Debt Relief Industry

Andrew Houser Praises the FTC for Telemarketing Sales Rules

Written by Steve Rhode

I wish I had a time machine to go back two years and tell Andrew Houser of 2010 that he’d be praising the FTC for implementing the Telemarketing Sales Rules in 2012.

In a syndicated article out today, Houser, the CEO of Freedom Financial Network says this about the FTC changes:

“Prior to the implementation of the FTC rules in 2010, it was harder for consumers to identify a reputable debt relief company. The rules require debt relief companies to renegotiate, settle or reduce the terms of at least one debt, with the consumer’s agreement, before collecting fees from the consumer. Fees can’t be collected until the consumer has made at least one payment to the creditor on the renegotiated plan. In addition, debt settlement companies must disclose how long it should take to see results, program costs and any negative consequences that may result. The rules also define the advertising claims these companies can make.”

And apparently the place to look for a reputable firm is if they are a member of AFCC or IAPDA.

Houser warns consumers:

While the 2010 FTC rules provide consumers with more protections, some bad players still exist in the field. Consumers should ask a debt relief provider or consumer credit advocate as many questions as necessary to understand how the process works and confirm the firm is legitimate. Impatient debt counselors, high-pressure sales tactics and claims that sound too good to be true (such as “eliminate your debts, guaranteed!”) are warning signs of firms that should be avoided. Consumers should look for a firm that has an established, long-term record of successfully getting results for customers. – Source

I wonder if that means Houser and Freedom Financial network will embrace our guide 10 Must Do Steps to Find the Best Credit Counseling or Debt Settlement Company for You.


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READ  Andrew Houser from TASC Pleads With FTC, "Please Don't Ban Upfront Advance Debt Settlement Fees."

About the author

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.


  • All this was inspired by the principle–which is quite true within itself–that in the big lie
    there is always a certain force of credibility; because the broad
    masses of a nation are always more easily corrupted in the deeper strata
    of their emotional nature than consciously or voluntarily; and thus in
    the primitive simplicity of their minds they more readily fall victims
    to the big lie than the small lie, since they themselves often
    tell small lies in little matters but would be ashamed to resort to
    large-scale falsehoods.
    It would never come into their heads to
    fabricate colossal untruths, and they would not believe that others
    could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously. Even though
    the facts which prove this to be so may be brought clearly to their
    minds, they will still doubt and waver and will continue to think that
    there may be some other explanation. For the grossly impudent lie always
    leaves traces behind it, even after it has been nailed down, a fact
    which is known to all expert liars in this world and to all who conspire
    together in the art of lying.

  • The FTC law got rid of a lot of bad players, but others simply put on a disguise. Prior to the passage of the law it was actually easier to identify a reputable company. You simply avoided the ones that were sticking it to consumers with front loaded fees.

    Housser said in the release…

    “It is still legal for debt settlement companies (and law firms) that do notparticipate in telemarketing to charge up-front fees. But there is no need to sign with one of them when there are reputable debt relief firms that charge only when they get results.”

    Please correct me if I am wrong, but I believe it was Housser (Freedom Debt Relief) that provided testimony to the FTC that said it was in a consumers best interest to work with a settlement company that charged front loaded fees. Otherwise the settlement company would not have the leverage they needed to negotiate. In other words at the time he charged front loaded fees he was arguing that a consumer should hire a company like his.

    How is it now, that he can claim there is no need to hire a company that charges upfront fees and it is better for a consumer to hire a company like his that now does not charge upfront fees? Since the law changed, the 2012 Housser is publicly arguing against the 2010 Housser and essentially calling his former self a liar. Or perhaps his former self was proactively calling his future self a liar, I am not sure which, but I think we should consult with Doc Brown for a final ruling.

    A cynic might say he changed his mind simply because it was in his own financial best interest, but that would take a really cynical person to say that a debt settlement company would ever put profit above the best interests of their clients.

  • 5. Avoid firms that have past enforcement
    actions as past behavior is the best indicator of future behavior

    Once heard the acronym for TASC
    was The Association of Settlement Criminals

    Maybe that was why the name change

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