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Securities FAQ | Consumer FAQ | Landlord Tenant FAQ

Have You Been the Victim of Investment Fraud?

If you or a member of your family have been a victim of investment fraud or mismanagement of investment funds, contact me for a free consultation. I handle matters involving breach of fiduciary duty, violations of Illinois state law, and violations of SEC regulations. I represent clients nationwide in securities disputes and securities fraud claims involving:

• Unsuitable investments – including high risk investments leading to the loss of retirement funds for elderly investors

• Stock churning – overtrading a stock account to generate excessive broker commissions

• Failure to supervise a broker – claims involving the failure of branch managers, senior brokers, and brokerage firms to
  effectively supervise the actions of rogue brokers

• Elder fraud – fraudulent investment schemes that target and exploit seniors

• False prospectus – and other misrepresentations

• Insider trading / 10B5 violations

• Ponzi Schemes

When is it too late to file a claim?

Generally, statutes of limitations do apply. But in matters involving a cover-up on the part of the broker or investment firm the filing deadlines may not apply. Whatever your situation is, it is important to call a securities attorney as soon as possible.

How can I get my money back?

Most stock fraud claims and other securities disputes are resolved in NASD securities arbitration. Call or e-mail my law office, to receive a realistic evaluation of your case. I provide free initial consultations to investors and explain the legal process for recovery.

Securities Resources

Illinois Securities Commission

NASD Arbitration

Securities and EXchange Commission

Scam Alert Offshore Alert

Have you been the victim of a scam or fraud?

The first thing to do is to file a complaint with the Better Business Bureau, the Attorney General's Office, as well as your bank and/or credit card company immediately. If the company is located outside your state, you should also file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission. If you actually sustained financial loss as a result of the scam or fraud, you should also file a police report as fraud is a crime. The report will be part of the paper trail that documents your loss if you choose to file a civil action against the firm or individual who defrauded you

How can I find out if a company is reputable and/or has has history of scamming people?

There are various resources you can use to research companies. The first resource you should check is the Better Business Bureau which track and cites complaints against companies. There are other resources such as the RipOff Report, Complaints Board, and which provide complaint forms, information on these companies and blogs from consumers that have been scammed.

I'v received a low-cost promotional or notice that I've won or can receive a free gift. How do I know it is not it is not a scam?

As in most things in life, if it's too good to be true, it probably isn't. Nobody gives away something for free unless it is for charity. Be wary of free or very cheap promotional offers for things like coffee, posters, magazines, CDs, jewelry, etc. as most likely the company is not disclosing that while the item may be cheap or free, you may get hit with huge shipping and handling charges that are either not disclosed or in fine print. Furthemore, you may get suckered into recurring billing of unauthorized credit card charges as you unknowingly are enrolled into a membership program. Be wary of free gift and low-cost promotionals from timeshare companies that obligate consumers to sit through long timeshare presentations. There is a forum for discussions of scams involving free promos and gifts at


What type of business practices are considered deceptive and violations of the law?

Examples include:

• Failure to disclose adequately that the purchase of merchandise results in enrollment in a continuity program and the material terms and conditions of that program.

• Misrepresentations that consumers can cancel their continuity program membership at any time.

• Causing charges to be submitted for payment for merchandise shipments without the express informed consent of consumers.

• Failure to disclose hidden charges or charging more than disclosed for things like shipping and handling.

• Debiting consumers’ checking accounts on a recurring basis without obtaining consumers’ written authorization for preauthorized electronic fund transfers from the accounts, as required by the EFTA.

• Shipping unordered merchandise to consumers and sent communications seeking payment for the unordered merchandise; and

• Continuing to ship unordered merchandise and to seek payment for the merchandise, even after the violator has actual knowledge that an agency like the FTC has determined that these practices are deceptive, unfair, and unlawful based on prior cease and desist orders against other companies.

How can I get my money back if I've been scammed, defrauded, or have unauthorized transactions on my credit card?

Typically, your bank and/or credit card company will credit back the amount paid if you dispute the charge and provide an affidavit of fraud. You usually have 30 days from the time you get your bank statement to make the dispute so it is important to act in a timely manner. If you have sustained losses that were paid for by check, you may need to file a civil complaint against the company if the check has cleared. You need to gather all your documents, e.g. bank statements, cashed checks, as evidence that you paid and lost money as a result of fraud. If a police report is filed and the perpetrator is prosecuted, the court may order the perpetrator to pay restitution. Most companies will volutarily return fraudulently obtained money once the authorities are involved in order to avoid prosecution. If you are one of many victims that have been defrauded by a company, a class action lawsuit may be filed against the company on behalf of all the victims. Please contact me to discuss your options and be aware that there are statutes of limitations so it is important to act sooner rather than later.

Legislators have carefully crafted laws designed to protect consumers from predatory lenders and unscrupulous business practices. My determined advocacy in support of consumers' rights helps enforce important consumer protection statutes including the following:

• Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Practices Act

• Electronic Funds Transfer Act

• Unordered Merchandise Statute

• FTC Act

• Federal Truth in Lending Act

• Home Ownership & Equity Protection Act

• Fair Debt Collection Practices Act

• Fair Credit Reporting Act

• Telephone Consumer Protection Act

• Equal Credit Opportunity Act

• Chicago Residential Landlord Tenant Ordinance

• Fair Housing Act

• Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act

• Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO)

• Credit Repair Organization Act


Fax collection letters, loan document, or other documentary evidence of possibly illegal business activity to me at 773-528-1433, or contact me to schedule a consultation.

Consumer Rights Resources

Better Business Bureau

RipOff Report

Complaint Wire

Complaints Board

Scam Club

Consumer Rights and Protection Info

Federal Trade Commission

Illinois Attorney General

Illinois Legal Aid

Predatory Lending Info

What can I do if I've been the victim of housing discrimination?

You should file a housing discrimination complaint or charge as soon as possible, but you cannot file it later than one year after the discriminatory practice occurred or ended. If you think your rights have been violated, either the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and/or the Illinois Department of Human Rights (IDHR) is ready to help.

My landlord won't return my security deposit back. What can I do?

Under the Security Deposit Return Act, a landlord/lessor has 45 days from the date of the tenant vacating the unit to return the deposit less any withholding for the reasonable cost of damage to the unit. An itemized statement of an alleged damage must be furnished to the tenant within 30 days of vacating the premises. The landlord shall furnish the tenant with paid receipts, or copies of itemized statements of the estimated costs of repairs. Upon a finding by a circuit court that a lessor has refused to supply the itemized statement, or has supplied such statement in bad faith, and has failed or refused to return the amount of the security deposit due within the time limits provided, the lessor shall be liable for an amount equal to twice the amount of the security deposit due, together with court costs and reasonable attorney's fees.

Landlord Tenant Resources

Illinois Legal Aid Housing & Discrimination

Illinois Department of Human Rights

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)

Renters Rights


For more information on my services and experience for your business and civil law needs, call my office today at (773) 528-1433.

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