Washington AG sues firm over illegal student loan practices

Attorney General Bob Ferguson announced action against a student loan debt adjusting firm that exploited borrowers for financial gain.

Ferguson filed a lawsuit Monday charging

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76 Washington consumers receive checks for misleading vehicle service contracts, thousands more may be eligible

SEATTLE — Attorney General Bob Ferguson joined three other state attorneys general today in announcing that approximately 19,000 consumers nationwide will share more than $9.3 million to compensate them for their problems with U.S. Fidelis, a now-defunct dealer of vehicle service contracts. Checks are going in the mail today for those who filed a claim.

A vehicle service contract provides protection against unexpected or costly vehicle repairs. 

“Consumers received a bad deal from U.S Fidelis,” said Ferguson. “My office will go after businesses that mislead consumers and don’t play by the rules.”

U.S. Fidelis deceptively marketed and sold vehicle service contracts for itself and other businesses. It also operated under the name of National Auto Warranty Services and Dealer Services. U.S. Fidelis filed bankruptcy in March 2010.

E-Cycle Washington reaches 200 million pound milestone

OLYMPIA – Washington’s nationally recognized E-Cycle Washington program has achieved a milestone by collecting 200 million pounds of TVs, computers and monitors for free recycling. Two-hundred million pounds equals the weight of 361 fully loaded Boeing 787 Dreamliners.
 
It took less than five years for the statewide E-Cycle Washington program to reach the landmark 200 million pound mark by increasing collection totals each year. In 2009, the first year of collections, 38.5 million pounds were collected, but Washington consumers were just getting warmed up. The program totals kept climbing each year, and 2013 is on pace to set another one-year record estimated by the Department of Ecology (Ecology) to be 46 million pounds.
 
Washington has historically had one of the highest participation rates in the country among 25 states with similar programs. This year Washington residents will recycle approximately 6.7 pounds of electronics per person. 

State Insurance Commissioner Warns Against Purchasing Auto Warranties

Olympia, Wash.- The Washington state insurance commissioner’s office has issued a cease-and-desist order against an Ohio company that’s selling unauthorized vehicle service contracts.
Auto Repair Warranty, Inc. and company founder Michael F. Petruziello have been ordered to immediately stop selling or advertising insurance in Washington. Under state law, such contracts are considered to be insurance.
Neither the company nor Petruziello is authorized to issue or sell insurance in Washington. Neither has applied for or been granted a registration as a motor vehicle service contract provider.
Investigators for the insurance commissioner’s office know of at least two Washington consumers who have purchased coverage from the company. The company’s website is: www.autorepairwarranty.com.
The order requires the company and Petruziello to provide the insurance commissioner’s office with a list of Washington customers, how much they’ve paid, and their contact information. The company is also required to notify all Washington customers about the order.
Under Washington law, any unauthorized insurer is individually liable for the performance of the contract and for the full amount of any loss sustained by an insured person under such a contract.
For a copy of the complete cease-and-desist order, please click here.