Contributing Author: Gentle Heron
If you have a dispute with a company, see if they have a customer service department which can settle your complaint. If you can’t get satisfaction there, check out the consumer protection department of your state’s attorney general. For a list of state attorneys general: http://www.naag.org/naag/attorneys-general/whos-my-ag.php.
If your problem is with a regulated industry, such as insurance or banking, consult the state agency that regulates them.
To find state regulatory agencies for:
- Banking: http://www.consumerfinance.gov/askcfpb/1637/how-do-i-find-my-states-bank-regulator.html
- Insurance: http://www.naic.org/index_members.htm
Other alternatives to hiring a lawyer include seeking free advice from community and advocacy groups. If there is a university law school nearby, they may take on your case as a class project. And some media outlets will pursue your cause, although you may not appreciate that level of publicity.
It’s important to remember, however, that lawyers aren’t just useful for criminals or individuals involved in legal situations. They can help you establish a business, adopt a child, plan tax strategies, create your will and arrange your estate. Not only do lawyers assist people currently in trouble, but their advice can help you prevent future troubles.
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