Showing posts from July, 2022


DIVIDEND REINVESTMENT PLAN (DRIP) As announced on August 4, 2016, Freehold has suspended its Dividend Reinvestment Plan (DRIP) until further notice. 

FTC Takes Action to Stop Payment Processor First American from Trapping Small Businesses with Surprise Exit Fees and Zombie Charges

The Federal Trade Commission today took action against payment processing company First American Payment Systems and two of its sales affiliates for trapping small businesses with hidden terms, surprise exit fees, and zombie charges. The FTC alleges that the defendants made false claims about fees and cost savings to lure merchants, many of whom had limited English proficiency. Once merchants were enrolled, the defendants withdrew funds from their accounts without their consent, and made it difficult and expensive for them to cancel the service. Under a proposed federal court order, the defendants will be required to return $4.9 million to harmed businesses, stop their deception, and make it easier for merchants to cancel their services.   “First American lured small businesses in with false promises of low costs and an easy exit, and hit them with surprise fees and illegal charges when they tried to get out,” s aid Samuel Levine, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection

Federal Trade Commission Finalizes Action Against “Made in USA” Offender Who Ripped “Made in China” Tags Out of Apparel, Replacing Them with “Made in USA” Tags

The Federal Trade Commission has finalized an order against apparel company Lions Not Sheep Products, LLC, and its owner Sean Whalen for falsely claiming that its imported apparel is Made in USA. Lions Not Sheep Products, LLC, and Whalen will pay $211,335. First announced in May 2022 , the FTC’s complaint alleged that the company added phony Made in USA labels to clothing imported from China and other countries. In addition to the monetary judgment, the FTC’s order requires Whalen and Utah-based Lions Not Sheep to: Stop making bogus Made in USA claims, and Come clean about foreign production. Under the order, Whalen and Lions Not Sheep must stop claiming that products are made in the United States unless they can show that the product’s final assembly or processing—and all significant processing—takes place here and that all or virtually all ingredients or components of the product are made and sourced here. Also u nder the order, any qualified Made in USA claims must inc

The average homeowner in the Greater Toronto Area is paying all of their monthly income on the mortgage

According to the annual housing affordability index published this week by Re/Max Canada.

FTC and 18 States Sue to Stop Harris Jewelry from Cheating Military Families with Illegal Financing and Sales Tactics

The Federal Trade Commission and a group of 18 states sued national jewelry retailer Harris Jewelry to stop the company from cheating military families with illegal financing and sales practices. According to the complaint, the jewelry company deceptively claimed that financing jewelry purchases through Harris would raise servicemembers’ credit scores, misrepresented that its protection plans were not optional or were required, and added the plans to purchases without consumers’ consent. The complaint also includes a charge that the jewelry company violated the Military Lending Act, the FTC’s first action under this Act. Under a proposed order with the FTC and multistate group, the company must stop collection of millions of dollars in debt, provide approximately $10.9 million in refunds for purchased protection plans, provide refunds for overpayments, and assist with the deletion of any negative credit entries pertaining to debt in consumers’ credit reporting file. The company al

Use 'docker scan' to run Snyk tests against images to find vulnerabilities and learn how to fix them

Federal Trade Commission, National Labor Relations Board Forge New Partnership to Protect Workers from Anticompetitive, Unfair, and Deceptive Practices

The Federal Trade Commission is joining with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) in a new agreement that will bolster the FTC’s efforts to protect workers by promoting competitive U.S. labor markets and putting an end to unfair practices that harm workers. The new memorandum of understanding between the two agencies outlines ways in which the Commission and the Board will work together moving forward on key issues such as labor market concentration, one-sided contract terms, and labor developments in the “gig economy.” “I’m committed to using all the tools at our disposal to ensure that workers are protected from unfair methods of competition and unfair or deceptive practices,” said FTC Chair Lina M. Khan. “This agreement will help deepen our partnership with NLRB and advance our shared mission to ensure that unlawful business practices aren’t depriving workers of the pay, benefits, conditions, and dignity that they deserve.”  “Workers in this country have the right unde

FTC Details Its Enforcement Actions to Crack Down on Fraud Against the Military Community in Testimony Before House Oversight Subcommittee

The Federal Trade Commission testified before the House Committee on Oversight and Reform Subcommittee on National Security today about the aggressive action the agency is taking to crack down on fraud and related threats against servicemembers and the broader military community. Testifying on behalf of the Commission, the Associate Director of the FTC’s Division of Financial Practices, Malini Mithal, said fraud against members of the military harms individual members and their families, and undermines military readiness and troop morale. Putting a stop to such nefarious practices is an essential component of the agency’s consumer protection mission, the testimony states. In 2021, the FTC’s Consumer Sentinel consumer complaint database received over 200,000 complaints from military consumers, with reported monetary harm of over $267 million. According to the testimony, the FTC has responded with enforcement actions combating illegal practices that target military members, including

FTC Takes Action Against Weber for Illegally Restricting Customers’ Right to Repair

The Federal Trade Commission is taking action against grill maker Weber-Stephen Products, LLC, for illegally restricting customers’ right to repair their purchased products. The FTC’s complaint charges that Weber’s warranty included terms that conveyed that the warranty is void if customers use or install third-party parts on their grill products. Weber is being ordered to fix its warranty by removing illegal terms and recognizing the right to repair and come clean with customers about their ability to use third-party parts. “This is the FTC’s third right-to-repair lawsuit in as many weeks,” said Samuel Levine, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. “Companies that use their warranties to illegally restrict consumers’ right to repair should fix them now.” Illinois-based Weber manufactures and sells grills and related products worldwide and offers limited warranties to consumers who buy its products that provide for no-cost repair or replacement, should the products ha

FTC Seeks Public Comment on Amplifier Rule Amendments to Make Testing Methods More Useful to Consumers

The Federal Trade Commission seeks public comment on its Amplifier Rule (formally known as the Rule Relating to Power Output Claims for Amplifiers Utilized in Home Entertainment Products). First, to help consumers make apples to apples comparisons about sound quality, the Commission proposes requiring that sellers use uniform testing methods before they advertise power output levels. Second, for multichannel home theater amplifiers, the Commission seeks comment about how to set test conditions to reflect typical consumer use. “Clear choices for consumers and a level playing field for manufacturers are critical in today’s marketplace,” said Samuel Levine, Director of the Federal Trade Commission’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. “This request for comment on amendments to the Amplifier Rule will help the FTC foster those safeguards in the audio industry.”  The Amplifier Rule requires uniform measurements and disclosures for home entertainment amplifiers so consumers can easily compare

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