Attorney Margaret Reiter was a consumer investigator with the Los Angeles County Consumer Affairs Department for four years and worked for 20 years as a consumer prosecutor with the California Attorney General's Consumer Law Section. She has investigated or prosecuted businesses engaged in consumer fraud including foreclosure "consultants," mortgage lenders, debt settlement companies, vocational schools, living trust mill/annuity sellers, prepaid phone card companies, and tax refund anticipation loan providers. She has drafted consumer protection legislation, advocated for stronger consumer protection before regulatory agencies, trained other prosecutors and investigators, and prepared consumer alerts and spoken to the public on Truth-in-Lending, telephone slamming and cramming, truth in phone billing, bankruptcy, and vocational schools, among other consumer topics.
Articles By Margaret Reiter
Learn about requesting a "claims and defenses" chargeback.
The federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) makes illegal certain collection tactics used by collection agencies.
Here's how to find the holder or servicer for your loans.
If your child's other parent sues you and gets a judgment against you for unpaid child support, that parent has a whole host of collection methods available (more than without a judgment for chil
If you dispute an item in your credit report, but the credit reporting agency refuses to correct it, you can take additional steps to remedy the problem.
Here's how to get your credit report from the "other" credit bureaus.
You can request that a collection agency verify the amount and validity of a debt. But you must act quickly.
If your car or other property is repossessed, you might still owe the lender money on the contract. The amount you owe is called the "deficiency" or "deficiency balance."
A secured debt is one for which a specific item of property—called a security interest or collateral—guarantees payment of the debt.
In addition to disputing incorrect or incomplete information and adding explanations for negative information the credit reporting agency will not remove, you may want to ask the credit reportin