I have a problem? Here is a list of useful resources that might help you

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ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS46) – People from all walks of life are facing serious problems, and since 2016, consumer journalist Harry Samler has been helping metro Atlanta residents with everything from wage disputes and scams to debt collection and rental issues. Over the years, Better Call Harry has helped recover $4 million in consumer damages and refunds.

Here’s a list of helpful resources if you’re having some of these common issues.

Money scammed

If you’ve been scammed, you should first report it to your bank and see if there’s anything they can do to get your money back. Best case scenario, you used a credit card and you can dispute the charge.

Also, you should report the scam to your local authorities and the Better Business Bureau.

UNEMPLOYMENT

We have been inundated with questions and concerns regarding unemployment claims with the Georgia Department of Labor. We know how difficult this situation is for thousands of you and we are trying to help. We help GDOL by identifying claimants who have waited twelve weeks or more for their benefits.

If your case is one of them, please fill out our contact form here. We will forward your complaints to our contact at GDOL, but you should continue to contact the department by phone and email.

USED ​​CAR PROBLEMS

If you bought the car “as is”, there is not much we can do. If the dealer or broker has not violated the purchase agreement, the sale is legal. We advise anyone buying a used car to get a pre-purchase inspection from a mechanic you trust, along with copies of Carfax and auto check reports. Here is a good link for next time.

If the car was accident free and in good condition, you may want to make the repairs and keep it, or trade it in and start over. Also, never buy a vehicle without a title.

HOME/RENTAL PROBLEMS

You may have reason to break your lease, if a rental property is no longer habitable.

You can cite what is called an “implied expulsion”. It is important to document issues and have everything in writing. Please keep in mind that we cannot provide legal advice, so you should refer to the Georgia Landlord Tenant Handbook. See page 11.

Please do not withhold rent or your landlord may file for eviction.

SALARY DISPUTE

We’d love to hear better news for you, but unfortunately, you’ll have to sue your employer and take them to small claims court to get a pay dispute resolved.

BAD ENTREPRENEURS

If you’ve had trouble getting the job done after paying a contractor, there’s not much you can do. You should have a contract; never pay money for a job unless you have a contract. There is also a Georgia law that requires contractors to provide security to homeowners prior to construction, if the value of the project is over $2,500.

If you can prove they didn’t do what they agreed to, you can hire an attorney and report it to the state licensing commission for residential and general contractors.

NOTE: You should never hire someone who is unlicensed. You can check their license on the Secretary of State’s website.

DEBT RECOVERY

If the invoice has already been cashed, you must request written proof that you owe the debt. The burden is on the collector. If the debt has been paid, send proof of payment and dispute it with Equifax, Experian and Transunion.

You can also write to the debt collector and tell them not to contact you again under the Fair Collections Practices Act. In simple terms, this is called a “Drop dead” letter.

FILE A CLAIM

In many of these cases, the most common way to get your money back is to sue someone. To do this, you must file a formal complaint with the clerk of your local magistrate’s court.

According to the Georgia Division of Consumer Protection, the complaint statement must include the following:

  • The full name, address and telephone number of the plaintiff (and his lawyer, if he has one.)
  • The respondent’s full name and civic address.
  • The damages, or the amount of money or goods that the plaintiff is asking for.
  • A brief statement explaining why the defendant is being sued, including the date(s) of the underlying incident(s).
  • Copies of all relevant documents, such as contracts, receipts and canceled checks. (Keep original documents for your records.)

If you’ve exhausted your options, you may also want to consider hiring a lawyer. Here is a link to Georgia Legal Aid.

If there’s anything you’d like CBS46’s consumer investigator, better call Harry, look into, fill in this submission form.

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