Iowa AG Obtains Consent Judgment Banning Arizona Company from Offering Foreclosure Services in the State
- Iowa AG Tom Miller announced that his office recently obtained a consent judgment enjoining Bruce Spurlock, the co-owner of the now-defunct Arizona-based company Discount Mortgage Relief and Mortgage Relief LLC, from engaging as a foreclosure consultant in any manner in the state.
- AG Miller alleged that Spurlock violated Iowa’s Consumer Fraud Act by demanding, charging and collecting money for foreclosure consulting services that were never provided or completed. Spurlock must pay a $40,000 civil penalty if he does not comply with the court order.
- State AGs of Arkansas, Georgia, Maryland, New Hampshire and Washington also have conducted or are conducting civil law enforcement actions against Spurlock and his company.
West Virginia AG Obtains More Than $700,000 in Settlement with Debt Collection Agencies
- West Virginia AG Darrell McGraw announced last week that his office has settled with out-of-state debt collection agencies Frontier Financial Group, United Debt Holding, Skutr Financial, USCB Corp., and Mauconduit & Luna for a total of $772,286 in refunds and cancelled debts.
- The settlement is based on allegations that the companies were collecting illegal Internet payday loans and that four of the companies were not licensed to do business in West Virginia.
NY AG Settles with Consulting Firm for Failing to Make Religious Observance Accommodations
- New York AG Eric Schneiderman announced that his office has settled with Milrose Consultants for failing to reasonably accommodate the religious observance requirements of a prospective hire.
- Milrose is alleged to have rescinded its employment offer to a prospective employee after learning that the employee occasionally would need an accommodation to leave work early on Fridays to observe Sabbath. Milrose also allegedly did not have a religious accommodations policy or any formal procedure for receiving or handling employee religious accommodations request.
- Under the terms of the settlement, Milrose must create new accommodations policies and educate and train their employees about their new policies.
D.C. Circuit Sides with AGs Over Federal Nuclear Storage Rule
- Last week the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia vacated orders issued from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) regarding the temporary storage and permanent disposal of nuclear waste.
- Four states (New York, New Jersey, Vermont, and Connecticut), a Native American community, and a variety of environmental groups had petitioned the court for a review of the NRC’s orders, which determined that spent fuel could be safely stored on site at nuclear plants for 60 years after the expiration of the plant’s license and that permanent storage of nuclear waste would be available “when necessary.”
- The D.C. Circuit vacated the NRC orders on the ground that the rulemaking required either an environmental impact statement or a finding of no significant impact, which the NRC had not done, and because the NRC’s evaluation of the risks of spent nuclear fuel was deficient.
New York Judge Grants New York and Delaware’s Motions to Intervene in Proposed Bank Settlement
- This week New York State Supreme Court Justice Barbara Kapnick granted New York AG Eric Schneiderman and Delaware AG Beau Biden’s motion to intervene in litigation between Bank of America and Bank of New York Mellon Corp. over a proposed $8.5 billion settlement.
- The settlement between the banks would resolve claims from investors in mortgage bonds from Countrywide Financial, which Bank of America bought in 2008.
- The State AGs intervened in the lawsuit out of a concern about the fairness and adequacy of the settlement amount.
New Jersey AG Files Federal Lawsuit Against Mobile App Developer for Transmitting Children’s Information
- New Jersey AG Jeffrey Chiesa brought a lawsuit in federal court last week alleging that mobile app developer 24×7 digital LLC, the developer of the “TeachMe” series of apps, violated the federal Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act by collecting and transmitting children’s personal information without parents’ knowledge or consent.
- The lawsuit is based on allegations that the TeachMe apps encourage children to provide their first and last names and pictures when they create their player profiles and then this data is transmitted along with a unique device identification number to a third-party analytics company.