illegally taken from consumers. This can occur through a variety of scams, hoaxes, schemes or abuse. In some cases, such as identity theft, the victim may not know her money has been taken until well after the fact. Examples of consumer fraud include mortgage lending scams, financial elder abuse, business opportunities fraud, Internet or email fraud and unfair business practices.
With the increase in the use of technology comes an increase in scams perpetrated online. Such scams include lottery/sweepstakes scams (in which the victim sends in money to claim a false prize), false Internet purchases, loan scams (in which the victim is required to send money for loan fees), e-mail scans (in which the victim is prompted to click a link to his banking institution and input his password, giving the fraudsters access to his banking information) or e-mail scams (in which the victim is asked to wire someone money so they can get back into the US).
SecuritiesEven the most seasoned investor can fall prey to unethical stockbrokers or financial advisers. A group of shareholders can also find themselves the victims of securities fraud by company officers and directors who misrepresent a company's financial position to shareholders. Issues such as securities and stock fraud, stockbroker fraud or problems with company issued stock options and Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) violations can cause serious financial hardship for investors and plan participants.
In some cases, violations of securities laws are dealt with in the courtroom. However, in other cases, victims must go through FINRA (Financial Industry Regulatory Authority) arbitration.
Financial LawyersIf you are an individual or group with financial problems, you will need the help of qualified financial lawyers. It is important that you find an experienced financial awyer to handle your case. LawyersandSettlements makes it easy for you to find the right financial attorney. We work with attorneys throughout the US and Canada who practice in this specialized area.
As well, LawyersandSettlements.com provides comprehensive financial news coverage that aims to keep the public informed. We provide an online legal news source that includes interviews with environmental attorneys.
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Updated on Jan-24-12