All consumers in New Jersey deserve to be treated fairly, however, consumer fraud costs millions of dollars in losses each year. Despite state and federal laws governing the activities of businesses, creditors and merchants, unfair and deceptive practices remain pervasive. If you have been harmed by an auto dealer, mortgage company, credit card issuer, home appliance dealer or another provider of consumer goods and services, it takes a skilled consumer protection lawyer to fight for your rights.
Rosenblatt Law PC provides aggressive representation to consumers throughout Northern New Jersey. We have a well-deserved reputation as dedicated advocates who help consumers fight back against unfair and fraudulent practices. Well-versed in the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act and other applicable consumer protection laws, we leverage our skills and resources to help victims of consumer fraud obtain just compensation. When you consult with us, you will have confidence, knowing that our consumer protection lawyers are in your corner.
How Are Consumers Protected From Fraud in New Jersey?
The New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act (CFA) is one of the strongest consumer protection laws in the country. The anti-fraud statute applies to transactions ranging from car sales, to sales of consumer goods, to deceptive practices by contractors.
In short, the CFA prohibits sales people, merchants and contractors from using deceptive practices in consumer transactions. A deceptive practice may involve intentionally providing false information to a consumer or misleading a consumer by omission. While there are a great many fraudulent schemes that can harm consumers, common unfair and deceptive practices include:
- False advertising
- Selling dangerous/defective products
- Charging exorbitant, unwarranted or undisclosed fees
- Bait-and-switch sales tactics
Finally, sales covered by the CFA include both business to consumer and business to business transactions, provided that the business is a consumer of goods and services in the state.
What Businesses Fall Under the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act
The New Jersey Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) has issued regulations applying the CFA to a number of industries, such as:
The Auto Industry
The CFA applies to sales, leases, financing and repairs of motor vehicles in New Jersey. In particular, auto dealers are prohibited from selling damaged or defective vehicles, lying about pricing, warranties, repair histories, and terms of financing, rolling back odometers, and engaging in other deceptive acts and statements.
Home Improvement Contractors
Home improvement contractors must adhere to strict regulations in New Jersey. In particular, all home improvement contracts must be in writing and contractors are prohibited from a variety of fraudulent acts, such as demanding final payment before a job is complete, misrepresenting the materials to be used, failing to obtain permits, and using bait-and-switch sales tactics. A home improvement contractor who engages in consumer fraud is liable for treble damages and attorney fees.
In New Jersey, health clubs are also subject to scrutiny by the DCA. In particular, health club contracts must be in writing and members cannot be required to renew. Additionally, the contract must allow the consumer to cancel within 3 days of signing, upon the owner’s death and under other limited circumstances. Also, a health club cannot require a down payment greater than 25 percent.
Under the CFA, temporary and permanent employment agencies must be duly licensed to conduct business in the state. Moreover, contracts between employment agencies and job candidates must be in writing, clearly state the fees to be paid by the job seeker, if any, and specify the services to be provided by the agency. Finally, employment agencies are prohibited from using deceptive or misleading advertising, charging fees without a contract, taking fees when a candidate has not accepted a position, and other deceptive practices.
Other Industries Covered In the Consumer Fraud Act
The New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act covers other industries, including:
- Banks and lending institutions
- Real estate sales and services
- Home appliance repair services
- Personal information security (cyber/malware protection)
- Telecommunications/information services
- Online dating services
- Pet stores/sales
If you have suffered a financial loss as the result of consumer fraud in New Jersey, you have powerful legal remedies under the CFA. The best way to enforce your rights is to work with a trustworthy consumer protection attorney.
Contact Our Hackensack Consumer Fraud Attorney
At Rosenblatt Law PC, our practice is dedicated to combating consumer fraud in all its forms. We provide our clients with first-rate representation and also co-counsel with consumer fraud attorneys throughout the state. Our legal team has successfully litigated against deceptive home improvement contractors, helped aggrieved consumers obtain restitution from banks and mortgage lenders, and achieved significant settlements and jury verdicts in all types of consumer protection cases.
At times, consumer fraud is handled as a class-action lawsuit in which the claims of numerous consumers who have suffered similar harm are combined. A class or action can be used as leverage to bring a defendant to the negotiating table and ensure that all participants are treated equitably. Regardless of the legal action we take, Rosenblatt Law PC knows how to hold businesses accountable for consumer fraud and will fight for your right to just compensation. Please contact our office to set up a free consultation.
Located in Hackensack, Rosenblatt Law PC regularly represents consumers in Bergen, Essex, Morris, Passaic, Sussex, and Union counties and throughout all of Northern Jersey and the greater New York area.