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Steven Michael Fahlgren

Steven Fahlgren’s Answers

251 total


  • I don't have money to get a lawyer, someone stole my identity what can I do?

    I need help please.

    Steven’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    I am sorry to hear of your troubles. As a previous victim of identity theft, I have some idea what you are going through at this time. I have also been involved in hundreds of hours of litigation with the credit bureaus and obtained a multimillion dollar jury verdict against Equiifax so I have considerable experience with this problem. See http://www.fortheconsumer.com/in-the-news.htm

    You should file a police report if you have not done so already. In my experience, I have not seen a high priority to prosecute identity thieves. If there is a prosecution, the court has authority to issue orders to correct public records. See Section 817.568(9)(b), Fla. Stat.

    You should review your credit reports ASAP. It would probably be a good idea to review your credit report prepared by Equifax, Trans Union, Experian and Innovis. You can get the first three so for free once a year by calling 877-322-8228. It is a lot simpler and quicker than jumping through all the hoops on the internet and you do not risk mistakenly agreeing to waive your right to a jury trial by arbitration. Please be sure to stay on the line until you have ordered all three reports. You can order your free copy of your Innovis report by calling 1-800-540-2505.

    If there are errors on your credit report, you should consider disputing with the credit bureaus who claim you owe a debt. You should be as detailed as possible. Hopefully, that will take care of the problem or at least help. Because you have advised that your case involves identity theft, you should file a police report and also complete a fraud affidavit from the FTC to submit to the credit bureaus along with your dispute. I strongly recommend that documents be sent to the credit bureaus rather than calling in your dispute or disputing online. In my experience, the credit bureaus take document disputes a little more seriously. If you do not dispute with the credit bureaus, it makes a case against the credit bureaus much more difficult. If you contact my office via email, I can provide a free instructional letter that helps you draft a dispute to the credit bureaus.

    You should request that the credit bureaus give you an EXTENDED fraud alert on your credit reports.

    If there are errors on your credit report, you should also dispute with the furnishers who claim you owe a debt. If you contact my office via email, I can provide a free debt validation letter. In your disputes, as set forth in my instructional letter, you should be as detailed as possible.

    If the credit bureau, creditor or debt collector writes back requesting more information, you should provide that to them even if it seems to be a stalling tactic or nonsense. If you do not, they will take the position in any litigation that you failed to mitigate your damages. Most judges and juries are going to expect you to use your best efforts to solve the problem.

    If after you dispute to the creditors and the credit bureaus, the debt collectors continue to try to collect the identity theft debt by sending you dunning letters or by placing or leaving items on your credit report, then you probably have a claim under Florida's Consumer Collection Practices Act and/or the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

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  • I have 3 DBAs and I want to rename them and put them under a parent company. The goal is to have fewer annual filings.

    Ideally I want to have the parent company name ABC with 3 divisions underneath it...real estate, remodeling, design. The goal is to have less federal, state, local filings by putting the 3 companies under one parent. Don't know if that is possib...

    Steven’s Answer

    It appears that you want to avoid paying the annual filing fee, the annual fee for the accountant to prepare each corporate tax return and any additional licensing headaches by changing your corporate organizations from three to one corporation with the one corporation having thee divisions. Of course, if a division does business as a different name, you need to be concerned about trademark issues and every five years, you need to file for and pay approximately $50 for each fictitious name. There is a big downside and that is you are making the corporate assets of the entire corporation available to satisfy any judgment or liability incurred by one division. Also, when it comes time to sell a division, it is not as clean. It is a lot easier to sell the stock in a separate corporation in my opinion. Of course, there are other lawyers smarter than me who might disagree. I wish you and your family the best in the future.

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  • In 1998, GMAC credit filed a judgement on me for a car that I voluntary returned (repo) due to ongoing mechanical problems.

    In 1998, GMAC credit filed a judgement on me for a car that I voluntary returned (repo) due to ongoing mechanical problems. For 15 years I assumed that this debt was written off by GMAC as I never heard from them, and it does not show on any of my...

    Steven’s Answer

    Good news. Wages are exempt in Florida if you are the head of household, i.e. ,provide more than one-half of the support for another person. Although judgments last a long time now, there was a time when they needed to be rerecorded, etc., so you need an attorney to spend about a half hour with you reviewing the judgment, etc. and discussing your options. It might take an hour if you get into all of the exemptions and still longer if you want to discuss a possible Chapter 7 bankruptcy. I wish you the best in the future.

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  • Identity theft.

    I've just found out someone without a ssn has been using my ssn for... basically living his entire life. What steps do I need to take, what recourse do I have?

    Steven’s Answer

    Robert Sola, Mike Baxter and Justin Baxter are Portland attorneys with the reputation of having the highest verdicts against Equifax and Trans Union. I have worked with them. I would recommend you give them a call.

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  • I bought used car that broke down within a few days, can I sue the dealer?

    I bought a used car about 10 days ago from a dealer, i signed a paper that said "sold as is" and "no warranty". Today I took it to the shop and was told that the engine is bad and that it could break down anytime. I have not received my title or a...

    Steven’s Answer

    According to the information you have provided, you have a problem with a car dealer; specifically, you may have purchased a vehicle without proper disclosure or in a situation where the prior use, condition, history or type of vehicle was misrepresented. Fortunately, I have a lot of experience defending and suing car dealers. Prior to forming my own practice in 2002, I represented several car dealers. Since forming my own practice, I represent consumers and no longer represent any car dealers. I have sued several car dealerships for selling a used vehicle without proper disclosure. You have provided some basic information about your problem, but it would be helpful to review the contract documents.

    It sounds like you may have a claim for breach of contract, fraud and unfair and deceptive trade practices. Just because something is sold "as is" does not give the seller a license to lie about the prior use, condition or history of the vehicle. There are certain disclosure laws that apply to car dealers selling cars to consumers versus a dealer selling someone a vehicle for commercial use.

    It would also be useful to read a detailed time line in chronological order reflecting the dates and the specific details of what happened. I really need to know what representations were made, when they were made, who was present, the details and date/time of all communications with the car dealer, any finance company or any repair shop relating to your potential matter. It is very important that you also provide a chronological copy of the relevant documents including but not limited to any advertisements that may pertain to your vehicle, any documents you obtained from the dealership, finance company or repair shop.

    Ordinarily, you should not get the vehicle repaired or dispose of the vehicle unless and until it has been inspected by your expert and the other side has been given a significant opportunity to inspect the car as well. Otherwise, you may be subject to a defense that you spoiled the evidence.

    Again, based on the information you presented, you may have a case under Florida Unfair and Deceptive Trade Practices Act or another cause of action. Effective July 1, 2013, a law requires specific demand letters to car dealerships or you will lose valuable rights. It is usually advisable to retain an attorney before pursuing litigation. I wish you the best in the future.

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  • Can I report someone for lying about identity theft?

    I have a tenant who, I believe, lied about being a victim of identity theft, saying that the eviction that she had previously was a result of it. But she has shown me in several occasions that that could very well have been her own fault. I'm in t...

    Steven’s Answer

    I doubt you can be absolutely sure the person is lying, so you need to be careful.

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  • I bought a car and the dealer concealed many substantial problems with it. Dealer refuses remedy. Less than 24 hrs ago. Rights?

    I purchased a used car from a dealer. The car has several major issues including damaged brakes, faulty suspension strut, and a major defect in the fuel system that makes it impossible to fuel it and causes gas to spray back out of the tank. None ...

    Steven’s Answer

    According to the information you have provided, you have a problem with a car dealer; specifically, you may have purchased a vehicle without proper disclosure or in a situation where the prior use, condition, history or type of vehicle was misrepresented. Fortunately, I have a lot of experience defending and suing car dealers. Prior to forming my own practice in 2002, I represented several car dealers. Since forming my own practice, I represent consumers and no longer represent any car dealers. I have sued several car dealerships for selling a used vehicle without proper disclosure. You have provided some basic information about your problem, but it would be helpful to review the contract documents.

    It sounds like you may have a claim for breach of contract, fraud and unfair and deceptive trade practices. Just because something is sold "as is" does not give the seller a license to lie about the prior use, condition or history of the vehicle. There are certain disclosure laws that apply to car dealers selling cars to consumers versus a dealer selling someone a vehicle for commercial use.

    It would also be useful to read a detailed time line in chronological order reflecting the dates and the specific details of what happened. I really need to know what representations were made, when they were made, who was present, the details and date/time of all communications with the car dealer, any finance company or any repair shop relating to your potential matter. It is very important that you also provide a chronological copy of the relevant documents including but not limited to any advertisements that may pertain to your vehicle, any documents you obtained from the dealership, finance company or repair shop.

    Ordinarily, you should not get the vehicle repaired or dispose of the vehicle unless and until it has been inspected by your expert and the other side has been given a significant opportunity to inspect the car as well. Otherwise, you may be subject to a defense that you spoiled the evidence.

    Again, based on the information you presented, you may have a case under Florida Unfair and Deceptive Trade Practices Act or another cause of action. Effective July 1, 2013, a law requires specific demand letters to car dealerships or you will lose valuable rights. It is usually advisable to retain an attorney before pursuing litigation.

    Many consumers ask if there is an automatic right to cancel a contract to purchase a car within three days. The general answer is there is no three day right to cancel the transaction but, as always, there are exceptions. I'll give you some general guidelines. Consumers can rescind a contract if it was induced by fraud and the parties can be returned to the status quo. Consumers can revoke acceptance of a car if he or she received non-conforming goods, e.g., the consumer buys a 6 cylinder and later learns it is a 4 cylinder. Consumers would need to revoke acceptance in a reasonable time. Consumers can rescind a transaction if the sale involves a retail installment sale contract and the buyer has not taken delivery of the vehicle. Consumers can sometimes cancel a contract as part of a remedy if there is a breach of warranty and suit is brought under the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act. Consumers can cancel some deals if they have not received a copy of the retail installment sale contract and have not taken delivery of the vehicle. Section 520.07(c) of the Florida Statutes provides that "[u]ntil the seller has delivered or mailed to the buyer a copy of the retail installment contract, a buyer who has not received delivery of the motor vehicle shall have the right to rescind the agreement and to receive a refund of all payments made and return of all goods traded in to the seller on account of or in contemplation of the contract or, if such goods cannot be returned, the value thereof." There are a few other exceptions as well but I am out of room so I will post below.

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  • How can I use Capitalone Credit card for charging me a huge balance that I am not responsible for?

    I lost my purse about 6months (Friday night) thinking that I left it at my sister house. The next day (Saturday night) I checked in her car thinking that I misplaced it but the purse was gone out of my sight. I immediately called the banks and Cap...

    Steven’s Answer

    I am sorry to hear of your troubles. As a previous victim of identity theft, I have some idea what you are going through at this time. I have also been involved in hundreds of hours of litigation with the credit bureaus and obtained a multimillion dollar jury verdict against Equiifax so I have considerable experience with this problem. See http://www.fortheconsumer.com/in-the-news.htm

    You should file a police report if you have not done so already. In my experience, I have not seen a high priority to prosecute identity thieves. If there is a prosecution, the court has authority to issue orders to correct public records. See Section 817.568(9)(b), Fla. Stat.

    You should review your credit reports ASAP. It would probably be a good idea to review your credit report prepared by Equifax, Trans Union, Experian and Innovis. You can get the first three so for free once a year by calling 877-322-8228. It is a lot simpler and quicker than jumping through all the hoops on the internet and you do not risk mistakenly agreeing to waive your right to a jury trial by arbitration. Please be sure to stay on the line until you have ordered all three reports. You can order your free copy of your Innovis report by calling 1-800-540-2505.

    If there are errors on your credit report, you should consider disputing with the credit bureaus who claim you owe a debt. You should be as detailed as possible. Hopefully, that will take care of the problem or at least help. Because you have advised that your case involves identity theft, you should file a police report and also complete a fraud affidavit from the FTC to submit to the credit bureaus along with your dispute. I strongly recommend that documents be sent to the credit bureaus rather than calling in your dispute or disputing online. In my experience, the credit bureaus take document disputes a little more seriously. If you do not dispute with the credit bureaus, it makes a case against the credit bureaus much more difficult. If you contact my office via email, I can provide a free instructional letter that helps you draft a dispute to the credit bureaus.

    You should request that the credit bureaus give you an EXTENDED fraud alert on your credit reports.

    If there are errors on your credit report, you should also dispute with the furnishers who claim you owe a debt. If you contact my office via email, I can provide a free debt validation letter. In your disputes, as set forth in my instructional letter, you should be as detailed as possible.

    If the credit bureau, creditor or debt collector writes back requesting more information, you should provide that to them even if it seems to be a stalling tactic or nonsense. If you do not, they will take the position in any litigation that you failed to mitigate your damages. Most judges and juries are going to expect you to use your best efforts to solve the problem.

    See question 
  • I brought a truck and it broke down in two days, can i sue ?

    I've called the used car dealership, they stated, they will get the car towed to their mechanic. They refuse to give me a trade.

    Steven’s Answer

    According to the information you have provided, you have a problem with a car dealer; specifically, you may have some type of warranty claim or you may have purchased a vehicle without proper disclosure or in a situation where the prior use, condition, history or type of vehicle was misrepresented. Fortunately, I have a lot of experience defending and suing car dealers. Prior to forming my own practice in 2002, I represented several car dealers. Since forming my own practice, I represent consumers and no longer represent any car dealers. I have sued several car dealerships for selling a used vehicle without proper disclosure. You have provided some basic information about your problem, but it would be helpful to review the contract documents.

    It sounds like you may have a claim for breach of contract, fraud and unfair and deceptive trade practices. Just because something is sold "as is" does not give the seller a license to lie about the prior use, condition or history of the vehicle. There are certain disclosure laws that apply to car dealers selling cars to consumers versus a dealer selling someone a vehicle for commercial use.

    It would also be useful to read a detailed time line in chronological order reflecting the dates and the specific details of what happened. I really need to know what representations were made, when they were made, who was present, the details and date/time of all communications with the car dealer, any finance company or any repair shop relating to your potential matter. It is very important that you also provide a chronological copy of the relevant documents including but not limited to any advertisements that may pertain to your vehicle, any documents you obtained from the dealership, finance company or repair shop.

    Ordinarily, you should not get the vehicle repaired or dispose of the vehicle unless and until it has been inspected by your expert and the other side has been given a significant opportunity to inspect the car as well. Otherwise, you may be subject to a defense that you spoiled the evidence.

    Again, based on the information you presented, you may have a case under Florida Unfair and Deceptive Trade Practices Act or another cause of action. Effective July 1, 2013, a law requires specific demand letters to car dealerships or you will lose valuable rights. It is usually advisable to retain an attorney before pursuing litigation. I wish you the best in the future.

    See question 
  • Small Auto Dealer sold me a car with Frame Damage without disclosing it. What can I do? what are my options to get my money back

    I bought the car in Dec of 2010 for 18K I'm now trying to sell the car and by couple of dealers the Title is been mark as frame damage and the car is only worth 4K when I currently owed 10K. I did not know that this car had frame damage . What Ca...

    Steven’s Answer

    You may have a fraud claim or a warranty claim or both. According to the information you have provided, you have a problem with a car dealer; specifically, you may have purchased a used lemon vehicle without proper disclosure. Fortunately, I have a lot of experience defending and suing car dealers. Prior to forming my own practice in 2002, I represented several car dealers. Since forming my own practice, I represent consumers and no longer represent any car dealers. I have sued several car dealerships for selling a used vehicle without proper disclosure.

    You have provided some basic information about your problem, but it would be helpful to review the contract documents. It would also be helpful to know if the vehicle is unmerchantable, i.e., whether it would pass without objection in the trade under the contract description. In other words, how serious was the damage and the repairs. Each of these answers will help determine how "material" the misrepresentation the dealer made as to the prior condition, use or history. We usually need to have an expert prepared to testify if the case is litigated. This can be costly so we need to know beforehand just what damages were involved and the extent the repairs were performed adequately or not.

    It sounds like you may have a claim for breach of contract, fraud and unfair and deceptive trade practices. Just because something is sold "as is" does not give the seller a license to lie about the prior use, condition or history of the vehicle. There are certain disclosure laws that apply to car dealers selling cars to consumers versus a dealer selling someone a vehicle for commercial use.

    It would also be useful to read a detailed time line in chronological order reflecting the dates and the specific details of what happened. I really need to know what representations were made, when they were made, who was present, the details and date/time of all communications with the car dealer, any finance company or any repair shop relating to your potential matter. It is very important that you also provide a chronological copy of the relevant documents including but not limited to any advertisements that may pertain to your vehicle, any documents you obtained from the dealership, finance company or repair shop.

    Ordinarily, you should not get the car repaired unless and until it has been inspected by your expert and the other side has been given a significant opportunity to inspect the car as well. Otherwise, you may be subject to a defense that you spoiled the evidence.

    Based on the information you presented, you may have a case under Florida Unfair and Deceptive Trade Practices Act or another cause of action. Effective July 1, 2013, a law requires specific demand letters to car dealerships or you will lose valuable rights. It is usually advisable to retain an attorney before pursuing litigation. Dana Manner is in your area. Another giant killer is Tim Blake. 305 373 5210. I wish you the best in the future.

    See question