Bills.com Applauds New Federal Trade Commission Regulations
Bills.com Applauds New Federal Trade Commission Regulations for Debt Relief Industry
SAN MATEO, Calif. - Sept. 21, 2010 - Personal finance resource Bills.com welcomes new debt relief regulations and actions taken by the Federal Trade Commission, and hails pro-consumer changes that will help protect vulnerable consumers. New regulations govern the marketing of debt relief products as well as the way in which fees are administered within the programs. "This is really a best case scenario for consumers," said Brad Stroh, CEO of Bills.com. "Consumers will now have substantial and important protections in place to ensure that they are not taken advantage of by predatory debt relief providers. At the same time, responsible providers will be rewarded for their efforts and can stand apart from less reputable companies - making it even easier for consumers to find help from the good actors in the debt relief industry. " The first phase of the new regulations will take effect on September 27th, 2010. These initial changes govern how debt relief products are marketed to consumers. Specifically, the new rules prohibit debt services providers from misrepresentations regarding their program, success rates or any material program features. Companies are also required to disclose potential negative consequences of a settlement and how long it might take for a consumer to realize results. The second sets of changes take effect on October 28, 2010. This second step will restrict debt relief companies from charging any fees until the consumer has received either interest rate or principal reductions from their creditors. This addresses one of the most often criticized aspects of the industry wherein a debt relief company could collect up-front fees without having to resolve any consumer debt. With these changes, consumers are protected from unscrupulous providers. "The timing of these changes are important because the still struggling economy means that many Americans and families remain in financial peril," continued Stroh. "Now, they can seek financial help from debt relief providers with a sense of confidence, knowing that marketing claims are accurate and that they essentially have a no-money down guarantee on having some of their debt resolved. " For more information on consumer debt or to read an in-depth analysis of the pros and cons of debt relief options by Bills.com, please visit /debt.