FTC Amends Telemarketing Rule to Ban Payment Methods Used by Scammers

Following a public comment period, the Federal Trade Commission has approved final amendments to its Telemarketing Sales Rule (TSR), including a change that will help protect consumers from fraud by prohibiting four discrete types of payment methods favored by con artists and scammers. “Con artists like payments that are tough to trace and hard for … Read more

Morgan Drexen Running TV Commercial for Debt Settlement Clients. Says It Is Exempt from FTC Rules.

So what is the truth about Mogan Drexen? On one hand they claim, as was stated in the recent West Virginia Attorney General suit about them to “merely provide paralegal services to lawyers engaged in debt settlement activities on behalf of clients.” Even their own website says: Morgan Drexen provides integrated legal software and paralegal … Read more

Understanding the FTC Regulations for the Debt Industry

Here is a recent video appearance I made with some of my fellow personal finance blogger friends on Financially Fit TV where we discuss new FTC rules covering debt relief services. http://youtu.be/a29XyW3Rz60 Transcript Hi everybody. I’m Nichole Kelly, and this is Financially Fit TV. What is Financially Fit TV? It’s a series of episodes that … Read more

Rally in Raleigh 2010 – Video of Session on the Telemarketing Sales Rule With Allison Brown, FTC

On November 13, 2010 we held the Rally in Raleigh, a meeting of debt relief professionals. At the meting we talked about a number of issues. Below you will find the video of the 3:00 p.m. session with Allison Brown from the Federal Trade Commission. The agenda: 10:00 – 10:30 Welcome and Who’s Here. 10:30 … Read more

Attorney Model Debt Settlement Companies, Affiliates, and Marketers are Not Going to Like What’s Coming From the FTC

This past weekend I held a meeting titled the “Rally in Raleigh” where a number of debt relief companies, and some guest regulators got together to talk openly and honestly about the current state of the debt relief industry. We wound up focusing more on debt settlement since it is a subset of the debt … Read more

Secret Shopper Debt Settlement Call. How Do You Think They Did?

Yesterday I made my first secret shopper call after the FTC TSR went fully into force. My vote of the call yesterday was a FAIL. You can read my comments on that call here. So today I decided to call the exact same company back and confirm what the sales representative had told me yesterday. … Read more

FTC Provides Video on Debt Relief Services and Telemarketing Sales Rule

Here is a nice video from our friend Allison Brown at the FTC about the new telemarketing sales rule and some last minute clarifications for consumers. Transcript Allison Brown: Hi I’m Allison Brown, an attorney with the Federal Trade Commission, the nation’s consumer protection agency. If you’re in the debt relief services industry, you may … Read more

Cambridge Credit Counseling Puts Out New Video on Debt Settlement Rules

Starting October 27, 2010 the Federal Trade Commission’s Telemarketing Sales Rule will prohibit for-profit debt settlement companies from charging fees to consumers until the company has preformed an actual service. The Telemarketing Sales Rule applies to debt settlement companies that solicit consumers by phone, and to settlement agencies that receive calls in response to ads. … Read more

Tax Relief Providers Get Temporary Pass Under FTC TSR Effective Today

Enforcement Deferred for Tax Debt Relief Services, but Most Companies Are Now Prohibited From Collecting Advance Fees The Federal Trade Commission has issued an enforcement policy statement on a new FTC rule that protects consumers by barring debt relief firms from collecting up-front fees. In its statement, the FTC says that while most companies that … Read more

Trying to Get Around Debt Settlement Rules By Calling Advanced Fee a Retainer. Not So Fast Bucko.

One of the rumors I’ve heard lately is from some debt settlement companies that claim they are going to get around the ban on advance fees, starting October 27, 2010, for debt settlement by calling the fee they will ask for, a retainer. The argument goes something like this. “But because I’m an affiliate of … Read more

Debt Settlement Company Says “Enough is Enough” and Works Hard to Comply With FTC.

With permission I am posting the following from an email I received from a debt settlement company I have written about on this site. The company in question does not want to be identified but they have allowed me to share their “turning point” moment that made them realize that FTC TSR compliance is the … Read more

Loeb & Loeb Law Firm Issues Guidance to Debt Settlement Companies Looking at FTC Loopholes

Since the Federal Trade Commission telemarketing sales rules (“TSR”) were released I’ve written about a number of claims and assertions debt settlement companies have made to continue business as usual. We’ve heard all sorts of strategies that companies claim are legal, loopholes or not covered by new regulations going into effect on September 27, 2010. … Read more

Will We Be Able to Continue Business as Usual or Will We Have to Comply?

I typically get questions from consumers but I happened to get one from a company asking about new Federal Trade Commission regulations. The questions was: Will the new FTC and Schumer-McCaskill Amendment 3960 affect companies like mine that are use the attorney modle in all 50 states? Will we be able to continue business as … Read more

New Mailer Promoting Attorney Model Debt Settlement for FTC TSR

Thanks to a tipster (send in your tips here), here is the latest email that is being sent around promoting an attorney model to deal with the FTC TSR rules. It is not clear from the mailer if this is simply an advertisement to help debt settlement companies comply with the new rules or providing … Read more