Law Office of Paul Mankin
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Los Angeles Consumer Protection Law Blog

Dealing with mold problems in California apartments

Living with mold can create an unpleasant environment. Worse than the sight and the smell, however, are the potentially serious health problems that can arise. Many people, especially children and the elderly, can develop respiratory conditions and allergies. Some types of molds are toxic and can cause severe illness.

So, what can you do if you move into an apartment and discover the presence of mold? According to a recent California law, your landlord must disclose in writing the presence of mold that puts tenants' health at risk. The California Department of Public Health takes the position that trying to determine safe levels of mold is difficult and unreliable. Rather, the Department considers any presence of mold or moisture unacceptable and urges landlords to remediate it as soon as possible.

Can I take the cost of repairs out of my rent?

You notice your refrigerator is not working well or your window lock is broken. As a responsible renter, you do what you are supposed to: Call your landlord and let him know about the problem. Then you wait. Days, then weeks pass, and the landlord keeps ignoring your calls.

Unfortunately, renters throughout the Los Angeles area can often relate to this scenario. When landlords fail to step up to their responsibilities, tenants want to know if they can repair on their own and then deduct the cost from rent payments.

What is the right choice for you between bankruptcy and debt consolidation?

Debt that you cannot pay can be overwhelming, suffocating and completely stifling to your professional and personal relationships. Many people who have debts deal with depression, anxiety and anger issues from the constant stress of trying to pay off creditors. Fortunately, you have options when you decide it is too much to bear and w ant a fresh financial start.

Don't let bankruptcy myths stop you

If you're dragging your feet about filing for personal bankruptcy, maybe it's because you've heard negative things about it. Bankruptcy gets a bad rap, which doesn't make a lot of sense, given that it's a financial tool designed to help people.

At the same time, some people get the impression that bankruptcy will solve all of their problems and leave them solvent for life. They won't owe a penny and can just start over with a clean slate. That isn't true, either. So what is?

6 ways to spot a predatory debt consolidation offer

The vultures appear when an animal begins to struggle. It's the same in lending and that's what makes debt consolidation offers so dangerous. There are trusted and wholly reliable sources that consolidate debt but there are many predatory companies who sell their service as consolidation when it's truly debt management.

Consolidation versus management

Loan consolidation is the combining of multiple loans into a single new loan. Reputable companies who offer this include banks and credit unions.

My car has been repossessed! What now?

It happens more often than you might think. After months, and in some cases years, of making steady payments on a car, it might not seem like a serious offense to put off a payment during hard financial times. But the consequences can come quickly, no matter how dedicated your payment history has been. You might walk out your front door one morning to find your car has disappeared overnight.

Why was my car repossessed?

Car repossession occurs when you are considered to be in default of the loan you took out to purchase your car. The lender with whom you leased or financed your car is generally given a security interest at the time of the financing, which basically gives them the right to have your car repossessed without notifying you if you have done something that they feel constitutes a default. More often than not, the reason is missed payments.

The debt collectors won't stop calling... until you do this

In California and across the country, there are very strict regulations about when and how debt collectors can call individuals they believe to be in debt. Yet, debt collectors can be relentless and act outside the law, calling you at all hours of the day, threatening you and causing emotional distress to you and your family. How do you know if your debt collector is breaking the law? And how can you stop them?

The top 4 reasons people declare bankruptcy

The public myth that bankruptcy is a last ditch effort of irresponsible people to get out of their self-created debt problems is simply not true. Most people who declare bankruptcy are honest people facing tough circumstances. Unfortunately, due to bankruptcy myths and fear that bankruptcy is a declaration of financial failure, many people wait until their financial situation is dire before acting.

If you are facing overwhelming debt, you don't need to wait to learn about your options. Bankruptcy isn't failure. It isn't scary. It may save your financial future.

Here are four of the top reasons people file for bankruptcy.

How to protect yourself from false information on your credit report

You'd be surprised how many people have false information on their credit reports and don't even know it. Of course, they find out pretty quickly when they try to get a car loan, home mortgage or credit card and are turned down.

Why does this happen? How can you prevent it from happening to you? And if your credit report has been tarnished by wrong information, how can you clear it?

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