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Credit Counseling Against Registration of Debt Relief Providers? Huh?

In what is another of the ultimate ironies of nonprofit charitable credit counseling, it appears that at least two trade associations feel nonprofit credit counselors should not have to participate in any national registration of debt relief companies with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

I must admit, the position against CFPB registration stumps me and seems anti-counsumer at face value.

In order for the CFPB to even figure out who the providers of debt relief services are they will supervise, they will need to identify providers. Identification is provided through registration. Companies not registered will be easy to identify as outlying fringe players and to take action against.

Taking action to prevent non-registered companies from selling debt relief products and services to consumers, protects consumers. Credit counseling groups are supposed to be business which get a tax break to offer a service that provides help to disadvantaged consumers. Consumer protection seems to be at the heart of that charitable purpose.

Creditors Will Get Behind CFPB Registration

I see a time in the near future where creditors will start to get more liability and exposure by working with illegal debt relief companies. And when i say illegal, I mean companies that are not licensed or registered to offer business in the states they serve. Accepting money from illegal companies would expose them to the benefit of ill gotten games from illegal companies.

There is no difference, it seems, between banks requiring mortgage brokers to be licensed and registered before they will work with them and requiring debt relief providers to be licensed and registered before they will work with them.

Being in favor of a national registration program with the CFPB seems to reduce the exposure of creditors. I can’t see any reason why creditors would not want to embrace CFPB national registration.

Credit Counseling Against Registration of Debt Relief Providers? Huh?The topic of national registration will most likely come up in the upcoming AICCCA conference of charitable nonprofit groups to be held very shortly at the Four Seasons Hotel in Washington, DC.

Just one question about that meeting, where are the open door meetings that encourage consumers to come and speak up about the services and help they need from the credit counseling groups?

It seems the meeting held at one of the more exclusive hotel chains, is not about the consumers at all.

If the credit counseling groups are supposed to serve the consumers, then where are the sessions about the consumers?

Here is the agenda they’ve listed.

  • COA Workshop- Accreditation
  • View from the House Financial Services Committee Representative Michael Capuano (D-8th-MA)
  • The Future of Credit Counseling Industry State and Federal Regulation: A New Uniform Debt-Management Services Act, Other State Laws, and Federal Regulation
  • An Interview with a State Regulator
  • A LOOK INTO THE FUTURE – Insightful predictions by some of the most visionary and respected leaders in our industry.
  • IRS Update Ellen Berick, Senior Tax Law Specialist in Rulings and Agreements Exempt Organizations, Technical Internal Revenue Service
  • Creditor Breakout
  • The Past, Present and Future of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
  • CROA Update
  • House Financial Services Committee Staff Perspective – Source

It appears this is a self-serving political and creditor focused expensive boondoggle at the expense of tax payers. Quick, someone tell the Tea Party.

So in looking at the agenda, which session allows consumers to come and have a dialogue with the organizations that are there to serve them? Which session is about developing new solutions and tools to better assist consumers in these bad economic times?

Where’s the beef?

Credit Counseling Against Registration of Debt Relief Providers? Huh?
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About Steve Rhode

Steve Rhode
Steve Rhode is the Get Out of Debt Guy and has been helping good people with bad debt problems since 1994. You can learn more about Steve, here.
  • http://twitter.com/ThomasJFox Thomas J. Fox

    In all fairness Steve, these events are evident thoughout every industry.  These are opportunities to discuss best practices and analyze the ever-changing external market.  As the financial world changes, so does the support the public requires. While I cant speak to the overall occurrence to public participation at any industry forum, non-profit or otherwise, I can say I’ve not been to an event that included such a portion.  However, it is a fantastic idea.  Perhaps a more positive presentation would encourage our industry to include public feedback.  When I teach in the community, I get a very real since of the challenges our neighbors face, and that goes a long way in implementing effective programs.  I like the idea and hope some serious thoughts are given to moving forward with an open forum. 

  • Tofu

    “where’s the beef”?

    Its Tofurkey.

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