BOSTON (WWLP) – A new Consumer Advocacy Report was released from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in recognition of National Consumer Protection Week to address how consumers are assisted and protected, past COVID-19 pandemic issues, and 2021 complaint trends.

According to the 2021 Consumer Advocacy Report, the office’s Consumer Advocacy and Response Division (CARD) saved consumers $7,200,000.

(AG’s Office)

The subsequent complaint trends received in 2021:

  • Auto repair, financing, and car sales
  • Housing
  • Home improvement
  • Solar energy issues
  • COVID-19 public health crisis complaints such as cancelled vacations, air travel, and events

The Office of the Attorney General expressed that 1,800 consumers complained about auto issues. For consumers protection of used or leased car purchases, a companion bill, an act modernizing protections for consumers in automobile transactions is expected to diminish a Massachusetts Lemon Law loophole and extend Used Vehicle Warranty Law mileage limits.

The report indicated that consumers rights and obligations are to be recognized for automobile advertising and pricing. The Office of Attorney General confirmed driver settlements from the auto lender Credit Acceptance Corporation and debt relief and refunds from United Auto Credit Corporation for a total of $27,800,000.

Housing assistance for tenants, landlords, and homeowners was provided by the Office of the Attorney General during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Tenants were protected from illegal evictions due to an issued January 2021 advisory. Tenants and landlords acknowledged their rights through 38 trainings and webinars during the year 2021.

The forbearance period homeowners went into during the pandemic are about to be expired. The Office of Attorney General advised homeowners court dates. Homeowner foreclosure claims had been sorted out by a settlement from the national mortgage servicing company called Kyanite Services, Inc. gave $975,000 to180 Massachusetts borrowers.

Consumer topics provided by the Office of the Attorney General:

  • “Buy Now, Pay Later” retail loans
  • Mortgage forbearance for COVID-19
  • Auto dealership rights
  • Protection entitlements for Landlords and Tenants

The Office of the Attorney General is scheduled to run virtual consumer education events to give consumers information about their rights and financial choices through March 11.