Here is a recent debt settlement company trade association presentation from The Association of Settlement Companies (TASC) that appears to suggest to TASC members to consider circumventing new consumer protection rules to come from the FTC by avoiding traditional phone lines, moving operations offshore like gambling and payday operations, and selling discounted medical & health products with the debt settlement sale.
What strikes me as odd is that TASC promotes themselves on their front page by saying:
Debt settlement companies act on behalf of consumer debtors to help them clear their debts. They do this by entering into direct negotiations with creditors in order to facilitate the repayment of debts. Through protecting the interests of consumer debtors and lobbying on behalf of debt settlement companies on both federal and state levels, TASC has become a reliable resource and network for debt settlement companies and the go-to source for information on the debt settlement industry.
- And -
Robby leads TASC on its mission of seeking fair and reasonable legislation that promotes Consumer Protection and Industry Growth. Robby is focused on maintaining the high standards that TASC requires of its Members, and ensuring an industry that puts consumers first. – Source
After reading the presentation below I’m left wondering how the TASC talking points help protect the interest of the consumer debtor and put the consumer first?
Here is my single most favorite slide from the “Protecting and Leading Our Industry” TASC presentation.
- Similar to Online Gambling Setups
- Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, Panama
- Have clients operating from all of these countries
- Completely base operations in foreign country
- Repatriation of funds issue and taxes
- Respecting US laws
- ManyPayDay Lenders now completely based in Bermuda.
Here are some more interesting slides from it as well. I’ll type out the really interesting parts to make them easier for you to read.
“Explore strategic partnerships with debt buyers and collection agencies so that settlements can be “pre-agreed” to between the companies. If settlement is accepted at program enrollment, with agreed savings goal and date of payment in the future, and consumer accepts it, then you may be able to accept fee as usual.”
“Additional products and services for sale to make up revenue, while still having consumer save your fee. Optional consumer education kits, identity theft products, discount health/medical products, etc.”
“Bank Alternative: seems stronger. Concept of joint venture with bank to provide additional financial services to consumer outside of regulation of FTC. Marketing complaince still, but testing with 2 companies.”
Not from the slide but if TASC members might sell a do-it-yourself debt settlement kit without coaching or negotiation help tomorrow then why do consumers need TASC members today?