The Association of Settlement Companies (TASC) has just made an announcement below that will result in a significant reduction in their membership.
Dear TASC Members,
I want to update you on an important decision that the Executive Board voted on yesterday.
We recognize these are trying times for our industry, and in trying times is when difficult decisions must be made. As you probably recall, TASC issued a press release on August 17, 2010 in support of the Debt Relief Amendments to the FTC TSR. While we do not agree with everything in the Rule, we ultimately decided at that time that in order to secure the future of this industry, we needed to take a stand in support of the rule of law and in support of consumer protection.
Today we are taking that stand one step further. We understand that different companies are interpreting the FTC Rule differently, and we understand that there may well be legitimate legal arguments for certain Debt Relief companies to claim exemption from the Rule. But we also understand that by trying to straddle the fence to serve two masters (both companies that are strictly complying with the Rule, in particular the Advance Fee Ban, and companies that are claiming exemption from the Rule), we are serving no one effectively.
With that in mind, the TASC Board voted yesterday that:
(1) Effective January 1, 2011, full membership in TASC shall be available only to those debt relief service providers that charge and collect fees for debt relief services only at the time debt relief services are actually provided to consumers in accordance with the FTC Rule; and
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(2) That the directors of this Association be, and they hereby are, authorized and directed to consider and adopt standards of associate membership for vendors and other entities that support but do not provide debt relief services; and
(3) That the directors of this Association be, and they hereby are, authorized and directed to take such actions, including the revocation of membership and the licenses, privileges and benefits associated with TASC membership, as they shall deem necessary or appropriate to carry into effect the intent of the foregoing resolutions.
We firmly believe in the services we provide to thousands of Americans in need and the decision we have made, while difficult, gives us the best chance of being able to continue to provide those services to consumers who need them.
We will be in touch with you shortly regarding details of the auditing process (which will ensure compliance with the Advance Fee Ban) that will unfold in the months ahead, and we ask for your cooperation. But please know that if your company does charge Advance Fees through an exemption in the FTC Rule, you will no longer be eligible for TASC membership on January 1, 2011.
As always, please contact us with any questions or comments.
Executive Board Member
The Association of Settlement Companies
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