On August 17, 2015, the North Dakota Attorney General’s Office announced it entered a cease and desist order against a regional consumer credit services company. According to the Attorney General, the company solicited business using illegal robocalls that promised interest rate reductions and other loan modification services. The company allegedly called some consumers multiple times per day. The allegedly prerecorded calls promised interest rate reductions to consumers in exchange for balance transfers of credit card debt. Once consumers accepted the company’s offer, the recording transferred the consumer to a financial adviser who, in turn, promised better credit terms in exchange for balance transfers of credit card debt. The company allegedly misrepresented that consumers would receive an introductory rate of zero percent for thirty-six months and that consumers would not be charged a fee for the transfer. In reality, the company allegedly charged fees of up to $800 and only provided zero percent interest rates for twelve months. After commencing its investigation, the Attorney General sent multiple requests for information to the company but the company failed to respond. The Attorney General’s cease and desist order alleges the company violated North Dakota’s Consumer Fraud Law, Home Solicitation Law and Do Not Call law, which prohibit unfair or misleading business practices and robocalls. The order prohibits the company from engaging in any further violations of North Dakota’s consumer protection laws, including robocalls, charging undisclosed fees, and misrepresentations regarding the company’s business services. The order further states that the company will be subject to civil and criminal penalties for any future violations.
Blog Enforcement Watch August 18, 2015