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Michael Finney answers your consumer questions

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Fed up? Curious? Furious?! If you need help, just ask Michael Finney, your own consumer expert from 7 On Your Side!

7 On Your Side's Consumer expert Michael Finney answers your questions, every weekday on ABC7 Mornings. Submit your video questions and tune in at 6 a.m.

Question 1:

Sheila asked on Facebook: What happens at a recycling station when a valuable item is found? I've lost my wedding ring and am almost positive it happened while drying my hands with paper towels in a public restroom.

Answer 1:
So sorry that happened Sheila. If it ended up in a mixed recycling facility, the items are sorted and separated into different types of materials by hand, machine or both before being sent to manufacturers who make it into new products. So, there is a small chance your ring could have been found. I first want you to contact building management where you think you lost your ring to get information on their specific waste haulers. Then, i want you to call that local waste management or material recovery service and ask about their policies and procedures when finding valuable items because all are different. It's worth a couple phone calls. I'll keep my fingers crossed you find it.

Question 2:
A Sonoma County viewer asked: is there any compensation for those who lost items housed in storage units destroyed by the North Bay wildfires?
Answer 2:
Good news. The answer is yes. Now, if the person renting the storage unit has homeowners or renters insurance, they're covered. If not, the small business administration has a program where they will loan up to $40,000 to replace personal belongings. Homeowners can also borrow up to $200,000 to repair or replace damaged real estate. The interest rate can be lower than two percent and payments can spread out over 30 years.

Question 3:
Stanley from Union City asked: I recently purchased a used car and it has already been in for repairs twice. What are my options?
Answer 3:
If your car is still covered by a manufacturer's warranty, it may be a lemon. The rule of thumb is four repair attempts, two if for safety, or more than 30 days in the repair shop and you have a lemon. That means the manufacturer has to buy the car back. If the car is out of warranty there probably isn't much you can do. You could file a complaint with the DMV or file a lawsuit, but that can get costly.

Click here for more information from the DMV.

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