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CalAttorney2
CalAttorney2, Lawyer
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Satisfied Customers: 10238
Experience:  I am a civil litigation attorney representing individuals and businesses.
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74 yr old mother on fixed income sold a $10,000 80 gallon solar

Customer Question

74 yr old mother on fixed income sold a $10,000 80 gallon solar heating system
Cant get model # ***** company, can't get financing information from company
Offered $3000 check for tax rebate she will not get bc she doesnt file taxes
Offered termite tenting and possible new windows - free or at cost
Sent me and my husband all my mothers paperwork including her id without my moms permission and spoke to us in detail about her account
Recorded a phone conversation without my permission
If the model number is ***** I think tank retails for $815 and would be $2600 including install
Owner of company says they sell to many elderly
Submitted: 7 months ago.
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Expert:  CalAttorney2 replied 7 months ago.
Dear Customer,Thank you for using our forum. My name is ***** ***** I look forward to assisting you today.If I understand your question correctly, you believe that your elderly mother was taken advantage of by a solar heating company and purchased a system at a grossly inflated price.If this was sold via a "door to door" or telephonic transaction, your mother has 3 days to cancel the transaction. (See: https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0176-buyers-remorse-when-ftcs-cooling-rule-may-help). Make sure that she does so in writing, and keeps a copy.Depending on the state that she resides in, there may be a cause of action for "financial abuse of an elder" - some states, such as California, are rather aggressive in permitting these tort actions against defendants that take advantage of elderly adults (some other states do as well).You can also report the business to the State Attorney General's Office (the state AG does not reverse the specific contract, or defend an individual consumer's rights - so do not rely on them to overturn your mother's contract (although this may happen as a byproduct from the AG's primary job), but they do investigate reports of fraudulent or unfair business dealings (such as the one you describe) and if appropriate they take administrative or even criminal action against those businesses - your report can help prevent future individuals from being harmed).
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Thank you. Its too late to cancel, but the more I read on the company and the supposed finance company, the more convince I am that this is a scam.
Expert:  CalAttorney2 replied 7 months ago.
You can report this business to the State AG's office. (You can do this even if the contract is enforceable, as noted above, the AG can investigate and this may or may not affect your mother's contract).You can also assist your mother in filing a BBB complaint - the BBB acts like a form of free mediation service for consumers, it has no enforcement authority, but a negative review with the BBB does affect their business model so it does provide an incentive for the business to negotiate for a better resolution.Your mother can also sue for breach of contract if they are not providing the services or products that were agreed on. (This cause of action depends on whether or not the business actually performed the services and or provided the products that they said they would - just because the contract may be a bad financial deal does not mean that it is unenforceable).Again, depending on your state, there may be a cause of action for "financial abuse of an elder" but this depends on the state.Short of filing a lawsuit, you can try to mediate the dispute with them - contact your local bar association and request referrals to mediators, a third party neutral can often help you reach a mutually agreeable resolution. Use the bar association's referrals to contact a mediator or two, the mediator will then contact the other party to set up a mediation session, and you can go from there - hopefully resulting in a formal or written settlement agreement, and save yourself the time and expense of litigation.

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