The Maryland Consumer Right Coalition reached out to me to let me know about upcoming hearings in Maryland that involve debt settlement.
Marceline White of the MCRC said, “There will be two hearings in the Maryland General Assembly next week on regulating the debt settlement industry within the state. The legislation recommends that lawyers that are principally engaged in debt settlement services be regulated in the same way that other debt settlement firms are. Needless to say, Persels and Associates, led by Neil Ruther is adamantly opposed. The hearings will be March 1 and March 3. We have consumers and lawyers lined up to testify in support of regulating lawyers.”
Since I knew CareOne, located in Maryland, had a relationship with Persels and Associates so I asked Mike Croxson, the leader at CareOne for his take on the bill. Mike supports the new bill and apparently parts company with Persels on this.
Croxson said, “The Maryland Legislature has spent a significant amount of time and energy with consumers, providers and other interested parties in crafting what we think is a balanced and reasonable bill. In addition to registering all providers it provides essential consumer protections and a reasonable fee structure that aligns consumer and provider interests. Parties that might oppose this bill are clearly not doing so in the interest of consumers.”
It sounds like consumer interests in Maryland are aligned for the most part. We’ll have to see how this plays out.
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