This is a website about laws and legal decisions that affect consumers in Virginia. A had a professor in law school who would have called them “the ground rules for economic combat” between normal people and businesses like banks, credit card companies, payday lenders, and car dealerships–really, any company that sells anything.
First lesson: the ground rules are unfair. In the world of consumer financial services, Virginia is a remarkably business-friendly state. Virginia CLE tells us that the Commonwealth is the only state in the union without
- A class-action procedure;
- An unfair or deceptive acts or practices law for mortgage lenders;
- Licensing or supervision requirements for sales finance entities; or
- A retail or motor-vehicle installment sales act.
Virginia does have a law generally restricting unfair and deceptive acts and practices–the Virginia Consumer Protection Act–but that law is not nearly as powerful as the coordinate laws adopted by other states. And while consumers can bring lawsuits for fraud, the Richmond Metro line of decisions makes that extremely difficult in a case involving a breach of contract.
But things aren’t hopeless. This website will explore legal developments from the point of view of the consumer–the regular person–and suggest ways to level the playing field.