Jeff Haynie Law Office

For Consumers

Complaints to Consumer-Protection Agencies

Below are some agencies that might offer help if you have been the victim of identity theft or an unfair or deceptive business practice. Some of these agencies provide the possibility of an informal resolution of your complaint, without the expense of hiring an attorney to take formal legal action. However, contacting these agencies and waiting for them might also use up valuable time. It is important to take legal action before expiration of the applicable statute of limitations, which is the amount of time allowed for filing a claim in court.

The Florida Attorney General accepts consumer complaints about Florida businesses and enforces some of Florida’s consumer-protection statutes. You may learn more and file a complaint here.

The Florida Attorney General has set up a website specifically for assisting consumers with questions about Florida’s lemon law.  Florida’s lemon law only applies to a car that is purchased new and continues malfunctioning after the manufacturer has been given an opportunity to repair it. Another helpful summary of Florida’s lemon law is provided by the Florida Bar.

The Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation accepts consumer complaints against individuals and companies that are licensed by the state to carry on all kinds of businesses, ranging from auctioneers to barbers to contractors and more. You may learn more and file a complaint here

The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles investigates consumer complaints against car dealers, among other businesses. You may learn more and file a complaint here

The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services investigates consumer complaints against car repair shops (mechanics), among other businesses. You may learn more and file a complaint here.

The Florida Office of Financial Regulation accepts consumer complaints against mortgage brokers, lenders and others in the financial industry. You may learn more and file a complaint here.

The Florida Department of Financial Services, Division of Consumer Services accepts complaints about insurance companies and insurance agents. You may learn more and file a complaint here.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) accepts consumer complaints against businesses that are operating unfairly or deceptively. You may learn more and file a complaint here.

The FTC has also set up a website specifically for assisting victims of identity theft. That site provides a list of suggested steps to take in order to prevent criminals from doing any more damage and to begin repairing any damage that may have already been done.

Another organization helping victims of identity theft is the Identity Theft Resource Center.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) accepts consumer complaints against companies that provide financial services, such as banks, mortgage lenders or servicers, credit card companies, credit reporting agencies, etc. You may learn more and file a complaint here

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) regulates the investment industry and investigates consumer complaints regarding a wide range of investment products. You may learn more and file a complaintt here.  In order for FINRA to investigate a complaint, the individual or company that sold the investment product must be registered with FINRA.  If that is not the case, the SEC might be able to help.

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) also regulates the investment industry and accepts consumer complaints regarding securities fraud and other problems with investments. You may learn more and file a complaint here

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) accepts consumer complaints against interstate moving companies. You may learn more and file a complaint here.

Before Buying a Car

There are potential traps when buying a car, new or used, so consumers should educate themselves before making a purchase. Some helpful car-buying guides are provided by the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles and by Clark Howard, a consumer advocate who has guides for buying a new car and for buying a used car.

Extra caution should be exercised when buying a used car. We should ask the seller specific questions about the things that are most important to us – for example, whether the car has any known defects, whether it has been damaged in an accident or flood, how many prior owners, etc. But even if those questions are answered to our satisfaction, it is best to check into the car’s history for ourselves. This can be done by having the car examined by an independent mechanic of our choosing before the sale is completed, and by pulling information from National Motor Vehicle Title Information System (NMVTIS). A car dealer’s refusal to allow inspection by an independent mechanic should be seen as a big red flag. Consumers may obtain a report with NMVTIS information, showing prior transfers of title and prior odometer readings, among other things. You may learn more about the NMVTIS here, and order a report with NNVTIS information here.

There is generally no “cooling off” period, or right of rescission, for car sales. There are few exceptions to this rule, so car buyers should not count on being able to cancel a purchase after signing a contract.

As with any purchase, it is very important to read and understand any contract for the purchase of a car before signing it. We should not sign a contract to purchase a car if the terms are not completely filled in, and we should be sure to get a copy of any contract we sign.

Jeff VennJeff Venn
20:26 01 Apr 22
Jeff is a highly intelligent but chill and down to earth person. I recommend him for his honesty and straight-forward approach to practicing law. Highly recommend for business owners.
Kevin FeenstraKevin Feenstra
16:35 17 Sep 21
Mr. Haynie was a great help to me with an issue I had regarding a local business, he was able to direct me to several valuable resources that I was unaware of to assist with my issue. Thank you so much!
alien yero camejoalien yero camejo
18:54 10 May 21
I just called and the attention was excellent, thank you!
felica brooksfelica brooks
10:59 07 Jun 20
Absolutely great Attorney respectful and very efficient handled my case and did an awesome job i would hire Mr. Haynie 10 times over he stays on top of things and makes sure you know exactly what is happening from beginning to end i Definitely recommend Mr. Haynie only a phone call away thank you so much for your help
Richard RameyRichard Ramey
14:17 03 May 19
I was referred to Mr. H a short time ago due to an issue regarding a new vehicle purchase at a dealership (Car dealerships should be named “Stealerships”). Most attorneys would not be interested in dealing with a case like this, however Mr. H was more than happy to do so. He quickly resolved the issue for me, and at a great price. Being impressed with his quick & painless work for me, he has since worked on more business issues for me. He is now my attorney for my businesses & me personally, and I cannot say enough good things about him. He is a phone call away. If you cannot get in touch with him the first time, simply leave him a message or email him. Unlike most firms, HE responds to you as quickly as possible. When I say HE, I really mean HE actually reaches out to you (unlike some other places that advertise on TV.....). I cannot say enough good things about him, he is great to deal with. He is actually the first attorney that I have ever dealt with that I actually trust.