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Iowa Only State Without Consumer Rights Act

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January 7, 2008

Des Moines, IA – When Iowans are cheated through a consumer fraud scheme, they are not entitled to go to court under the state's current consumer fraud laws. Leading the effort to change that is Oskaloosa Representative Eric Palmer. Palmer will introduce a "Consumer Rights Act" when the legislative session opens this month. He says in the past, business interests have opposed this type of legislation, but in his view, most businesses have nothing to fear.

"Legitimate businesses are legitimate businesses, so this law will not impact them. This legislation is aimed at the small number of bad operators that give us all a black eye."

Palmer says all other states have adopted some type of Consumer Rights Act.

"I believe Arkansas was the 49th state to pass the legislation, and it did so in 1999. We are the only remaining state lacking these laws."

Palmer believes the measure can be especially important to older Iowans who are often the target of fraudulent and deceptive schemes such as shoddy home repair or lemon cars. The legislation is getting support from Attorney General Tom Miller and consumer groups, including AARP.

Dick Layman/John Robinson, Public News Service - IA