Rutledge to Host Retiree Resources Event in Central ArkansasFri, Aug 16, 2019
Retirees can look us in the eye and ask questions about how to protect their finances
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge announced registration is open for the free regional Rutledge Retiree Resources event to be held Thursday, September 5 in Little Rock. This will be the fifth retiree event held as a part of statewide educational series hosted by Rutledge. The agenda includes programs designed to educate retirees about how they can protect themselves from pervasive and vicious scam artists.
“Face-to-face meetings allow retirees to look us in the eyes and ask questions directly about how they can protect their finances,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “Arkansans should enjoy retirement by spending time with family and friends, instead of having to worry about losing their hard-earned savings to lazy, low-life con artists.”
Attendees will hear from the Attorney General’s public protection experts about how to guard themselves from scams and identity theft, proper prescription drug disposal, resources available regarding nursing homes and home care and how to protect finances.
The event will be at The Church at Rock Creek, 11500 West 36th Street, Little Rock, Arkansas. For those interested in attending this free educational event or future events, register today. Lunch will be provided.
Rutledge Retiree Resources have been held in Fayetteville, Jonesboro, DeWitt and Hope.
Rutledge: Voyager to Shut Down and Pay as Part of Settlement for Ripping Off Veterans in Exchange for PensionsThu, Aug 15, 2019
Settlement requires Voyager Financial to pay $2.7 million to impacted vets
LITTLE ROCK - Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge announced the filing of a Stipulated Final Judgment and Order against central Arkansas owner Andrew Gamber; Voyager Financial Group, LLC; BAIC, Inc.; and SoBell Corp. for the brokering of contracts that offer high-interest credit to veterans in exchange for investors illegally acquiring rights to receive future pension payments. These businesses and their former owner are permanently prohibited from offering these illegal agreements.
“Scam artists will stop at nothing to try to poach our veterans’ pensions despite state and federal protections,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “We will always go after those who try to take advantage of our veterans and their much deserved pensions.”
The settlement alleges violations of the Consumer Financial Protection Act of 2010, the Arkansas Deceptive Trade Practices Act and the Arkansas Constitution. The federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau joined Attorney General Rutledge in the investigation and settlement of claims against Voyager. The Company and its owners are permanently banned from brokering, offering and arranging agreements between pension recipients and third parties. Defendants must cooperate fully with the Attorney General and Bureau to determine the identity and location of, and the amount of injury sustained by, each consumer.
If you are a consumer who has been impacted by the actions by Voyager Financial Group or its owners, Rutledge encourages you to contact the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Hotline at (800) 482-8982.
Rutledge Delivers Statewide Advisory to Alarm CompaniesWed, Aug 14, 2019
Says, ‘working with businesses in advance will alleviate potential illegal activity’
LITTLE ROCK - Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge is sending an advisory letter to residential alarm companies due to an alarming number of complaints against these businesses. In 2018, Rutledge’s office received over 100 complaints against alarm businesses who subjected consumers to aggressive door-to-door sales practices, deceptive marketing and refused to honor timely contract cancellations. The advisory will educate businesses on illegal business practices as well as warn the bad actors of the consequences for the use of misleading and deceptive tactics.
“My office has received too many complaints against alarm companies, and this advisory is an opportunity to educate companies about their obligations and to inform potential buyers of their rights,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “Working with businesses in advance will alleviate potential illegal activity and prevent many consumers from jumping into contracts.”
Rutledge’s advisory highlights provisions of the Home Solicitation Sales Act (HSSA) and the Deceptive Trade Practices Act (DTPA), with specific requirements each company, contract and employee must comply with:
- At every interaction, the salespersons must clearly disclose which company they represent and that their purpose is to sell goods or services.
- Misrepresenting the nature of the contact as a quiz, survey or model home offer or anything other than a sales contact is illegal.
- Alarm companies must provide oral and written notice of the consumer’s three-day right to cancel at the time of the sale.
- Salespersons and written contracts must clearly disclose the total price, down payment, unpaid balance, the number, amount and due dates for payments, and accurately describe the goods and services sold.
- Automatic renewal of professional home security contracts after the initial contract term may only be in successive monthly terms.
- Contracts shall conspicuously state that the consumer has the right to terminate the contract without additional penalty at the end of the initial term.
Violations of HSSA or DTPA may be subject to civil penalties of up to $10,000 per violation with enhanced penalties for elderly and disabled victims.
If you are a consumer who has been impacted by the actions by an alarm company, Rutledge encourages you to contact the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Hotline at (800) 482-8982.
Rutledge and Cotton Host Roundtable Discussions in BatesvilleTue, Aug 13, 2019
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge and U.S. Senator Tom Cotton held roundtable discussions today with various local leaders in Rutledge’s hometown of Batesville. The Attorney General and the Senator heard directly from members of the community on topics including education, manufacturing, healthcare, financial regulations and criminal justice.
“It was a pleasure to host my good friend Senator Cotton in my hometown and to discuss with community members how we can grow more jobs locally while creating additional economic opportunities not only in Arkansas but around the world,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “I look forward to continuing the partnership between our offices to make Arkansas a leader in job creation and a safer, even better place to live.”
Since taking office, Rutledge has held 335 Rutledge Roundtables with more than 3,576 attendees.
Today’s roundtables held at First Community Bank and Spartan Mowers, involved representatives from several Independence County businesses and local government offices as well as a tour of Spartan Mowers new production facility.
Rutledge Files Consumer-Protection Suit Against Hot Springs-Based Vacation Rental CompanyMon, Aug 12, 2019
Says, ‘this business has ruined many vacations and repeatedly violated Arkansas law’
LITTLE ROCK - Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge has filed a consumer-protection lawsuit in Garland County Circuit Court against the Hot Springs-based company Timeless Memories, LLC and its owners, Brittany Brown of Bonnerdale and Karen Annette Tidwell Monet of Glenwood, for advertising false, misleading and deceptive vacation rental properties on popular travel-booking websites.
“These defendants deceived consumers out of thousands of dollars who were simply trying to enjoy vacations with their families and friends,” said Attorney General Leslie Rutledge. “By over promising and under delivering, this business has ruined many vacations and repeatedly violated Arkansas law.”
The Complaint alleges that Brown, Monet and Timeless Memories advertised vacation rental properties on various travel-booking websites, including VRBO and Airbnb. Their rental property descriptions falsely advertised exclusive amenities like hot tubs and lake access that the properties did not have. Relying on these misleading listings, consumers paid defendants thousands of dollars to secure the properties for family vacations. Defendants also encouraged some consumers to pay outside of the online booking sites, which voided the sites’ online payment protection guarantees.
The Attorney General’s Office discovered at least eight affected consumers impacted by the deception perpetrated by Brown, Monet and Timeless Memories. Consumers report they tried to contact the defendants to obtain refunds with no success. According to the Complaint, consumer losses are valued at $18,911.93.
Rutledge is asking the court to impose civil penalties, restitution and attorneys’ fees and costs. In addition, she seeks to stop Brown, Monet and Timeless Memories from operating their vacation rental home business in Arkansas.
Victims of these business practices should file a consumer complaint on ArkansasAG.gov or call (800) 482-8982.
Rutledge Lauds Effort to Clarify Clean Water Act Rules to Meet Arkansas’s NeedsFri, Aug 9, 2019
Says, ‘guidance gives Arkansas the freedom we need to develop our energy infrastructure while preserving and protecting the natural beauty’
LITTLE ROCK - Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today released a statement following the announcement by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to issue a guidance to clarify requirements in Section 401 of the Clean Water Act (CWA). This action comes after President Donald J. Trump issued an Executive Order in April 2019 directing the EPA to work with agencies, states and tribal authorities to reduce confusion and uncertainty in the Section 401 certification process.
“Today’s guidance gives Arkansas the freedom we need to develop our energy infrastructure while preserving and protecting the natural beauty and water resources that draw millions of Americans to our state each year,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “I commend the Administration for collaborating with states to allow for recommendations that best fit the needs of Arkansans.”
The proposed rulemaking replaces the 2010 interim guidance issued by EPA and will clarify and streamline Section 401 certifications of the CWA.