State AG Updates: September 6-10, 2021
Each week, the Crowell & Moring State Attorneys General team highlights important actions taken by state attorneys general. Here are the updates for this week.
Monday, September 6, 2021
Federal Firearms Regulations
- Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel today joined a coalition of 18 attorneys general to file an amicus case supporting federal laws restricting the commercial sale of handguns to those under the age of 21 . In the case, filed with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit, the coalition argues that such restrictions protect residents from the harmful effects of gun violence and encourage the safe use of firearms.
Freedom to hire religious charity
- Attorney General Alan Wilson joined a coalition of 17 states in filing a brief Thursday to the United States Supreme Court in support of religious freedom of Seattle Gospel Mission Union. The mission is seeking Supreme Court review of a recent Washington State Supreme Court ruling denying the faith-based charity the right to hire employees who share its faith. Attorneys General argue that the Washington Supreme Court ignored history and precedent to deny a religious nonprofit organization’s right to hire only employees who share its faith. And the move is just the latest warning that previously unchallenged religious freedoms risk being eroded by a growing wave of religious intolerance.
Tuesday, September 7, 2021
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
- The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau announced an enforcement order against the provider of revenue sharing agreements Better Future Ahead, Inc. for falsely declaring revenue sharing agreements not to be loans, for failing to provide information required by law and for violating a prepayment penalty ban covering private education loans. The ordinance requires the company to reform its business practices, but does not impose a financial penalty for substantial cooperation and good faith.
- Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”) Acting Director Uejio released a statement applauding the United States District Court’s decision for the West District of Texas decision to uphold the payment provisions of the rule. 2017 CFPB on High Cost Payday Loans, Vehicle Title and Installment Loans. The court order provides that compliance with the rule will be mandatory as of June 13, 2022.
- Massachusetts Attorney General Healey announced that under disclaimer insurance, a debt collection company Transworld Systems, Inc. agreed to pay $ 2.25 million and significantly change its business practices. Settlement resolves allegations the company violated debt collection law by making a high volume of appeals, attempting to collect prescribed debts, and using false and misleading affidavits to collect student loan debts private.
Fair Opportunities in Housing Act
- New Jersey Acting Attorney General Bruck announced that the New Jersey Civil Rights Division has proposed new rules to increase housing options for people with criminal records. The rules will implement the Fair Chance in Housing Act which prohibits landlords from interviewing applicants for criminal history under most circumstances, as well as checking applicants’ criminal backgrounds before making a conditional offer of housing. Homeowners must also meet additional requirements before rejecting applicants on the basis of criminal history.
Health Care – Interim Final Rule
- California Attorney General Bonta sent a comment letter to the US Department of Health and Human Services, the US Department of Labor and the US Department of the Treasury applauding the federal government’s interim final rule that will extend protection against medical bills surprises to those who receive health coverage through self-funded employer plans and those who live in states without protection. Attorney General Bonta also made suggestions to strengthen the rule, for example by expanding the definition of “emergency care center”.
Wednesday, September 8, 2021
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
- The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau filed a complaint accusing LendUp Loans, LLC violate a 2016 consent order by continuing to mislead repeat borrowing marketing; and fail to provide timely and accurate advice to those whose loan applications have been denied. The lawsuit seeks an injunction, damages or restitution, restitution and civil penalties.
- Washington Attorney General Ferguson announced that the debt collection agency Convergent has to pay over $ 1.6 million in settlement. The settlement resolves allegations that the company sent misleading “offer to settle” letters deceptively suggesting that there was a possibility of litigation to collect debts that were in fact overdue and unrecoverable.
National Association of Attorneys General Virtual Summit 2021 Robocall
- Ohio Attorney General Yost and Michigan Attorney General Nessel co-hosted the National Association of Attorneys General’s 2021 virtual summit. The objectives of the summit include highlighting and coordinating enforcement action against robocalls, establishing links to share information, lobbying for legislation and sharing best practices.
- California Attorney General Bonta has announced that California’s predatory pricing law is in effect in Lake County after the declaration of a state of emergency for the cache fire.
Thursday, September 9, 2021
- Virginia Attorney General Herring announced that the State Corporation Commission had passed regulations implementing the “Bill of Rights” for Virginia student borrowers, specifically noting the influence of Attorney General Herring’s favorable comments. Under the new laws, the Virginia Attorney General’s office will have the capacity to investigate and take action against allegations of misconduct involving student loan officers.
Environment – Anti-idling law
- Massachusetts Attorney General Healey announced a settlement with the school bus company Tremblay Bus Company, LLC, resolving allegations that the company violated the state and federal Clean Air Act, state air regulations, and school idling regulations by allowing its buses to run idling unnecessarily on school grounds. The agreement includes a civil fine of up to $ 120,000, a payment of $ 45,000 to the attorney general’s office and an injunction, including posting “no excessive idling” signs.
- Minnesota Attorney General Ellison announced his office had secured a judgment of $ 954,966 against the company Contribution to 2 fighters / Coast 2 Coast Marketing and its owner for violating consumer protection and charitable solicitation laws. The company reportedly went door-to-door claiming that it was a non-profit organization seeking donations for care packages to send to service members, but then spent the funds on it. owner’s personal use. In addition to the monetary provision, the judgment prevents the company from doing business in the state and prohibits the owner from any involvement in the state’s nonprofit sector.
Work and employment
- New York Attorney General James announced a deal with Old Republic National Title Insurance Company, ending its use of no-poaching agreements. The regulations require the company to pay $ 1 million, terminate any pending no-poaching agreements, and cooperate with ongoing investigations in this area. The press release also says it is intended to warn businesses that New York City will not tolerate no-poaching agreements.
Friday, September 10, 2021
- Colorado Attorney General Weiser announced that the risky auto finance company Santander Consumer USA, Inc. will provide the state with debt relief of $ 3.065 million. The settlement resolves allegations that the company’s subprime lending practices violated consumer protection law by placing consumers in loans with a high probability of default and exposing them to unnecessary risk. Among other things, settlement includes canceling debt, buying back loans from third parties, repairing credit, and not forcing consumers to make payments through methods that require third-party fees.
Health – Transparency of hospital tariffs
- North Carolina Attorney General Stein announced his appreciation for the work of North Carolina hospitals in complying with price transparency regulations. He also announced follow-up letters sent to hospital administrators requesting updates on their work towards compliance.
Consumer Protection Act by Telephone
- North Carolina Attorney General Stein applauded a Sixth Circuit ruling inLindenbaum vs. Realgy maintaining the ban on robotic calls in the Consumer Protection Act by telephone. The ruling overturns a district court ruling that because one part of the law was found to be invalid, the rest of the law is also invalid. After the Sixth Circuit’s decision, state attorneys general are able to pursue enforcement actions under the law.