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Freedom Debt Relief to Layoff 120 and Close Office

Mark Anderson of the Sacramento Business Journal is reporting that Andrew Houser and his Freedom Financial Network will close their office in Sacramento, California and begin “curbing its local operation Nov. 15, with employees winding down over about a six-month period.”

The change is blamed on recent FTC telemarketing rules changes and the need to realign the business moving forward.

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It is reported the Sacramento office handles debt settlement customer support and settlement negotiations and that the sales force is still snug in their offices in San Mateo, California and Phoenix, Arizona.

Houser offers this most incredulous quote, “That is a really short period of time to complete revamp our entire business in marketing, accounting and strategy.”

Apparently as “involved” as Houser has been claiming to have been in the rule making process with the FTC he did not begin making advance plans to adjust his operation. Now he is quoted as saying, “That is a completely different way of doing business. This is a labor-intensive business.”

It can take months or even years of work before the company is able to negotiate the final settlement, the article says. If that’s a message Houser was giving out, really? The only reason there is more work in the new business model is because you actually have to settle the debt to get paid. And as far as it being labor intensive before the settlement is made, I don’t get that. It’s still the same process, sign the client up, manage expectation, deal with stuff that blows up, and when the client has money to settle then contact the creditor.

The FTC made its decision based on a wave of new companies that have entered the debt relief business in the past few years, Housser said.

“A lot of the new companies — them of the late-night television commercials — over-promised and under-delivered,” he said. “In the long run, this will make the survivors better companies. Do I think we will survive? Yes, but we had to take immediate action now to cut costs. Starting on Oct. 27, we are working for free.” – Source

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