Working For You
Whether assisting a consumer in recovering a 20-cent phone bill overage, or pursuing litigation in multimillion-dollar cases, the Consumer Protection Division of the Attorney General’s Office has a long and successful record of getting results on behalf of the consumers of Arkansas.
Here are a few examples of the Consumer Protection Division’s work:
- In 2010, the Consumer Protection Division helped Rick Frazier of Pearcy recover $500 after a bank refused to accept an incomplete real estate appraisal that Frazier had purchased in order to refinance his home loan. Consumer Protection Division investigators worked to have the appraiser refund Frazier his money. When Frazier got his refund, he had this to say about the Consumer Protection Division: “They treated me like I was somebody, and they got the job done. It restored my faith in government.”
- After successfully ridding the state of storefront payday loan operations several years ago, the Consumer Protection Division has actively pursued payday lenders who conduct illegal lending activities in Arkansas via the Internet. In 2011, the State sued and reached settlements with two such lenders, forcing the operations to abandon claims of close to $750,000. The companies charged more than 300 percent interest on their illegal short-term loans. The Consumer Protection Division will continue to monitor the Internet marketplace to investigate and take action against online payday lenders.
- Last year, the Consumer Protection Division aided John Casey of Fort Smith in a dispute with a Tennessee-based financial institution that was continuing to charge him an “annual service fee,” even after he had paid off a loan. After being contacted by the Consumer Protection Division, the bank terminated the fee, saving Casey up to $300. In a letter to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Casey said this: “This is an example of good government, something that happens all the time, so much so that we take it for granted.”
- Arkansas consumers were angry and frustrated with the vast amount of unsolicited, prerecorded calls they were receiving asking them to purchase automobile warranties. So, the Consumer Protection Division took action. The Attorney General’s Office sued seven companies that utilized illegal prerecorded commercial calls to peddle service contracts and extended warranties. All of the lawsuits were resolved favorably for the State, resulting in all seven companies abandoning their practices in Arkansas.
- When an organization purporting to raise money to benefit veterans was instead using nearly all the money for other purposes, a Consumer Protection Division investigation resulted in a successful lawsuit against the so-called charity. The organization was actually spending less than 1 percent of its income to benefit veterans and absolutely none of the money was headed to Arkansas. As a result of the suit, the company paid the state $33,749 – the amount that had been donated by Arkansas residents – and the Attorney General’s Office turned that money over to Arkansas State University’s Beck PRIDE Center for wounded veterans.
- When the owners of a website refused to remove an anonymous post containing derogatory information unless she paid a substantial monthly fee, Madison Hedrick of Little Rock called the Consumer Protection Division of the Attorney General’s Office. Hedrick was asked to file a consumer complaint, and after the Division intervened on her behalf, the website owners removed the content. Hedrick had this to say about the Consumer Protection Division: “I was so pleased that with one phone call, all my worry and fears were eased, and the Attorney General cared about my case and helped me when I couldn’t have gotten the results on my own.”
The Consumer Protection Division gets positive results for Arkansans every day. If you would like to comment about how the Attorney General’s Office has helped you, write us at firstname.lastname@example.org.