Mazzeo, Quijano, & Downey Bill Requiring Disclosure Letters to be Included with Mail Falsely Implying State Government Connection Passes Full Assembly

(TRENTON) – To protect New Jersey businesses from third-party organizations who misleadingly represent themselves as a government entity, Assembly Democrats Vincent Mazzeo (D-Atlantic), Annette Quijano (D-Union), and Joann Downey (D-Monmouth) 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 76-0 and the Senate 39-0.

Currently, third-party organizations are contacting businesses while using a government seal, insignia, citation, name of a state agency, or other symbols falsely alluding to a State government connection.  The bill (A-4834) would require these organizations to include a letter stating that the product, service, or offer has not been approved, endorsed, or made by the State of New Jersey or any of its agencies, departments, commissions, or programs.

The letter must be printed on a piece of paper that contains the full name of the person sending the solicitation and the language must be printed in 14-point, bold typeface.

Upon Assembly approval of the measure, Assembly members Mazzeo, Quijano, and Downey issued the following joint statement:

“Third-party settlement organizations often disguise themselves as government entities and make businesses believe they are paying taxes to the State. 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.  This bill will regulate these third-party companies and make sure businesses are clear about who they are dealing with.”