JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (CN) – The Missouri attorney general’s office recovered a record $9.5 million in 2008 through mediation for consumers who filed formal complaints. The total was achieved without filing any lawsuits, criminal charges or setting foot in a courtroom.
Instead of litigation, the Consumer Protection Division in the attorney general’s office contacts the businesses involved and attempts to work out a solution. The total recoveries in 2008 broke the record $9.3 million collected in 2007.
Other disputes did require legal action, either through civil lawsuit or criminal charges. Those complaints returned $6 million to Missouri consumers, bringing the total to $15.5 million returned through informal mediation and enforcement. The attorney general’s office received 120,000 contacts from consumers in 2008, resulting in 40,000 formal complaints.