Consumer Courage gets published!

As you know Consumer Courage has been missing for a few months.  We have been hard at work in the lab on a project that we are beyond excited about.  The result? A manual that will become as popular as the phone book used to be (a man can dream, can’t he?…..)   The manual – “Consumer Courage: The Big Book of Ohio Consumer Rights” is now available in hard copy and online.   The Ohio State Bar Foundation awarded a grant in 2013 for Consumer Courage to publish a manual that would present Ohio’s consumer laws in a format that everyday consumers could understand and use (without what one of our professors used to call ”all the legal-beagle-mumbo-jumbo”)   A PDF version is available for download from our homepage.  We have hard copies as well.

The press release says, thusly:

Ohio’s Consumers to be Armed with Knowledge NHS Consumer Law Center Releases Statewide Consumer Handbook

Cleveland, OH  — The NHS Consumer Law Center is pleased to announce the release of “Consumer Courage: The Big Book of Ohio Consumer Rights”. The NHS Consumer Law Center is a trusted program of Neighborhood Housing Services of Greater Cleveland (NHS of Greater Cleveland) arming the citizens of Ohio with the information needed to make informed, intelligent and financially safe consumer decisions, since 2012

“This manual is an asset for Ohio consumers” states Lou Tisler, Executive Director of NHS of Greater Cleveland.  “Now, if anyone wants to understand their rights, they can pick up a copy of “Consumer Courage” and quickly figure out the basic principles in any area of consumer law, before they make that important purchasing or borrowing decision.  NHS of Greater Cleveland is extremely pleased to provide a resource that will help many of Ohio’s citizens at a time when they need to make informed and financially intelligent decisions.”

Designed with accessibility for the non-attorney in mind, “Consumer Courage” is a 120-page manual that outlines all of the consumer laws that protect Ohio’s citizens.  Each law is shown in an easy-to-understand format that shows which businesses have to follow the law, what consumers can count on and a useful ‘what to watch out for’ section that shows consumers the red flags that might arise while they are making a purchase.  Written without complicated legal jargon, “Consumer Courage” includes a bonus car buying guide and information about how to avoid common scams.

This publication was made possible by a generous grant from the Ohio State Bar Foundation. “One of our foundation’s priorities is to improve public understanding of the rule of law,” said Stephen F. Tilson, President of the Foundation.  “In that vein, we are delighted to provide financial support for the creation of “Consumer Courage”, a book to help remove some of the mystery inherent in typical financial transactions.”

Anyone who buys something for their personal or household use, borrows money to buy it, or wants to have it fixed, can benefit from “Consumer Courage”. The handbook was created with all consumers in mind; in particular: teachers, lawyers, paralegals, counselors and public officials throughout the state will find “Consumer Courage” to be extremely beneficial.  The manual has been described as “A wonderful, easy to read book that every Ohio consumer should own and read, whether they’re making a big purchase, using credit, or being harassed by any business,” by Ira Rheingold the Executive Director of the National Association of Consumer Advocates (NACA) in Washington, D.C. “I only wish consumers in other states had such a great resource.” NACA is a nationwide non-profit association of over 1,500 attorneys and consumer advocates committed to representing consumers’ interests and to promote justice for all consumers in the ongoing struggle to curb unfair or abusive business practices.

Consumer Courage “translates the key provisions of consumer laws into straightforward English that people can understand and use,” remarked Kathleen Engel, who is a research Professor at Suffolk University Law School and a national authority on mortgage finance and regulation, subprime and predatory lending, and housing discrimination.  Kathleen Engel has authored many law review articles about predatory lending, the subprime mortgage crisis and the current state of the U.S. financial industry; and is co-author of The Subprime Virus: Reckless Credit, Regulatory Failure and Next Steps. “The ‘What to watch out for?’ sections should be turned into an app so anyone can have [those] tips at the ready when they are confronted with a sales pitch or feel they need to make a quick decision.  Kudos to the Ohio Bar State Bar Foundation for sponsoring such a critically needed resource.” Mark Wiseman, Director of the NHS Consumer Law Center and author of “Consumer Courage: The Big Book of Ohio Consumer Rights” will be traveling throughout the state of Ohio over the next few months to educate Ohio’s consumers about their rights and how the manual can be used to protect their hard-earned dollars and to distribute the manual to organizations, institutions and municipalities. To obtain a free copy of “Consumer Courage”, or to schedule an appearance, please contact the NHS Consumer Law Center at 216-205-4478 or by email at [email protected]

CONTACT: Mark Wiseman, Director of the NHS Consumer Law Center 216-205-4478 / [email protected]

###

The NHS Consumer Law Center is part of Neighborhood Housing Services of Greater Cleveland. In 2012, NHS of Greater Cleveland decided to launch the Consumer Law Center to provide an additional tool for its clients in their pursuit of the American Dream of Homeownership.  Because homeowners face important financial decisions every day, NHS of Greater Cleveland wants to be there to continue to help them through the maze to financial stability and success. For more information call 216-205-4478 or visit our website at www.nhsconsumerlawcenter.org