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Ameriquest Wins Ruling on Customer Records

(CN) - The Washington state attorney general should not have complied with a Public Records Act request for documents containing the confidential information of Ameriquest Mortgage's customers, the Washington Court of Appeals ruled.

Ameriquest sought a preliminary injunction to prevent the disclosure of its customers' information, which it had turned over to the attorney general when it was under investigation for its mortgage lending practices.

Judge Penoyar ruled that the trial court's order improperly combined the preliminary injunction hearing with a permanent injunction trial without giving the parties proper notice.

The judge also agreed with Ameriquest that the federal Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act pre-empted the state's Public Records Act, prohibiting the disclosure of the confidential information.

"On remand," Penoyar wrote, "the trial court must make reasonable provision for at least attempted notice to all of the Ameriquest loan customers whose information is being sought for public disclosure."

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