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.
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.