When there is a potential violation of the Tennessee Consumer Protection Act or other consumer protection law, or a pattern of complaints against a business or individual, the Division may work with the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division to investigate the business and potentially negotiate a settlement or file a lawsuit. The Attorney General is the enforcement authority that is authorized to enforce the Consumer Protection Act and other state and federal consumer protection laws on behalf of the State. Consumers who want to pursue formal legal actions based on their own claims should seek private attorneys, since the State does not represent individual consumers.
If a lawsuit or settlement is filed by the Attorney General’s Office, that information will be publicly available, and the Division generally attempts to notify consumers that legal action has been taken. Even after litigation, however, consumers may not receive restitution. For example, a company facing a lawsuit may go out of business and the state may not be able to locate the owners, the company may file bankruptcy, or it may not be held legally responsible by a court of law.