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Posts tagged: Washington attorney general’s office

Google’s payout to states includes $135,604 for Washington state as part of settlement

Google is coughing up a fairly piddling $7 million to divide among 38 states including Washington, as part of a settlement it's agreed to, to resolve privacy concerns over data collected by the company's Street View units.

The company acknowledges gathering passwords and other personal informaiton over local Wi-Fi networks with its Street View roving vehicles.  It denies wrongdoing, however.

The settlement includes an agreement by Google to pay the 38 states and the District of Columbia a total of $7 million to be used for, among other things, civil penalties, attorneys' fees and other costs of investigation and litigation, future consumer protection enforcement and education.

Washington's share of the money is $135,604, the state Attorney General's office reported.

Wells Fargo settlement will be used to help homeowners facing foreclosure

Money obtained by Washington's Attorney General's office  will be used to provide free legal help to homeowners trying to work through a foreclosure.

The money, amounting to more than $1 million, is part of a settlement with Wells Fargo Bank, in which the state alleged that Golden West, acquired by Wells Fargo in its purchase of Wachovia Bank,  engaged in questionable loan practices.

That is the October 2010 agreement with Wells Fargo. The AG's office, in that deal, required that the bank provide $29 million in adjustments for about  400 Washington borrowers who received payment option adjustable-rate mortgages. That amount included nearly $12 million in principal forgiveness.

The $1 million grant will go to the Washington State Bar Association's Home Foreclosure Legal Aid Project, which offers free attorney help for state residents facing foreclosure.

Starting July 22, the state's Foreclosure Fairness Act wil provide distressed borrowers with a counselor who will serve as an ally in legal efforts to work through a foreclosure process.

The WSBS project will focus on providing assistance based on which counties have the highest rate of foreclosures.

The AG's office also earlier provided the bar association with $320,000 from the Countrywide/Bank of America settlement for the same purpose.

Washington to get some of a $173 million computer-chip settlement

Thirty three states, including Washington, have agreed to a $173 million settlement with six chip companies who were accused of conspiring to keep prices inflated during the Y2K mania from 1998-2002.

The six firms, including NEC and Micron Technologies, admitted no wrongdoing. They agreed to a federal class action deal recently. The amounts of money distributed have yet to be announced. The four other firms, based overseas, are Elpida, Hynix, Infineon, and Mosel Vitelic.

The suit says consumers would not have paid the chip prices asked by those companies if the market had not been collectively rigged, according to a recent Washington Attorney General’s office release.

Brady Johnson, who serves in the Washington AG’s office, said: “There will be restitution coming to Washington for consumers as part of this settlement.  The federal court will determine how the funds will be allocated, including how much comes to Washington.  Until that happens, we won’t know how much is coming our way.”

Johnson is senior counsel in the AG’s antitrust division.

He added: “One word of caution though – while the numbers look big, this is a nationwide settlement, so there are a lot of people who will be sharing the funds.  That makes it unlikely that individual refund checks will be issued.  Instead, we may use a “cy pres” process to distribute the money. Which means: it may end up going into a charitable fund since the actual individual amounts from the award would be too small.

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The Spokesman-Review business team follows economic development in Spokane and the Inland Northwest.

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Alison Boggs (@alisonboggs) Online Producer Alison Boggs posts and manages content on and its social networking accounts.

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Scott Maben Scott Maben is a Deputy City Editor who covers North Idaho news and higher education.

Addy Hatch is the city editor, and formerly was business editor.

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