Consumer

Automobiles

  • What does Maryland require to lawfully drive a car? Registration and tags, a valid driver’s license, an inspection, an emissions test, and insurance.
  • A public record can be corrected or a vehicle titled by petitioning for a writ of mandamus. Mandamus (Latin for "we command") is a writ issued by a court commanding a public official to perform an action.
  • Maryland's lemon law applies only to cars, light trucks and motorcycles that: Are registered in Maryland, and have been driven less than 18,000 miles and been owned less than 18 months.

Bankruptcy

  • Bankruptcy laws help people who can no longer pay their creditors get a fresh start – by liquidating assets to pay their debts or by creating a repayment plan.
  • Chapter 13 Bankruptcy is a federal court process designed to reorganize and repay your debts.
  • Chapter 7 Bankruptcy is a federal court process designed to eliminate most of your debts. The court will appoint a trustee, who will arrange to liquidate all of your assets, with the exception of certain "exempt" assets.
  • Special debts like child support, alimony and student loans, will not be eliminated when filing for bankruptcy.
  • Can a Judge ever turn down a bankruptcy petition? Who notifies the creditors and bill collectors? Can I use bankruptcy to stop foreclosure on my home or to stop other actions by creditors?
  • In Maryland, you can keep certain property, even if you file for bankruptcy. This property is called "exempt".
  • Depending on where you live (or have assets), you may file in Greenbelt or Baltimore. You must show that you live in Maryland or you had a business or most of your assets in Maryland.
  • For personal debts, most people file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. A Chapter 7 bankruptcy is quicker and simpler than a Chapter 13 bankruptcy.

Contracts

Credit: Debts & Loans

  • Credit is the privilege to borrow money and obtain goods today based upon a promise to make repayments in the future. Credit is not a right, but merely a privilege that can be lost if it is not used responsibly.
  • The Maryland Job Applicant Fairness Act makes it illegal for most employers to require a credit check for job applicants.
  • Credit Counseling Agencies are nonprofit agencies that help debtors work with creditors to arrange a repayment plan as a means of reducing their debt without filing for bankruptcy.
  • “Debt collectors” are collection agencies, attorneys, creditors collecting for someone else, and creditors collecting under another name as well as others. Creditors collecting for themselves are not “debt collectors.” Under the Federal Debt Collection Practices Act debt collectors may not...
  • Garnishment is a means of enforcing a judgment in which a creditor means to obtain satisfaction of a debt through the property or assets of the debtor. It must occur through a legal proceeding.
  • There are laws that protect certain income and assets from debt collectors. This is sometimes known as being “Collection Proof” or "Judgment Proof".
  • In 2011, the General Assembly passed a law requiring firms offering debt settlement services to register with the Commissioner of Financial Regulation
  • Buying on credit, over time, is very popular these days. Yet once in a while, a bill has a mistake on it. What can you do when your credit card bill has a mistake?
  • Am I responsible for my spouse's debts even if I did not benefit from the items? My spouse died recently. All of our property was jointly owned. I am receiving medical bills with charges I did NOT authorize. Am I required to pay these bills?
  • Warning signs of a debt problem, what if you cannot pay your bills, going to court and protecting your assets.

Identity Theft

Small Claims

  • Small Claims Court is a division of the District Court of Maryland that handles disputes involving no more than $5,000.

Unfair Practices

  • If you are dissatisfied with the product or service provided by a Maryland business, there are government and non-government agencies which provide a way for you to pursue a complaint.

Warranties

  • This article offers a basic description of warranties in commercial and consumer law.

Consumer

Safety Issues

Employment

Homeownership

Landlord/Tenant

  • This law provides standards for the protection of consumers, including tenants and prospective tenants of residential property.

Motor Vehicles

Wills/Estates/Probate

  • A power of attorney is a document in which you give someone legal authority to act for you.

Powers of Attorney

  • A power of attorney is a document in which you give someone legal authority to act for you.

Other Legal Issues

Is this legal advice?

This site offers legal information, not legal advice.  We make every effort to ensure the accuracy of the information and to clearly explain your options.  However we do not provide legal advice - the application of the law to your individual circumstances. For legal advice, you should consult an attorney.  The Maryland State Law Library, a court-related agency of the Maryland Judiciary, sponsors this site.  In the absence of file-specific attribution or copyright, the Maryland State Law Library may hold the copyright to parts of this website. You are free to copy the information for your own use or for other non-commercial purposes with the following language “Source: Maryland's People’s Law Library – www.peoples-law.org. © Maryland State Law Library, 2013.”