Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Private cause of action for consumer fraud

A new law just took effect in Iowa which allows private causes of action for consumer fraud. Previously, if a consumer was defrauded, only the Attorney General could bring suit. So basically, if you were defrauded, it was at the sole discretion of the Iowa Attorney General if anything would be done about it. Now, any consumer who is defrauded can bring a lawsuit to make things right. Under the new law, the consumer can be awarded attorneys fees as well as damages up to three times the amount of actual damages.

Septic Inspections in Iowa

As of today, if you have a septic system in Iowa, you will need to pump it and have it inspected before you sell the property. There are a few exceptions, but if it is a regular old sale of residential real estate, you are going to need a "time of transfer inspection." And not just any inspector can do these inspections. It has to be a "certified time of transfer inspector who has been certified by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.

It appears there are fewer than 250 inspectors for the entire state of Iowa. With 99 counties, that's only about 2.5 inspectors per county.

The county recorders will not record your deed without an inspection report from these special certified inspectors attached to your groundwater hazard statement.

Should be lots of fun for a while.