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Terry Goddard Receives Award for Protecting Arizona Consumers

(Phoenix, Ariz. May 13, 2010) Attorney General Terry Goddard today received the Presidents Award from the Arizona Community Action Association for his work protecting consumers in Arizona.

Goddard was lauded for his efforts in directing funds from a multi-state Bank of America settlement to 12 nonprofit housing counseling entities in Arizona to provide assistance for consumers at risk of losing their homes. That settlement is expected to provide up to $245 million in economic relief for an estimated 13,000 Arizonans. Goddard also negotiated a settlement with Ameriquest Mortgage Co. that provided more than $5 million in restitution for over 9,100 Arizona consumers.

With Arizona among the states hardest hit by the foreclosure crisis, a surge in mortgage fraud has followed. Goddard has gone after fraud artists with both criminal prosecution and civil lawsuits. He recently joined U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder in a Mortgage Fraud Summit in Phoenix with federal, state and local law enforcement officials, whose work will be helped with an additional $1.7 million in federal funds to Arizona to fight mortgage fraud. Goddard also has ramped up educational efforts aimed at preventing mortgage ripoffs.

In tough economic times it is more important than ever to combat the scam artists who rob hard working Arizonans of their last dollars, Goddard said. Fighting for Arizona consumers and protecting their rights has always been a top priority for me and the Attorney Generals Office. Arizona is at the center of the housing crisis, and I am committed to continue the fight to keep as many Arizona families as possible out of foreclosure and in their homes.

Each year we have the privilege of honoring a member of our community who has made a significant impact in the lives of vulnerable Arizonans, stated Margarita Leyvas, president of the Arizona Community Action Association. Attorney General Terry Goddard has done an excellent job of this throughout his career as a public servant. He has worked to ensure that consumers are informed about fraudulent practices that vulnerable Arizonans, particularly the elderly, fall prey to. We are proud to be honoring Terry Goddard for his dedication and commitment to Arizona residents.