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Rutledge Applauds the Administration’s Rural Prosperity Task Force Report

Rutledge Applauds the Administration’s Rural Prosperity Task Force Report

Mon, Jan 8, 2018

Says, ‘This report, if fully implemented, will not only change rural America, but it will empower these communities for generations’

LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge applauds the recommendations made by President Donald J. Trump’s Rural Prosperity Task Force. The inter-agency task force was chaired by Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue with the responsibility of establishing a vision and action plan to guide a better rural America into the future.

“Being raised on a cattle ranch in rural Independence County provided me a strong work ethic, an appreciation for the land and an understanding of needs in rural communities,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “Many of the issues addressed in the task force report are the same concerns brought forward by Arkansans as I have traveled the state holding roundtable events over the last three years, including the more than 375 farmers I met with in 2016. This comprehensive effort creates the framework that will assist Arkansas farmers, ranchers, foresters, producers and rural communities who have felt neglected and deserve access to high-speed internet, affordable health care, workforce development and regulatory relief. This report, if fully implemented, will not only change rural America, but it will empower these communities for generations.”

The report identified five key factors to target legislative, regulatory and policy changes. They include connectivity, quality of life improvement, support for rural workforce, technological innovation and economic development.

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Rutledge Part of $45 Million Settlement with PHH Mortgage Corporation

Rutledge Part of $45 Million Settlement with PHH Mortgage Corporation

Fri, Jan 5, 2018

Says, ‘agreement sets servicing standards that PHH must provide to protect consumers’

LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge announced today that she, along with attorneys general from 48 other states and the District of Columbia and more than 40 state mortgage regulators have reached a $45 million settlement with New Jersey-based mortgage lender and servicer PHH Mortgage Corporation.

The settlement resolves allegations that PHH, the nation’s ninth largest non-bank residential mortgage originator and servicer, improperly serviced mortgage loans from January 1, 2009 through December 31, 2012.

The agreement requires PHH to follow comprehensive mortgage servicing standards, conduct audits and provide audit results to a committee of states.

“This agreement sets servicing standards that PHH must provide to protect consumers going forward,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “This settlement holds PHH accountable for failing to timely apply payments, maintain accurate account statements, threatening foreclosure and other deceptive and unfair activities conducted by the business.”

The settlement includes $30.4 million in payments to borrowers who were foreclosed upon or referred to foreclosure. Borrowers who were subjected to PHH foreclosures during the eligible period will qualify for a minimum $840 payment, and borrowers who faced foreclosures that PHH initiated during the eligible period, but did not lose their home, are eligible to receive at least $285.

Approximately 520 Arkansas borrowers are eligible for compensation under the settlement. A settlement administrator will contact eligible recipients at a later date.

The settlement also includes nearly $160,000 to the Arkansas Securities Department for violations of certain State regulations. The settlement does not release PHH from liability for any conduct that may have occurred since 2013.

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Rutledge Holds 1st Roundtable of 2018

Rutledge Holds 1st Roundtable of 2018

Thu, Jan 4, 2018

MENA – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today kicked off the first Rutledge Roundtables of 2018 with community leaders in Polk and Scott counties. This marks the fourth consecutive year Attorney General Rutledge will visit all 75 counties to hear directly from Arkansans about their concerns and issues impacting their county.

“Each year I have built stronger relationships with communities across Arkansas,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “Starting a conversation with various business, education, agriculture, faith-based and community leaders in each county gives me a better understanding of what I can do as Attorney General to best serve and assist Arkansans.”

Rutledge has hosted 232 roundtables with more than 2,200 participants since taking office in 2015.

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Rutledge Sets January Mobile Office Locations

Rutledge Sets January Mobile Office Locations

Wed, Jan 3, 2018

LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today announced mobile office locations for January.

Attorney General Rutledge created the mobile office initiative during her first year in office to make the office accessible to everyone, particularly to those who live outside the capital city. Office hours were held in all 75 counties in 2015, 2016 and 2017 and assisted nearly 1,000 Arkansans last year.

Rutledge believes in face-to-face conversations. The Attorney General Mobile Offices assist constituents with consumer related issues in filing consumer complaints against scam artists as well as answering questions about the office and the other services it offers to constituents.

This year, the Cooperative Extension Service will be on hand at each mobile office to also provide information on the services they provide statewide.

Rutledge continues her partnership with local law enforcement across Arkansas to offer prescription drug take back boxes at each mobile office. Law enforcement will be at all mobile offices to handle a secure box and properly dispose of the prescriptions collected. Rutledge encourages Arkansans to bring their old, unused or expired prescription medications to an upcoming mobile office.

For more information about services provided by the Attorney General’s office, visit ArkansasAG.gov or call (501) 682-2007. Rutledge can also be found on Facebook at facebook.com/AGLeslieRutledge and on Twitter at twitter.com/AGRutledge.

The upcoming mobile office schedule is below:

Grant County
Tuesday, January 9
9:30 – 11 a.m.
Grant County Cooperative Extension Service
202 West Pine Street
Sheridan, AR 72150

Perry County
Thursday, January 11
10 to 11:30 a.m.
Perryville Senior Adult Center
107 North Magnolia Street
Perryville, AR 72126

Conway County
Thursday, January 18
10:30 a.m. to noon
TC Vaughan Senior Adult Center
706 North Division Street
Morrilton, AR 72110

White County
Tuesday, January 23
10 to 11:30 a.m.
White County Cooperative Extension Service
411 North Spruce
Searcy, AR 72143

Ashley County
Thursday, January 25
10 to 11:30 a.m.
Hamburg Senior Center
1406 North Main Street
Hamburg, AR 71646

Prairie County
Tuesday, January 30
10 to 11:30 a.m.
Des Arc Senior Center
1103 Main Street
Des Arc, AR 72040

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Rutledge Statement on the Passing of Marked Tree Mayor Mary Ann Arnold

Rutledge Statement on the Passing of Marked Tree Mayor Mary Ann Arnold

Fri, Dec 22, 2017

LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge released the following statement after learning of the passing of Marked Tree Mayor Mary Ann Arnold.

"I was saddened to learn of the passing of Mayor Arnold. She was a dedicated public servant to her beloved community of Marked Tree. I had the pleasure of working with her over the years as she regularly attended my roundtable discussions in Poinsett County. Her leadership will be missed.”

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Rutledge Reaches Settlement with Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals

Rutledge Reaches Settlement with Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals

Thu, Dec 21, 2017

Says, ‘Arkansans should be able to trust that the medications they are being prescribed will help cure their ailments’

LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge has reached a settlement, along with attorneys general from all other states and the District of Columbia, with Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (BIPI). The settlement ends a multistate investigation into BIPI’s alleged off-label marketing, deceptive and misleading representations made in its promotion of four of its prescription drugs: Micardis®, Aggrenox®, Atrovent®, and Combivent®.

“Arkansans should be able to trust that the medications they are being prescribed will help cure their ailments,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “But the deceptive advertising practices of Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals calls those prescriptions into question and puts Arkansans at risk of taking medications that will not help them.”

Arkansas will receive $175,298.58 of the $13.5 million settlement, which will be deposited into the Consumer Education and Enforcement Fund. The settlement resolves allegations that BIPI engaged in a course of trade or commerce that constitutes unfair, deceptive, or misleading practices, by making misrepresentations about the above-mentioned prescription drugs and by representing that the prescription drugs had sponsorship, approval, characteristics, ingredients, uses, benefits, quantities, or qualities that they did not have. Specifically, the States allege BIPI: (1) misrepresented that its antiplatelet drug, Aggrenox®, was effective for many conditions “below the neck,” such as heart attacks and congestive heart failure, and that it was superior to Plavix® without evidence to substantiate that claim; (2) misrepresented that Micardis® protected patients from early morning strokes and heart attacks and treated metabolic syndrome; (3) misrepresented that Combivent® could be used as a first-line treatment for bronchospasms associated with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD); and (4) falsely stated that Atrovent® and Combivent® could be used at doses that exceeded the maximum dosage recommendation in the product labeling and that they were essential for treatment of COPD.

The Consent Judgment requires BIPI to ensure that its marketing and promotional practices do not unlawfully promote these prescription drug products. Specifically, BIPI will:

· Limit product sampling of the four drugs to health care providers whose clinical practice is consistent with the product labeling;

· Refrain from offering financial incentives for sales that may indicate off-label use of any of the four drugs;

· Ensure clinically relevant information is provided in an unbiased manner that is distinct from promotional materials; and

· Provide that requests for off-label information regarding any of the four drugs are referred to BIPI’s Medical Division.

Kansas and Pennsylvania led the Executive Committee, which also includes Attorneys General from Arizona, District of Columbia, Illinois, Indiana, Nevada, Tennessee and Texas.

All 50 states and the District of Columbia are participating in the settlement.

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