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Thursday, January 17, 2013

Florida reaches settlement with prepaid card firms

On Jan. 16, 2013, the office of Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi said it reached a settlement with five prepaid card providers over alleged unclear disclosures and misleading statements made to consumers. The AG's office said the "first-of-its-kind settlements" with AccountNow Inc., First Data Corp., Green Dot Corp., NetSpend Corp. and Unirush LLC require the companies to institute reforms to their business practices and donate a total of $115,000 to the Central Florida Chapter of Junior Achievement (JACF).

Bondi's office said the attorney general's Consumer Protection Division initiated an investigation into the prepaid card providers' business practices to determine whether the companies were clearly disclosing fee schedules to consumers and not misleading consumers about how they could build credit ratings by using prepaid cards.

"The reforms we are requiring will protect consumers by providing them with the information they need in order to make sound financial decisions, and they establish standard business practices among Florida's largest prepaid debit card companies," Bondi said.

AccountNow, Green Dot, NetSpend and Unirush agreed to donate $25,000 apiece to JACF, with First Data pitching in $15,000. end of article

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