Issues: Consumer Protection

Krueger Announces Senate Passage of Ban on “Yield Spread Premiums”, Predatory Lending Practice

Albany, NY – State Senator Liz Krueger (D-Manhattan) today announced the passage of her legislation permanently banning “yield spread premiums” in New York State (S. 886). This practice created perverse incentives in the mortgage market, fleecing families and creating instability in the nation’s financial system, ultimately contributing to the national mortgage foreclosure crisis.

March 21, 2012
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LaValle: Bill Will Forbid Gasoline Retailers From Charging Consumers a Surcharge for Credit Card Use.

New York State Senator Kenneth P. LaValle (R-C-I, Port Jefferson) said today that he is introducing legislation in the New York State Senate that would prevent gasoline retailers from charging consumers exorbitant surcharges for using a credit card when purchasing gasoline.

March 14, 2012
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Senator Zeldin to Introduce Legislation to Protect Consumers at the Gas Pump

Albany, NY- Responding to a story in today’s Newsday, Senator Lee M. Zeldin (R, C, I- Shirley), Chairman of the Senate Consumer Protection Committee, announced he will introduce legislation to protect consumers at the gas pump.

“I am concerned that some gas stations on Long Island are getting away with charging consumers as much as $1 per gallon more for credit card than with cash. Moreover, the deceptive advertising that is happening is outrageous and has to stop,” said Senator Zeldin.

March 14, 2012
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Senator Flanagan Urges Residents To Take Advantage Of $3.5 Million Household Appliance Rebate Program

Rebates Are Available for High-Efficiency Refrigerators and Clothes Washers

March 13, 2012
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SENATE PASSES 2012-13 BUDGET RESOLUTION

Gallivan: “Senate Plan Cuts Taxes, Reforms Medicaid, Protects Seniors and Schools.”

The New York State Senate voted to approve its 2012-13 Senate Budget resolution, continuing its focus on state spending, job creation, and structural reform to government.

The Senate budget, at just under $132.5 billion, keeps the total state spending increase below two percent, and spends less than the Executive Budget. The budget closes a $2 billion budget deficit and builds on last year’s successes in putting the state’s fiscal house in order.

March 13, 2012
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ADDABBO PUSHES BILL TO KEEP RESIDENTS FROM FALLING VICTIM TO “GET RICH QUICK” CONSUMER FRAUDS

Queens, NY, March 12, 2012 --  “If it sounds too good to be true, it usually is.”  That’s the word from NYS Senator Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr. (D-Queens) as he announced his co-sponsorship of Senate legislation (S.6276) that would require financial institutions to warn New Yorkers about the trap of falling for fraud schemes that require consumers to send out money as a condition of claiming their new riches. 

March 12, 2012
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Senate Passes Legislation Prohibiting Harmful Levels of Toxics in Children's Jewelry

The New York State Senate today passed a measure that would prohibit the sale of children’s jewelry which may contain harmful levels of cadmium and other hazardous substances. The bill (S.4055A), sponsored by Senator Jim Alesi (R-C-I, Perinton) protects children from accidentally ingesting cadmium, often used in inexpensive charm bracelets, pendants and other jewelry.  “It is everyone’s responsibility to protect our children, especially from products containing hazardous substances,” said Senator Alesi. “This bill takes an important step to prevent the sale of items that could cause accidental and unnecessary exposure and severe health effects.”

March 6, 2012
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Senator Martins Brings NYLAG Mobile Legal Help Center to Westbury Library

Senator Jack M. Martins welcomed the New York Legal Assistance Group (NYLAG) mobile legal help center to the Westbury Memorial Library on Friday, March 2. Volunteers from NYLAG provided counseling on credit harassment, identity theft, collection actions and debt management.

NYLAG is a not-for-profit law office founded in 1990 to provide free civil legal counseling services to New Yorkers. For more information on NYLAG, visit their website at nylag.org.

March 6, 2012
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“PUT THE BREAKS ON GAS GOUGING!”

State Senator Eric Adams and Assemblyman David Weprin demand protection for consumers against price 

March 5, 2012
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Senator Martins Announces Home Mortgage Safety Seminar at Elmont Public Library

State Senator Jack M. Martins announced that he has joined with Governor Andrew Cuomo, Bethpage Federal Credit Union and Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s offices in sponsoring a “Home Mortgage Safety Seminar” at the Elmont Public Library on Saturday, March 10th. The seminar begins at 10:30am and runs until 12 noon. The program is part of a series of community outreach initiatives by Senator Martins targeted towards working families and seniors who may not be able to access governmental offices during the work week.

February 23, 2012
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Flying Tips for Older Passengers

An editorial by the New York Times discusses some of the difficulties senior citizens may encounter when travelling by air and how some of these issues can be avoided. Senator Gianaris recommends that when flying, be sure to tell TSA officials about any medical conditions in advance of going through security.

FLYING, as most travelers know all too well, can be arduous. But while some of us may grumble about cramped airline seats and security pat-downs, simply navigating an airport can be downright disorienting for elderly travelers.

 

February 14, 2012
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I-Team: Lawmaker Wants Answers in Botched C-Section

NBC 4 covered a story on the need for greater regulations and oversight in New York hospitals in light of a mismanaged incident regarding a C-section procedure that was performed on a woman who was not pregnant. Senator Gianaris was interviewed for the story.

Watch the interview here.

February 14, 2012
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MEDIA ADVISORY: CONSUMER ALERT - BEWARE OF MORTGAGE SCAM ARTISTS

***MEDIA ADVISORY***

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONSUMER ALERT: BEWARE OF MORTGAGE SCAM ARTISTS

Senator Carlucci Exposes Loan Modification Company Targeting Struggling Spring Valley Homeowners

February 7, 2012
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Prevent Identity Theft

Identity theft is the number one consumer fraud complaint, affecting over 9 million Americans every year. However, there are steps that you can take to help reduce the risk of your personal information falling into the wrong hands:

STEPS TO TAKE TO PREVENT ID THEFT (from the New York State Division of Consumer Protection and the Federal Trade Commission):

February 3, 2012
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DiNapoli Warns of Lottery Scam Using Fake Checks

DiNapoli Warns of Lottery Scam Using Fake Checks

New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli today warned of a lottery scam involving mail containing fraudulent checks that appear to have been issued by New York State.

February 3, 2012
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Senator Grisanti and Assemblymember Gabryszak working together to help protect victims against fraudulent financial practices

Assemblymember Dennis Gabryszak (D-Cheektowaga) announced the Assembly passed a bill he authored that would amend the Criminal Procedure Law to assist a victim of false financial practice, helping them remedy the fraudulent financial claim that the victim is indebted or obligated to a defendant, or secured party, in a criminal action (A.3457)“When someone makes a false financial claim against you, it can cause excessive and unfair damage to your credit rating,” Assemblymember Gabryszak said. “We cannot allow victims of fraudulent financial statements to go unprotected with nowhere to turn.

January 31, 2012
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Local pols reject Morgan Stanley price fixing settlement

The Queens Courier wrote an article about the Department of Justice's $4.8 million settlement with Morgan Stanley for their illegal pricing scheme, which cost ratepayers roughly $300 million. Senator Gianaris and other local politicians are pushing the Dept. of Justice to increase the fine, arguing that the current settlement is unacceptable and would allow Morgan Stanley to keep millions in profit.

Local elected officials are expending “energy” to ensure Morgan Stanley doesn’t get a quick “fix” to its illegal pricing ploy.

January 23, 2012
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Community Victorious Over Strip Club

An editorial by Queens Tribune talks about the State Liquor Authority's denial of the Gypsy Rose strip club's liquor license application, which was a favorable result for Long Island City community members. According to Senator Gianaris, the type of person and business that adult establishments tend to attract are not welcome in Long Island City.

The community spoke and its voice was heard by the State Liquor Authority, who denied the 21 Group Inc.’s application for a liquor license for the Gypsy Rose establishment in Long Island City during a hearing Jan. 18 in Manhattan.

[...]

January 23, 2012
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A slap on the wrist for illegal millions?

The Queens Chronicle investigates the alleged prixe-fixing scheme employed by Morgan Stanley and KeySpan that overcharged New Yorkers for electrictity while garnering Morgan Stanley and KeySpan $21.6 million. Senator Gianaris believes that the Department of Justice's recommended fine of $4.8 million is inadequate.

A price-fixing scheme allegedly concocted by Morgan Stanley and KeySpan, and involving Astoria Generating Co., may have overcharged New Yorkers for electricity while garnering Morgan Stanley and KeySpan millions, according to published reports and two area politicians outraged at the scheme: Councilman Peter Vallone Jr. (D-Astoria) and state Sen. Mike Gianaris (D-Astoria).

January 20, 2012
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Elderly Passengers Upset About TSA’s Strip Search Denials

CBS posted a video with Senator Gianaris' comments on the TSA's response admitting some wrongdoing. 

Watch the video here.

January 20, 2012
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