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Top 10 List of Consumer Complaints for 2008

Top 10 List Of Consumer Complaints Include Credit Cards and Predatory Lending/Mortgages

August 31, 2009 -- Washington, DC---In a sign of the economic times, credit cards and predatory lending/mortgages cracked the national top 10 list of consumer complaints to state Attorneys General offices in the year 2008. The top three: debt collection, auto sales, and home repair/construction remained the same from year 2007. The findings are based on an annual non-scientific survey conducted by the National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG).

State Attorneys General are a leading consumer protection force in the nation. They have primary responsibility in their states for the enforcement of their state’s consumer protection laws. Every state has a consumer protection statute prohibiting deceptive acts and practices, including those that happen online. Attorneys General can take action against businesses that commit fraud in such areas as debt collection, auto sales and repair, telemarketing and misleading advertising, for example.

The National Top 10 Consumer Complaints List for 2008 is:

  1. Debt Collection
  2. Auto Sales
  3. Home Repair/Construction
  4. Credit Cards (tie)
  5. Internet Goods and Services (tie)
  6. Predatory Lending/Mortgages
  7. Telemarketing/Do-Not-Call
  8. Auto Repair
  9. Auto Warranties (tie)
  10. Telecom/Slamming/Cramming (tie)

Consumers reported unauthorized charges and inaccurate late fees on credit or debit cards. Also reported were phony debt reduction services and foreclosure scams, when companies claim to be able to save a home if the consumer pays money upfront.

“With the recession and increased foreclosure rates, consumers need to be on high alert. Too many people are being swindled out of their hard-earned money by scam artists,” said Hawaii Attorney General Mark Bennett, who co-chairs the NAAG Consumer Protection Committee with Montana Attorney General Steve Bullock.

Attorney General Bullock said, “Attorneys general throughout our nation vigorously enforce the laws designed to protect consumers. When consumers have been deceived or treated unfairly by a business, they should contact the attorney general’s office in their state. By filing a complaint with our offices, our staff can work with both consumers and businesses to try to rectify the problem.”

The contact list of state Attorneys General offices can be found at http://www.naag.org/attorneys_general.php

The 2008 national consumer complaints list is generated from survey responses completed by the offices of the Attorney General and tallied by the NAAG Consumer Protection Project.

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