(1) In addition to other powers granted by this chapter, the Attorney General within the limitations provided by law may:
(a) Receive and act on complaints, take action designed to obtain voluntary compliance with this chapter or commence proceedings on his own initiative;
(b) Counsel persons and groups on their rights and duties under this chapter;
(c) Establish programs for the education of consumers with respect to credit and leasing practices and problems;
(d) Make studies appropriate to effectuate the purposes and policies of this chapter and make the results available to the public;
(e) Adopt, amend and repeal such reasonable rules and regulations, in accordance with the provisions of chapter twenty-nine-a of this code, as are necessary and proper to effectuate the purposes of this chapter and to prevent circumvention or evasion thereof; and
(f) Delegate his powers and duties under this chapter to qualified personnel in his office, who shall act under the direction and supervision of the Attorney General and for whose acts he shall be responsible.
(2) Except for refund of an excess charge, no liability is imposed under this chapter for an act done or omitted in conformity with a rule of the Attorney General or commissioner, notwithstanding that after the act or omission the rule may be amended or repealed or be determined by judicial or other authority to be invalid for any reason. Any form or procedure which has been submitted to the commissioner and the Attorney General in writing and approved in writing by them shall not be deemed a violation of the penalty provisions of this chapter notwithstanding that such approval may be subsequently amended or rescinded or be determined by judicial or other authority to be invalid for any reason.
(3) Except for refund of an excess charge, in any action brought pursuant to the provisions of this chapter, it shall be a defense that the act or omission complained of was in conformity with a published opinion of the Attorney General issued in compliance with section one, article three, chapter five of this code or in conformity with an examination report issued by the commissioner to the person against whom the action is brought pursuant to section six, article two, chapter thirty-one-a of this code, or a declaratory ruling issued to the person against whom the action is brought pursuant to subdivision (9), subsection (c), section four of said article.
(4) On or before December 1, of each year, the Attorney General and commissioner shall jointly or separately submit a report or reports to the Governor and to the Legislature on the operation of their offices, on the use of consumer credit and on consumer protection problems in the state, and on the problems of persons of small means obtaining credit from persons regularly engaged in extending sales or loan credit. For the purpose of making such report or reports, the Attorney General and commissioner are authorized to conduct research and make appropriate studies. The report or reports shall include a description of the examination and investigation procedures and policies of their offices, a statement of policies followed in deciding whether to investigate or examine the offices of credit suppliers subject to this chapter, a statement of the number and percentages of offices which are periodically investigated or examined, a statement of the types of consumer credit and consumer protection problems of both creditors and consumers which have come to their attention through their examinations and investigations and the disposition of them under existing law, and a general statement of the activities of their offices and of others to promote the purposes of this chapter.