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Advance Health Care Decisions

Powers of Attorney

Wills, Trusts, Estates

Guardianships

Long Term Care Financing

Income Assistance

Nursing Home Issues

Other Consumer Issues:

Funerals
Insurance (non-health)
Abuse
Credit Cards
Identity Theft

5. Resources

Books

Consumer Credit Law Manual, and Primary Source Pamphlet, ed. National Consumer Law Center, pub. Matthew Bender & Company, Inc., 2 Park Avenue, New York, NY10016-5675. One of several books for advocates available from NCLC. Others focus on particular Acts included in the Consumer Credit Protection Act. Call NCLC at 617-523-8089 or see address and web site under Organizations, below. An excellent resource but both attorneys and laypersons may want to start with the two listed below.

Consumer Protection Law in a Nutshell, Gene Marsh, pub. West Publishing Company, 1978, West Group, 1999; P. O. Box 64526, St. Paul. MN 55164-0526, 1-800-328-9352. Compact, readable survey of federal and state consumer law. Available at modest cost through law school bookstores and from the publisher.

Surviving Debt: A Guide for Consumers, (3d Ed. 1999), National Consumer Law Center (see below). Good, inexpensive introduction for consumers and attorneys new to the subject.

Organizations

AARP is an advocacy organization for seniors that takes positions on many issues of importance to those in or approaching their later years, including all kinds of consumer issues. The organization maintains an enormous web site as well as a library of information on almost every consumer topic of interest to seniors. www.aarp.org

The Federal Consumer Information Center offers lists of and ordering information for FTC and other free and low cost publications. Write Consumer Information Catalog , P. O. Box 100, Pueblo, CO 81002, or call 1-888-878-3256 (1-888-8-PUEBLO), or www.pueblo.gsa.gov

The Federal Trade Commission publishes free booklets on 150 consumer issues, including articles on various parts of the Consumer Credit Protection Act. They are available online or by requesting Best Sellers from the Consumer Response Center, Federal Trade Commission, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, D.C. 20580; toll free 1-877-FTC-HELP. The big, easy-to navigate web site is an excellent resource: www.ftc.gov.

The National Consumer Law Center is the leading consumer advocate for the poor; its work includes a special initiative directed towards vulnerable seniors. NCLC publishes books, articles and low-cost brochures for consumers and advocates and maintains an extensive web site. All publications are moderately priced and some are free. NCLC will consult with consumer advocates on a wide range of legal issues. Contact NCLC at 18 Tremont Street, Suite 400, Boston, MA 02108, (617) 523-8089. The web site is a gold mine of information. Especially useful for this article was Advice for Seniors about Credit Cards. www.nclc.org

Statutes

The Consumer Credit Protection Act is a huge group of statutes codified at 15 U.S.C. §1601-1693r. This is the big gun in consumer protection, although there are other federal consumer protection statutes. The Fair Credit Billing Act is found at 1666-1666j and the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act at 1692-1692o.

The Alabama Deceptive Trade Practices Act, the state’s version of the “UDAP” laws passed in many states, is found at Alabama Code, § 8-19-1 through 15.

Finding the law. Cornell Law School has an enormous but easy to navigate web site (www.cornell.edu) that offers statutes, regulations and other sources of law from all jurisdictions. The LCE site offers a link to the Cornell Law Information Institute at Links to Elder Law Resources. (Villanova and Emory Law School sites also offer excellent comprehensive statutory resources, and there are others.) The University of Alabama Law Library site is another way to access state law and related resources, and links to others (www.library.law.ua.edu) and the State of Alabama web site (AlaWeb) still another (www.state.al.us).

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