Things right now are sketchy, this we know. The public health situation is onerous and unsettling. Our economy is in upheaval and many of us are trying to see our way out of what has become a tough situation. We are being told to stay at home and so many places we would go are now on limited hours, have other restrictions, or are closed altogether. We worry about our families and friends and wonder when it will be safe to see them again to hug them and spend that invaluable face time with them.
And in the midst of all of this there are good people and companies among us. Many companies are making efforts to help their employees and customers financially. Heroes emerge daily across our nation and many of them need help during these tough economic times. Small business owners, first responders, doctors, nurses, lab techs, restaurant owners, Uber and Lyft drivers, truck drivers, and countless other people are working daily to keep our country moving to the extent it can. It behooves none of us to see good people fail or honest businesses shutter their doors forever. But then there are some people and businesses who are not so good. They take advantage of people when times are good (or at least better than they are right now) and in times like these the not-so-good folks are ramping up the bad behavior. Honestly, if these not-so-good types go out of business it would be a much-needed disappearance for all of us. But even if they cannot be shut down altogether they should be punched back when they strike.
Price-gouging (including charging $100 for toilet paper!), wrongful and illegal repossessions, threatening and harassing tactics to collect on debts, and outright lying to consumers are some of the things that go on too frequently but are even more distressful right now. Sure people should pay their debts but there are rules of the road that apply in collecting debts. And even though the court system is on temporary hiatus in some respects, do not let that deter you or someone you know from consulting a lawyer if there is a suspicion of some bad behavior by a business or debt collector. Justice must continue.
To report price-gouging in North Carolina file a complaint with the Attorney General’s office. Take the time to consult a lawyer for a one-on-one discussion about your situation and determine if there is something that can be done to put you in a better place. Too many people try to figure things out on their own and wind up costing themselves more money and headache in the long run. Do not let that be you. Know your rights and seek assistance in asserting them. And please remain healthy and safe as we all try to get through this public health situation together.