During the holiday season, many of us are purchasing and exchanging gifts and gift cards, buying items online using credit cards, donating to charities or involved in a host of other financial transactions that could potentially lead to consumer problems or result in legal questions.
While we all know how important it is to be vigilant consumers and protect ourselves against debt and consumer fraud (Check out AARP.org for smart money advice and a host of consumer tips and information), AARP works with the Consumer Law Project for Elders (CLPE) in Connecticut to let seniors know that help is available throughout the year if they find themselves victimized or in need of consumer advice and legal assistance.
The CLPE maintains a dedicated Hotline (1-800-296-1467) that provides FREE advice, representation and referrals to seniors 60 and older with questions about their rights as a consumer or problems related to credit card debt, medical debt, billing errors, abusive and harassing collection practices, bankruptcy, home improvement fraud, unfair loans, or identity theft. All services provided by CLPE are free of charge and there are no income or asset limits.
The Hotline is open Monday through Friday from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM. Bi-lingual staff are available to speak with Spanish speaking callers.
What to expect when you call
A CLPE receptionist will ask for some basic information and a brief description of your problem. All information will be kept confidential. The receptionist will tell you when to expect a call from one of CLPE’s advocates (attorneys and paralegals) to discuss your problem.
What happens when I talk to a CLPE advocate?
A CLPE advocate (attorneys and paralegals) will go over your problem and ask for more detailed information. Make sure to have all papers and important information related to your problem close at hand. All information you provide will remain confidential.
The CLPE advocate will explain your legal rights and provide legal advice, guidance or legal assistance. In certain circumstances, an advocate may also represent you in court (court fees may apply). You may also be provided with educational materials and referrals to other service providers.
If you, or someone you know, are 60 years of age or older and have questions regarding your rights as a consumer, call the CLPE Hotline at 1-800-296-1467.