The announcement below was issued by USOBA this morning. It marks a change in the landscape of debt settlement company tree representation. While the United States Organization of Bankruptcy Alternatives will still exist, it will be in a much smaller form than at its peak.
I am writing to let you know that USOBA’s role in the industry will be changing. Currently, there are not enough members to support a legislative agenda. Since the passage of the FTC rules we have seen the industry shrink dramatically and have also witnessed many companies incorporating the ‘attorney model’ into their practice in hopes of avoiding the FTC rule’s reach. It remains to be seen if this tactic will be successful.
At the request of its remaining members, USOBA will continue to provide an accreditation standard for BSI to continue to use to accredit participating members.
USOBA will charge a nominal fee of $1000 per year, per company, in order to maintain the website, keep current on the legislative changes in order to update the accreditation standard, cover the low, recurring overhead costs and respond to both consumer and company inquiries.
USOBA will also be opening its standard up to anyone in the industry looking for an accreditation route that doesn’t include high monetary commitments to be a part of an association. We are conferencing with BSI currently to determine a fair time frame that accreditation must be achieved in, from the date of membership.
It remains our belief that the best way to change the industry is by following the rules and insuring a place at the table when negotiations start. One excellent way to accomplish this is to become licensed in the states that offer debt settlement specific licenses. It is for this reason we will remain open to provide the accreditation standard.
All new policies and procedures will be available and effective February 1, 2012. USOBA members that were current as of November 2011 are still considered active and current until February 15, 2012 unless company has renewed under the new agreement.
It has been a pleasure representing the industry on the legislative front since 2006. I have enjoyed getting to know the USOBA members and preparing them, through events like USOBA conferences, for ethical and legal practicing in the debt relief arena.
USOBA and I now look forward to helping debt settlement companies find a way to organize and join together to continue participating in the process of state legislatures on debt relief legislation while maintaining a valuable regulator recognized accreditation standard.
USOBA Curtails Most Operations by Steve Rhode
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