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PNS Daily News - September 18, 2019 


President Trump visits California, targeting its homelessness crisis and environmental protections; and Tennessee is a top destination for out-of-state women seeking abortions.

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TN Consumers Have New Levels of Protection

The U.S. Army receives hundreds of reports a month of people impersonating military personnel, and now Tennessee consumers have greater protection. (cafecredit.com/flickr)
The U.S. Army receives hundreds of reports a month of people impersonating military personnel, and now Tennessee consumers have greater protection. (cafecredit.com/flickr)
July 16, 2018

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — It's Christmas in July for Tennessee consumers. The Tennessee General Assembly passed several consumer laws earlier this year that provide greater protection from military impersonators, improve assistance when recovering from identity theft and prevent credit-reporting companies from charging consumers when putting security freezes in place.

Baylie Scott, with the Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance, said state lawmakers prioritized consumer rights this session.

"Gov. Haslam's administration and the General Assembly has done a really great job of enforcing the importance of consumer protection and their emphasis on that,” Scott said; “and I think that this is the last round of that. They really wanted to get this established and in stone."

The new laws took effect July 1.

While some progress was made, consumer advocates point out that Tennessee still is one of 27 states that allows payday lending, which critics say unfairly targets the poor and working class by charging exceedingly large interest rates.

Another new law prohibits health care prescribers from soliciting their services to victims of an accident or disaster within 30 days of the incident. Scott said it's important that consumers know their rights and ask for help when they need it.

"If anybody thinks they have been a victim of fraud or needs consumer tips or advice, they can definitely call our Consumer Affairs division, or visit tn.gov/consumer,” he said.

This summer, the TDCI also is warning against moving scams as people move in and out of Tennessee during the summer months. Potential tenants are advised to carefully review leases and see properties in person. Experts remind landlords about the importance of background and credit checks when choosing a tenant.

Stephanie Carson, Public News Service - TN