What is the MD Consumer Protection Act – And How Does it Affect You?

If you live in Maryland and have been the victim of an unscrupulous landlord, service provider, or seller of consumer goods, you have a powerful tool to help you fight back and win restitution: The Maryland Consumer Protection Act (CPA).

Created in 1973 to protect citizens against unfair and deceptive business practices and “restore an undermined public confidence in merchants,” the legislation is designed to “set minimum statewide standards for the protection of consumers” with the recognition that existing laws were “inadequate, poorly coordinated and not widely known or adequately enforced.”

More specifically, the CPA strives to offer “strong protective and preventive steps to investigate unlawful consumer practices, to assist the public in obtaining relief from these practices, and to prevent these practices from occurring in Maryland.”

Realizing you’ve been duped or scammed is frustrating, embarrassing, and can cost you money that you can’t afford to lose. Call the skilled and compassionate attorneys at Lusk Law, LLC. As Advocates for Life’s Obstacles and Opportunities, we are committed to getting justice for our clients.

The CPA Protects Consumers

The CPA is a state law enforced through the Consumer Protection Division of the Office of the Attorney General. It covers a wide range of goods and services: “the sale, lease, rental, loan, or bailment of any consumer goods, consumer realty, or consumer services.”

If you have a grievance with a business, you may call or file a complaint online or via mail with the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division. Upon receiving your complaint, the division will conduct an investigation. They are empowered to settle disputes through mediation or negotiation, arbitration, or legal action (litigation).

You should be aware that complaints submitted to the Consumer Protection Division become public record, accessible via information disclosure requests. This does not pertain to certain types of sensitive information, like personal financial information or confidential medical and psychological records.

Does the CPA Apply to All Maryland Businesses?

Written into the Consumer Protection Act are a number of exemptions to the law. Section 13-104 states:

This title does not apply to:

  1. The professional services of a certified public accountant, architect, clergyman, professional engineer, lawyer, veterinarian, insurance company authorized to do business in the State, insurance producer licensed by the State, Christian Science practitioner, land surveyor, property line surveyor, chiropractor, optometrist, physical therapist, podiatrist, real estate broker, associate real estate broker, or real estate salesperson, or medical or dental practitioner;
  2. A public service company, to the extent that the company’s services and operations are regulated by the Public Service Commission; or
  3. A television or radio broadcasting station or a publisher or printer of a newspaper, magazine, other form of printed advertising who broadcasts, publishes, or prints an advertisement which violates this title, unless the station, publisher, or printer engages in an unfair or deceptive trade practice in the sale of its own goods or services or has knowledge that the advertising is in violation of this title.

Businesses in Maryland are required by law to meet a certain ethical standard in their transactions with consumers. If you’ve been the victim of a shady vendor, call Lusk Law, LLC, Advocates For Life’s Obstacles and Opportunities. We will discuss how we — backed by the CPA — can help you in your dispute.

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