Michael Finney
Bill Goggin was my journalism teacher at Ray Lyman Wilbur Junior High School in Palo Alto. He is responsible for all of this. He taught me, "The job of the journalist is to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable." That's pretty much what I've been up to ever since.

I started 7 On Your Side here at ABC7 News and over the past 20 years I have sent bad guys to prison, forced product recalls and returned millions of dollars to consumers. Because I spend so much time dealing with legal issues, midcareer I returned to law school. That education has served me and ABC7 News viewers well.

Even many of my close friends don't know that as a young reporter I covered the '89 Loma Prieta Quake, Oakland fire storm, L.A. riots, and numerous floods, forest fires and other calamities. Let me tell you it is other worldly to be on a boat, in the middle of a hurricane attempting to reach a devastated Kauai because the air space has been closed. No electricity, no lights, just the silhouette of a mountain rising out of the ocean. I know what that island looked like to ancient mariners.

There is little I like more than to "afflict the comfortable", but among those is skateboarding with my son, watching my daughter cheer and having a nice Pinot Noir on a warm summer day in the wine country with my wife.

Check out my Facebook page. You can send me your questions and find out how to get free stuff! Also, follow me on Twitter for the latest consumer news AND more freebies.

Michael Finney joined ABC7 News in 1991. His consumer reporting has received many prestigious awards in broadcast journalism including honors from several Press Clubs, The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, the Radio Television News Directors Association and the Associated Press. Community groups such as Consumer Action, The Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights and The National Association of Consumer Advocates have also honored his work.

Michael's 7 On Your Side reports can be seen at 4, 5 & 6 p.m. on ABC7 News. His "Consumer Talk" radio show is heard every Saturday afternoon between 1 - 4 p.m. on KGO-AM810. His first book, Michael Finney's Consumer Confidential was a top 10 best seller on The Amazon Business list. His new book, The Definitive Guide to Bay Area Deals, is scheduled for a fall 2012 release.

Archive
The Napa quake has bad guys around the world gearing up to rip you off. So here's some advice to make sure you are not taken in.
Napa quake victims are already dealing with their insurance companies, but they should know it takes time and energy to get a good settlement.
When a major earthquake hits, it may be up to you to decide if it is safe to enter a building or not.
After a major earthquake hit Napa Sunday morning, many who suffered damage are wondering who can financially help.
7 On Your Side's Michael Finney takes a look at what to do in an earthquake, repair costs, and if retrofitting your home is really worth the cost.