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North Carolina Files National DNC Actions

The North Carolina attorney general's office became the second state agency to enforce the national no-call list after it filed suits against two companies it accused of DNC violations and settled with a third.

National Event Coordinators, Orlando, FL, and Warrior Custom Golf, Irvine, CA, failed to respond to warning letters about their no-call violations, the attorney general's office said. For National Event Coordinators, the attorney general's office said it received 60 written complaints from North Carolina consumers.

A North Carolina county judge has temporarily barred National Event Coordinators and Warrior Custom Golf from telemarketing in the state. A third company, Optimum Mortgage Group, Charlotte, NC, agreed to pay $5,000 and remove names registered to the national no-call list from its calling lists to settle charges that the company violated the state's no-call law on at least seven occasions.

North Carolina has its own no-call law but does not maintain a no-call list separate from the national registry maintained by the Federal Trade Commission, a spokesman for the attorney general's office said. The state has received about 150 complaints per week about no-call violations and sent written warnings to 117 companies.

The state's no-call law, enacted this summer, calls for a $500 fine on the first violation, $1,000 for the second and $5,000 for each subsequent violation.

National Event Coordinators was not listed in Orlando. A man who answered the phone at Warrior Custom Golf said a company representative was not immediately available.

The charges are the first the state has filed for no-call violations. Earlier this month, California became the first agency to file a DNC enforcement action.

The FTC and Federal Communications Commission, the federal agencies in charge of enforcing the list, have yet to file any actions. The FTC has said it may be ready to file its first enforcement action in December.

Along with the no-call charges, the state is pursuing further charges alleging violations of the state's prerecorded solicitations law by National Event Coordinators, Debt Management Foundation, Largo, FL, and Consumer Credit Counseling Foundation, Orlando. Though allowed under the FCC's rules, North Carolina's law prohibits prerecorded calls unless they are introduced by a live operator who asks for permission to play the recording.

National Event Coordinators pitched seminars about home-based businesses using prerecorded messages in violation of the law, the attorney general's office said. Consumers who got the calls were unable to disconnect the call by hanging up, and when they called back to be removed from the company's calling list were given a long-distance number to call, according to the allegations.

The state received 44 complaints about prerecorded calls from Debt Management Foundation and 15 involving Consumer Credit Counseling Foundation, the state attorney general's office said.

Debt Management Foundation is not listed in Largo. A woman who answered the phone at Consumer Credit Counseling Foundation hung up immediately after learning the call was from DM News.

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