16 CFR Part 310 Telemarketing Sales Rule- Debt Relief Amendments
This comment is made in opposition to the proposed regulations that would effectively regulate debt settlement companies out of business. My wife and I suffered from mounting credit card debt related to poor decisions in our younger, pre-marriage years, school expenses, & unexpected medical and home expenses. Our minimum montly payments were preventing us from saving any money or investing any money in our home or in our businesses. We've been enrolled in a debt settlement program for a little over a year with Debt Regret, based in Dallas, Texas. We enrolled 7 credit cards and have already settled all but 2 of them at an average of approxiately 35% of the balance owed. This process has taught my wife and I to live on a strict budget and to save to pay down debt - a lesson too often unlearned until the debt consumes the debtor. We have received tremendous customer service from Debt Regret including personal regular correspondence by phone and by email, encouragement in savings, answers to questions (all the while disclaiming that they are NOT attorneys and that the CANNOT give legal advice), and, of course, advocacy with our creditors. To this end, although there certainly may exist exist other debt management/settlement companies that prey maliciously on those who are unfortunate enough to enroll with them, there are many that do not. Debt Regret is a great company and I have recommended them to others about whom I care deeply. I understand that some regulation of this type of business may be in the best interest of the consumer/debtor, and I whole-heardedly support it. However, please reconsider the ultimate effects that the proposed regulations may have on the industry as a whole. At least my debt settlement company has provided a valuable service to my family that has rescued us from ourselves. Creating regulations that would cause companies such as Debt Regret to go out of business would be a loss to consumers who need their help and for whom bankruptcy is not a viable option. Please don't "throw the baby out with the bathwater".