On January 31, 2023, the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office (“Mass AG”) announced a settlement with Hometown Auto Framingham, Inc. (“Hometown Auto”), resolving allegations that the auto dealership had engaged in unfair, deceptive, and discriminatory pricing of add-on products sold to Black and Hispanic consumers. Under the terms of the settlement, Hometown Auto will pay $350,000, which includes $200,000 in restitution and a $150,000 civil penalty.… Continue Reading
The Division of Banks of the Massachusetts Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation has issued a supervisory alert to warn financial institutions of the potential legal and regulatory risks arising from NSF fees charged on the representment of unpaid transactions.
The alert addresses the common scenario in which a financial institution charges an NSF fee when an ACH item is presented for payment from a consumer’s account and is declined due to insufficient funds in the account to cover the item. … Continue Reading
A Massachusetts federal district court has entered a temporary restraining order that blocks the state’s attorney general from enforcing the prohibitions on initiating lawsuits and making collection calls in the AG’s emergency debt collection regulation promulgated on March 26. The TRO was sought by ACA International, the Association of Credit and Collection Professionals, in its lawsuit seeking to have the court declare the emergency regulation invalid and enjoining the AG from enforcing the regulation.… Continue Reading
ACA International, the Association of Credit and Collection Professionals, has filed a lawsuit in Massachusetts seeking to have the federal district court declare the emergency debt collection regulation promulgated on March 26 by the MA Attorney General invalid and enjoining the AG from enforcing the regulation against debt collectors and creditors. … Continue Reading
On March 27, 2020, the Massachusetts Attorney General filed an emergency regulation interpreting the Massachusetts Consumer Protection Act, M.G.L. Chapter 93A, to address certain practices by creditors and debt collectors that it has determined to be unfair and deceptive under present circumstances. The regulation, entitled “Unfair and Deceptive Debt Collection Practices During the State of Emergency Caused by COVID-19” (940 CMR 35:00), applies to “creditors” (as defined in 940 CMR 7.03) and “debt collectors” (as defined in the emergency regulation).… Continue Reading
It has been reported that, without announcement or warning, the regulations applicable to third-party debt collectors in Massachusetts may have changed. While the state’s Division of Banks (DOB) and the state’s Attorney General (AG) have traditionally regulated, respectively, third-party debt collectors and first-party creditors, the AG is reported to have changed its website recently to include third-party debt collectors as entities that it regulates.… Continue Reading