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Tag Archives: FTC

State, bar officials monitor debt-management companies  (access required)

Ten months ago, the debt settlement industry suffered a double setback in North Carolina: A lawsuit in Wake County Superior Court challenged its advance fee practices, while the Federal Trade Commission issued a regulation that prohibited client enrollment over the phone. The result? An ongoing game of cat-and-mouse, as debt settlement companies use local attorneys to test whether they can sidestep those limits. The new FTC rule seems to have had a deterrent effect on the debt settlement industry, said Lynne Weaver, assistant N.C. attorney general in the consumer protection division. So far, the number of consumer complaints is down this year and most of the ones consumers filed are about deceptive practices that go back a year or more.

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Judge rules in FTC’s favor in suit against NC Dental Board (access required)

Chief Administrative Law Judge D. Michael Chappell has ruled that the North Carolina State Board of Dental Examiners engaged in illegal conduct by asking providers of teeth-whitening services to cease and desist from their activities. The providers were based largely in mall kiosks around the state. Chappell, a federal administrative judge, ruled that Federal Trade Commission staff attorneys had shown “by a preponderance of the evidence that dentist members of the Dental Board had a common scheme or design, and hence an agreement, to exclude non-dentists from the market for teeth whitening services and to deter potential providers of teeth whitening services from entering the market.” The decision followed a four-week trial in front of Chappell in April, according to Raleigh attorney A.P. Carlton (pictured), who represented the Board.

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Dental Board’s suit against FTC dismissed (access required)

A lawsuit the North Carolina Board of Dental Examiners brought in February against the Federal Trade Commission in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina has been dismissed. Chief United States District Court Judge Louise Flanagan dismissed the case on May 3, ruling that the Board's lawsuit sought "to subvert the established administrative review process set forth in 15 U.S.C. § 45, which vests the circuit courts with exclusive jurisdiction to hear the sort of challenges made [in the lawsuit]."

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