State AG Monitor

State AGs in the News

Posted in Consumer Protection, Employment, Environment, Mortgages/Foreclosures, State AGs in the News

Hot News

Save the Date | A Conversation with State Attorneys General Webcast
Wednesday, April 18, 2:00 PM (ET)

Join Doug Gansler, Attorney General of Maryland and incoming president of the National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG), for the next installment of “A Conversation with State Attorneys General,” Dickstein Shapiro’s new webcast series. State AG Practice Partner Divonne Smoyer will interview General Gansler about his role and priorities as Maryland’s chief legal officer. General Gansler will also answer questions from the audience. An invitation and details will follow.

Mortgages/Foreclosures

New York AG Settles with Five Banks over Use of Electronic Mortgage Database

  • New York AG Eric Schneiderman reached an agreement with JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Citigroup, and Ally Financial resolving certain allegations that MERS, the electronic mortgage database used by the banks to record information on mortgages, contained inaccurate information.
  • The banks agreed to collectively pay $25 million to resolve the allegations that they used the allegedly inaccurate information contained in the database to initiate foreclosure actions, although the New York AG office stated that the settlement did not resolve all of the State’s claims.

Consumer Protection

Massachusetts AG Sues Landlord over Discriminatory Housing Practices

  • Massachusetts AG Martha Coakley filed suit against an apartment building owner for allegedly refusing to rent to recipients of federal housing assistance.
  • The lawsuit alleges that the landlord told a prospective tenant that she would not rent the apartment because the prospective tenant had a housing voucher, which is a violation of a Massachusetts law prohibiting discrimination against housing applicants because they receive public assistance.

New York AG Settles with Home Depot over Non-Compliant Trailers

  • New York AG Eric Schneiderman announced an agreement with Home Depot resolving allegations that the company sold consumers trailers that failed to comply with state vehicle laws.
  • Home Depot agreed to contact consumers who purchased the trailers, which allegedly failed to include braking systems required by state law, and to offer them the option of a full refund or reimbursement for the cost of installing a new brake system.

Florida AG Sues Timeshare Company for Alleged Fraudulent Marketing

  • Florida AG Pam Bondi filed suit against a timeshare company for allegedly using false and misleading statements to entice consumers to use its timeshare resale services.
  • The lawsuit alleges that the company contacted consumers and falsely claimed that it had procured interested or actual buyers for the consumers’ timeshares, then sought an up-front fee for its services and attempted to convince consumers to enter into contracts with written terms that were far different than those represented orally.

Securities

Ohio AG Sues BNY Mellon for Foreign Exchange Practices

  • Ohio AG Mike DeWine filed suit against Bank of New York Mellon on behalf of state police, firefighter, and school employee pension funds over the firm’s practices related to foreign currency exchange.
  • The lawsuit, one of several filed against BNY Mellon, alleges that the company systematically overcharged the pensions by reporting currency trades at the least favorable rate during the day and pocketed the difference between this rate and the actual rate at which the currency was exchanged.

Employment

Massachusetts AG Reaches $2.8 Million Wage and Hour Settlements with Three Companies

  • Massachusetts AG Martha Coakley announced settlements in three cases resolving allegations that a drywall company, sewer maintenance firm, and waste disposal company failed to pay prevailing rates and submitted incorrect payroll records.
  • Under the settlements, the three companies agreed to pay a combined total of more than $1 million in fines and penalties to the State and more than $1.8 million in restitution to workers who were underpaid as a result of the alleged practices.

Massachusetts AG Reaches Meal Break Settlement with Retailer

  • Massachusetts AG Martha Coakley announced a settlement with a children’s retailer resolving allegations that it required employees to work more than six hours without providing a 30-minute meal break as required by law.
  • Under the settlement, the company agreed to pay $320,000 in penalties, $130,000 to affected employees, and $13,600 to update its policies to ensure compliance with Massachusetts employment law.

Environment

California AG Reaches Settlement with TravelCenters over Fuel Tanks

  • California AG Kamala Harris announced a settlement with TravelCenters, one of the nation’s largest truck stop operators, resolving allegations that practices at one of the company’s service stations failed to comply with regulations to detect the release of hazardous substances from fuel tanks into the environment.
  • Under the settlement, the company will pay $950,000 in penalties, costs, and expenses and has agreed to install and maintain equipment and create procedures to ensure compliance with environmental laws.