Consumers who are still unhappy are advised they can pursue legal action on their own. RACIAL EQUITY: It’s Time to Step Up. “We get both sides of the story,” Frassetto explains. “We are not the primary complaint agency.”. Reporting problems promptly to the Division provides a better chance of resolving them. Commissioner of Insurance– The commissioner’s position is to protect consumers by ensuring that insurance companies are providing affordable services and operati… Wisconsin’s Democratic attorney general has filed a lawsuit challenging parts of a Republican-authored law limiting his powers that was passed during a … Pending disciplinary complaints Petitions for license reinstatement The Wisconsin Court System protects individuals' rights, privileges and liberties, maintains the rule of law, and provides a forum for the resolution of disputes that is fair, accessible, independent and effective. One trend fueling telemarketing complaints is the rise in imposter scams. Below are the top 10 categories of complaints received by the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection in 2016. ), “Collections agencies by their very nature are involved in work that upsets consumers,” Althoff says. The information you provide may be subject to a public records request. PO Box 7857. Filing a Complaint Online To file a general consumer complaint … These agencies also often work together to go to bat for Wisconsin’s consumers. These scammers “are sophisticated, and they play on emotions,” Frassetto says. Wisconsin Banking Complaints. Source: Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection. We will contact you, once we have reviewed your complaint, typically within a week of receiving your complaint. Fax: (608) 267-2779 The Banking Division investigates complaints relating to alleged violations of state statutes. The upshot is that Wisconsin’s consumer complaint structure is complex, and it can be confusing to navigate, Sullivan points out. “The bottom line was that the company was making false statements,” Frassetto says, “and failing to provide services to consumers who purchased these club memberships.” DATCP joined forces with the DOJ, and ultimately the company was ordered to pay $2.3 million in restitution, fines, and forfeitures. Earlier this year, for example, the DFI took action against Ocwen Financial Corp., an Atlanta-based mortgage servicing company. When the DOJ can’t act on a complaint, it tries to steer the consumer in the right direction. download a consumer complaint form in English or Spanish here or contact the Consumer Protection Hotline at (800) 422-7128 to request a form by mail. Do not threaten. One recent example of legal action occurred against Going Places, which presented itself as a vacation membership club and operated under various names. Often this results in an outcome that is satisfactory to all involved. MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Republican Attorney General Brad Schimel says he agrees with legislative leaders that sexual harassment complaints against lawmakers and their staff should be kept secret. “It depends on what your issue is,” says Francis (Frank) Sullivan, chief director of the Consumer Protection and Antitrust Unit of the Wisconsin Department of Justice. The Columbia, S.C.-based company buys large blocks of distressed, often condemned, properties and then turns around to market them to consumers, including in Wisconsin. That may mean steering someone to the DFI or DATCP, or perhaps some other entity. So you might see national materials telling you to ‘Call your attorney general’s office if this happens to you.’ In just about every state except Wisconsin, that’s the right thing to do.”. How might those changes spur modifications in state statutes or DATCP’s departmental rules? The vast majority of Wisconsin consumer complaints enter the system through DATCP, which gets more than 100,000 contacts from consumers per year, or approximately 300 per day. Please enable scripts and reload this page. Attorney General William Tong e-Complaint Form. You can also file an online complaint for these specific consumer issues: telemarketing/no call fast track complaint. “Those are the underlying drivers,” Frassetto says. Besides working with other state agencies to pursue legal action, the DOJ sometimes teams up with federal agencies and others. P.O. “DOJ might get complaints that they look at and then turn over to us,” Frassetto explains. The other three major categories of consumer complaints to the DFI include those against banks and credit unions (state-chartered only), mortgage bankers and brokers, and loan companies. The Texas Attorney General has sued the states of Michigan, Pennsylvania, Georgia, and Wisconsin, asking the U.S. Supreme Court to disqualify their electoral voters. Wisconsin Department of Justice. So the matter comes to our shop, and we sue. It also registers and regulates the mortgage banking industry and other financial service providers such as loan companies. If we can’t, we get people to where they need to go.”. Still, “we’re not the sole portal for people to file a complaint,” says Frank Frassetto, administrator of DATCP’s Division of Trade and Consumer Protection. Of that annual total, approximately 10,500 translate into formal written complaints, whether submitted online or on paper. “Somebody who’s a bad actor,” Frassetto notes, “is not going to work with us.” In such instances, DATCP confers with the DOJ or county district attorneys about the possibility of litigation. After all, banks have an interest in keeping their customers happy. Below are the top categories of complaints received by the Department of Financial Institutions in 2014, 2015, and 2016. The matter came to the DOJ’s attention when a Legal Aid of Wisconsin staffer contacted a DOJ attorney. One role DATCP plays is that of mediator. Most of those are targeted at collections agencies, although in 2016 that number dropped to 199 from 289 in 2014. That’s a big challenge.”, Indeed, education is a key aspect of DATCP’s consumer protection work. To submit a complaint to DATCP by mail, The Vision case is an example of how the DOJ becomes aware of scams and fraud by means other than direct consumer complaints. Take, for instance, a complaint the DOJ received about a “hostage mover” scam, in which a company moves someone’s household belongings for a fee and then asks for more money before it will release the items. If a business slips up and does something it shouldn’t do, we take care of it.”. We’re the hammer.”, Every year, the DOJ files a fair number of cases, but few go to trial, according to Sullivan. The agency has eight attorneys on staff. Sullivan explains that if your purchase was for a new car, you’d file a complaint with the Wisconsin Department of Transportation. “We’re constantly out giving presentations,” Frassetto says, “to law enforcement, social services agencies, financial institutions, Rotarians … and we’re always looking for new ways to get out the word in order to have an informed citizenry.”. “Most of our litigation resolves pretrial, although often pretty close to trial,” he says. When a complaint comes into DATCP, the first question asked is whether the consumer has already contacted the company. To sell these properties, the company uses a complex rent-to-own model. Ocwen services the mortgages of approximately 13,500 Wisconsin consumers and approximately 1.5 million consumers nationwide. On Tuesday, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton sued the states of Georgia, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania, alleging that they violated the … These orders resulted from extensive examination and monitoring of Ocwen’s business practices and Ocwen’s unwillingness to cooperate with regulators to correct problems. If this person cannot help you, speak with a supervisor, then the store manager or owner. One of the key lessons learned in carrying out DATCP’s work is the need to stay on top of changes in the marketplace environment. Madison, WI 53707-7857 Phone: (608) 266-1221. DATCP received 15 complaints initially – not a high number, but each involved sizable dollar amounts. Plus, the DFI has a few other regulatory functions, as well. In Wisconsin, the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP), the Department of Financial Institutions (DFI), and the Department of Justice (DOJ) each have a specific function pertaining to consumer protection. 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