Make or Save Money By Exercising Your Rights
7 Easy and Legitimate Ways to Make or Save Lots of Money by Exercising Your Legal Rights
If you aren’t exercising your rights, you may be leaving money on the table. Potentially even hundreds or thousands of dollars! We have a general Guide to Exercising Your Rights. Here are some other specific actions you can take to get the compensation you legally deserve.
1. Submit Settlement Claims
Companies are frequently found to have violated the rights of consumers, by doing things such as making false claims about their products, or not properly securing your data. The most recent and dramatic example is the Equifax data breach, which impacted about 147 million people!
When a few of the affected consumers sue the company through a so-called class action lawsuit, this enables everyone else who is affected to benefit from the lawsuit, whether they are involved with the legal proceedings or not. In the vast majority of cases, the company being sued will “settle” the case, meaning that in order to stop the expensive legal proceedings, they agree to pay out a certain amount of money or take some other actions.
In order to get the benefits of the settlement, you usually need to file a “claim” using an online or paper form provided to you by the law firm which pursued the case. Often this simply requires giving your contact information, although sometimes you may have to provide documentation to prove you have a valid claim.
The benefits you could receive are sometimes quite insignificant, maybe even less than $1. But sometimes they can be substantial, such as in the Equifax settlement, which is giving out $125 or more.
You deserve compensation for your losses, so make sure you get your money! Here are a few websites which list settlements that you may be eligible for:
2. Claim Unclaimed Property
Some people tend to move around a bit, and set up various financial accounts (or they are set up for you by your family). And sometimes we may even lose track of or forget about these accounts. Or maybe a company owes you money for some reason, such as a rebate or wages from employment, but they can’t find you.
For any of these reasons and more, you may have money or other items of value waiting for you to claim them. See our article on Claiming Unclaimed Property for more.
3. Save on Taxes
This one may seem obvious, but you have the right to pay only as much taxes as required. But there are a few major ways to save on taxes that many people don’t know about. For example, if you work for yourself, you may be able to save $1,000++ by forming an “S corp.”
See more about taxpayer rights.
4. Get Out of Expensive Contracts
If you have signed a contract for a service like a gym membership, cell phone plan, or even home renovation, you may think you are stuck with no way out. But quite often you have rights to a “cooling off period” or are otherwise entitled to cancel a contract with no penalty. See our Guide to Contracts.
5. Get Cash if Your Airline Bumps You From Your Flight
Getting bumped from a flight is annoying. But did you know that you have the right to a cash payment if your airline does this to you? Yes, as long as it’s not due to something out of their control, like the weather, you could get hundreds of dollars from being bumped.
6. Obtain Government Benefits You Are Entitled To
Make sure you are getting the government benefits you deserve. While many of these programs are only for people with low income, some are not tied to income at all. Government benefits can include free or reduced cost healthcare, help making rent payments, help buying food, or cash payments if you have a disability or you can’t find a job. Get more info at USA.gov/benefits.
7. Demand Compensation
If you have been harmed in some significant way, whether as a consumer, employee, freelancer, business partner, driver, patient, etc, you may be able to get significant compensation (money) by formally demanding it from (basically threatening to sue) the person or company who was responsible.
For consumer issues, particularly related to phone & internet, finance, or other areas, FairShake makes it super easy to get the compensation you deserve. And you only pay if YOU get paid! Try it now.
For help in exercising your rights, see our Guide to Getting Legal Help.