Press Archives - 2008
Forbes, July 30
Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal announced he was filing suit against three major credit rating agencies, claiming the agencies had provided artificially low rating information to state residents. The action was considered a noteworthy event during the subprime lending crisis. Commenting on the potential nationwide impact of Blumenthal's actions, Program Director James Tierney said, "This is a state filing in a state court, based on a state's unfair trade practices act. Yet, because virtually every state has a parallel statute, and virtually every state was rated in a parallel manner, the filing will receive a great deal of attention from other attorneys general."
ABC News, April 3
This article highlights the story of the Shearons, a family facing foreclosure on their home, and their legal battle against their lenders for what a New York court ruled were violations of state anti-predatory lending laws. "There are some people who are clearly victims of fraud, and judges are reacting differently," said Program Director James Tierney. "In the meantime, people are losing their homes. A number of judges are saying, fraud is fraud, and we're not going to let this proceed."
Staten Island Advance, February 3
Increasing numbers of homeowners facing foreclosures have taken legal action to combat brokers of bad loan arrangements, which were said to have been aggressively and deceptively marketed to consumers.
[Program Director James] Tierney said figuring out liability in such cases is often difficult because subprime loans can be sold and resold two or three times. The original lender and brokers are usually long gone when the new lien holder makes the successful argument that it was not responsible for the original loan and should be permitted to foreclose.
Tierney said such arguments are getting harder for judges to accept when they see people losing their homes.
Wilmington (DE) News Journal, March 9
The News Journal reported on the practice of the state government contracting private attorneys for matters that could be handled by state attorneys. While legal, many have derided the practice as unnecessarily wasteful and counterproductive. "Government attorneys have a better perspective, and understand their client," said Program Director James Tierney. "They are more apt to realize they represent the public."
Harvard Crimson, January 22
The study abroad programs of Harvard University and other schools came under scrutiny by New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo for allegedly improper financial relationships between the universities and program providers as well as mismanagement of student billing. "[Cuomo] has the ability to investigate unfair and deceptive practices that have been used against New York residents,” said Program Director James Tierney. “The basis of his jurisdiction is whether or not New York residents have been deceived or harmed in some way.”
New York Sun, January 14
The Sun reported on efforts by New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo to preserve state handgun regulations as the U.S. Supreme Court heard District of Columbia v. Heller, eventually deciding that individuals had the right to possess firearms for personal use in federal territories. "They think the District of Columbia is likely to get struck down, but they don't want that decision to go beyond striking down that provision," said Director James Tierney regarding Cuomo's efforts.
Reuters, January 14
A multistate coalition of attorneys general came to an agreement with MySpace and its parent company, News Corp, to enact a number of safety regulations for children potentially accessing the online socially network. Commenting on the uncontentious nature of the negotiations that eventually led to the agreement, Program Director James Tierney said, "It's an interesting way now for the attorneys general to proceed--nobody has been sued and there was really no threat of a lawsuit though they didn't take it off the table. I think this could be a real template for governmental action in not just the technology area, but other areas as well."