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
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