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Obtaining Professional Assistance

This book outlines your rights and gives you basic information about enforcing them. In many cases, exercising your legal rights is difficult because the applicable law and court procedures are complicated. You may need a lawyer or a nonprofit counselor to help you with enforcing many of your rights. You may also need help to apply material in this book to your particular situation.

An additional factor is that state instead of federal law governs many of your rights. These laws can vary substantially from state to state. You may need to get more information of the laws applicable to your state. We have tried to point this out whenever possible.

Hiring a Florida Consumer Lawyer. It can be difficult to get legal help when you do not have much money. A good place to start is any option in your area for free legal services. In most communities (or close by if you live in a rural area), there are organizations which provide free legal help to people whose income fall below certain amounts. Although Congress has unfortunately cut back on funding for these organizations, they continue to exist and should be sought out if you need help.

These organizations vary widely on the type of cases they handle. They also have strict income limits so that they are forced to turn away many cases. However, it can’t hurt to ask. If they can’t help you, they generally will make a referral to the appropriate legal organization (often called “bar association”), sometimes for free help from a private lawyer. They also may have special pamphlets or other helpful information on your state’s laws.

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