Mazzeo & Quijano Bill Requiring Disclosure Letters to be Included with Mail Falsely Implying State Government Connection Passes Full Assembly
Legislation Now Heads to the Senate
(TRENTON) – To protect New Jersey businesses from third-party organizations who misleadingly represent themselves as a government entity, Assembly Democrats Vincent Mazzeo (D-Atlantic) and Annette Quijano (D-Union) sponsor legislation that would require third-party settlement organizations to include a disclosed letter stating they are not affiliated with any government agencies. The measure was passed Monday by the full Assembly, 70-0.
Currently, third-party organizations are contacting businesses while using a government seal, insignia, citation, name of a state agency, or other symbol falsely alluding to a State government connection. The bill (A-4834) would require these organizations to include a letter stating, “This product or service has not been approved or endorsed by the State of New Jersey, and this offer is not being made by a State agency, department, commission, or program.”
The letter must be printed on a piece of paper that is at least eight and one-half inches by 11 inches in size and contain the following:
o the full name of the person sending the solicitation;
o if the solicitation constitutes an offer to satisfy a State statutory obligation in exchange for a fee, a breakdown of the cost of the service to include the total amount of money to be paid to the State to satisfy the statutory obligation and the fee charged for the service; and
o language printed in no less than 14-point, bold typeface 25.
“Third-party settlement organizations often disguise themselves as government entities and make businesses believe they are paying taxes to the State,” said Assemblyman Mazzeo. “Businesses unknowingly pay this charge and many have raised their concern about the issue.”
“Currently, no regulation exists for these instances and companies continue to be deceived when contacted by agencies that appear to be from the State,” said Assemblywoman Quijano. “This bill will regulate these third-party companies and make sure businesses are clear about who they are dealing with.”