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An Easy Way To Respond To The FTC's Proposed New Debt Settlement Rules

The Federal Trade Commission's October 9, 2009, deadline is quickly approaching for industry members to comment on the proposed amendments to the Telemarketing Sales Rule, which would impose additional regulations on the debt settlement industry.

We have been working with our clients and other industry leaders to identify an effective way to demonstrate the benefits debt settlement offers to consumers.  Many companies have expressed concerns that they have not been in business long enough to have generated significant settlement statistics or that their participation in the comment process might raise them "above the radar" with regulators.    

One client suggested that the best way to show how many consumers have been helped by debt settlement, and how much they have been helped, would be if every debt settlement company in America submitted copies of all of their settlement letters to the FTC. 

Can you imagine how many letters that would be?  And can you imagine how much money those letters would prove consumers have saved as a result of their participation in debt settlement programs nationally?

Since this suggestion was made, we have been encouraging our clients and other companies to send us by overnight delivery all of their settlement letters in redacted form (with the customer's personal information, including account numbers, deleted) and in electronic format (unlocked PDFs with no password protection sent to us on CDs, flashdrives or other electronic storage devices).  Please contact us if you have any questions or problems regarding transmitting this data to us.

Please also send us a summary of the settlements, including the total number of settlements, the total amount of the outstanding debt before the settlements, the total amounts of the settlements and the total savings to consumers. 

We will compile all of the letters and settlement data that we receive by Friday, October 2, and will present them all to the FTC, including the total amount of debt, the total amount of the settlements and the total amount and percentage of the savings. 

If you would like to join us in this effort, please send your letters to the following address:

Attention: Michael A. Thurman
Loeb & Loeb LLP
10100 Santa Monica Blvd., 22nd Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90067 

As indicated below, this is not an offer to provide legal representation to any company or individual, and responding to this offer will not establish an attorney-client relationship with us or Loeb & Loeb LLP.  We will simply compile the documents and information received from the industry and provide it to the FTC.  For this reason, please be sure that all consumer information provided to us is completely redacted.

This client alert is a publication of Loeb & Loeb LLP and is intended to provide information on recent legal developments. This client alert does not create or continue an attorney client relationship nor should it be construed as legal advice or an opinion on specific situations.

Circular 230 Disclosure: To assure compliance with Treasury Department rules governing tax practice, we inform you that any advice (including in any attachment) (1) was not written and is not intended to be used, and cannot be used, for the purpose of avoiding any federal tax penalty that may be imposed on the taxpayer, and (2) may not be used in connection with promoting, marketing or recommending to another person any transaction or matter addressed herein.