Bryan Cohen Jul. 8, 2013, 7:24pm

BOSTON (Legal Newsline) - Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley announced Friday that her office awarded $1.5 million in grants to local mediation and consumer programs through the Local Consumer Aid Fund Grants.

As of July 1, Coakley's office planned to provide funding to 18 local consumer programs and 16 face-to-face mediation programs throughout the state. The funds were made available through LCAF for new and existing grantees throughout the state. This year, the city of New Bedford received funding for a new FTF mediation program that will serve Fall River District Court and nearby municipalities.

"We are pleased to continue our support for these local nonprofit and municipal programs," Coakley said. "They play an essential role in guiding and informing consumers while achieving successful mediation and resolutions to unfair trade practices."

Coakley's office uses settlement funds to provide grants to a Massachusetts network of FTF and LCP programs. The programs deal with many regional consumer complaints, employing local knowledge and community involvement to provide effective services and assistance to help consumers resolve issues. There are 34 FTF and LCP programs in Massachusetts.

During Fiscal Year 2013, LCAF-funded programs mediated more than 10,000 cases and returned more than $6.5 million to consumers.

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