16 CFR Part 310 Telemarketing Sales Rule- Debt Relief Amendments #543670-00131

Submission Number:
543670-00131
Commenter:
Dr. David Holt
Organization:
self-employed
State:
SC
Initiative Name:
16 CFR Part 310 Telemarketing Sales Rule- Debt Relief Amendments
At age 76,I both owe and am owed close to one-half a million $.My retirement account is now nonexistent.Between my wife and myself,100 hours of work is being put in each week in trying to keep our heads above water.The 1/2 million I owe is primarily because of the the 1/2 million I am owed.I sold my medical practice 7 years ago to an individual who was professionally qualified and had proven himself by having spent a year practicing in the community.But he had medical school, post-retirement account is now nononexistent.Between my wife and myself,100 hours of work is being put in each week in trying to keep our heads above water.The 1/2 million I owe is primarily because of the the 1/2 million I am owed.I sold my medical practice 7 years ago to an individual who was professionally qualified and had proven himself by having spent a year practicing in the community.But he had medical school,post-graduate,moving,and practice-building expenses to which he had committed.He therefore required that I act as his "banker" in the interim until he built his practice and thereby more credit.When he stopped paying two years later, a lawsuit was filed,and has yet to be heard in court(my state ranks last in the timeliness of hearing lawsuits).Not only did I become "lawyer-poor" but I had to increasingly dip into savings to pay prior obligations. These savings have now been exhausted(Whatever happened to usery laws?) I have strongly considered, and have been advised by some,to proceed with bankruptcy because I have had to borrow so heavily that I now have no credit,and live literally "from paycheck to paycheck".(My debts will outlive me by decades.)But I instead turned to a debt settlement agency because every few months I am given hope that a court date is near.My wife and I are far behind in medical care,and have lost the benefits long ago of vacations,dining out,having friends over(or even having time for them),buying clothing, and the like.Our assets have been sold off,we now eat far more sparingly/inexpensively,and our smaller house needs maintenance.I can no longer afford to practice the very medically preventive lifestyle that I taught for years.The debt settlement program has recently begun for us,and we were fortunate in finding an outstanding company who is offering immense support,who communicates with us regularly,and who has a strong debt counselling and homework program.They have not only been willing to lower our payment to their savings program but have advised it as we are further squeezed-by the deterioration of economic conditions as well as our own situation. Included in the program are a series of interwoven lessons to teach those in debt(1)how they got there,(2)how to change one's belief systems about money,(3)how to change one's financial attitudes and habits,(4)how to begin a savings program,and(5)how to quickly rebuild credit and use it in the proper fashion in the future.We have always honored our debts. We are pleased to be put in a position of opportunity for negotiation with creditors to do whatever we can to meet such obligations,rather than submitting a declaration of bankruptcy which leaves the creditor with nothing and leaves us a shortened life to live the shame of total surrender.We have once more had a court date assigned,but have been warned by the opposing attorney that his client has transferred all ownership to other legal entities. At any rate, we have utmost confidence in Financial Resolutions of Albuquerque,New Mexico,its CEO and staff,who seem to practice remarkable teamwork to benefit the client. They have given us the opportunity to avoid bankruptcy,and to live with our conscience and our pride.In a word,they have offered us a higher quality of life.I wish to make a personal plea that the FTC not regulate debt settlement companies out of business.I firmly believe these companies have an essential position between independent financial solvency and total abdication, where nobody wins.