Author Archive for j..michael.vallee

DePuy hip recall: What’s going on?

Hips, knees and other joints wear out as we get older. Artificial hip joints or hip replacements have been around for many years now; some brands and types proving more successful than others. Back in March of 2004, Johnson and Johnson through their subsidiary DePuy introduced the “next big thing” in artificial hip implants: the […]

How to handle the aftermath of car accidents

Car crashes injure people. Frequently. Usually, the crash is caused by someone not paying attention, driving too fast, being careless, or even driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Most of us have been involved in a crash at some point, hopefully a minor one with little or no injury. But what about a […]

Many lessons to take from the mortgage mess

You’d think we would have learned something from the Enron and WorldCom debacles. Rampant fraud, fueled by greed, equals meltdown and consumers getting defrauded. We need to closely regulate large corporations or they’ll cut corners, pull shenanigans, or just flat out commit fraud in order to make more money as quickly as possible. That’s what the […]

Advice to keep in mind: ‘Don’t sign and don’t talk’

What the heck does that mean? It’s shorthand for advise I give to all of my clients in consumer protection cases: 1. Don’t ever sign anything without fully understanding what you are agreeing to. 2. Don’t ever talk to collection agencies on the telephone unless you are recording the conversation after getting their consent to […]

Reverse mortgages: Benefit or scam?

Considering a reverse mortgage? Better check it out carefully before you sign; pitfalls and scams abound and the elderly are usually the victims. Until around 2002, we didn’t see very many reverse mortgage products. A reverse mortgage is similar to a home equity line of credit; it taps into the equity that has been amassed […]

Don’t toss those class action notices

We’ve all gotten them in the mail. Usually it’s a postcard with a bunch of small print and confusing instructions. Those notices saying there’s a class action settlement and somehow they got your name. My secretary just told me she just tosses them in the garbage! “What?” I said. “You could be throwing away a […]

Stopping foreclosure: the truth behind the ads

We’ve all seen the ads: TV, billboards — even the Penny Saver. “We can stop foreclosure!” But how? Can they really stop foreclosure? And, just as important, what’s involved and how much will it cost? This column dips into the facts behind foreclosure and the consumers’ issues in trying to stop or ward off a […]