The last thing people struggling to keep their heads above perilous financial waters need is an anchor weighing them down. That's why, as of today, businesses must comply with all provisions of new amendments to the Telemarketing Sales Rule designed to curb deception in the sale of debt relief services.
Most importantly, companies that use outbound telemarketing -- or have customers call them in response to ads or other solicitations -- can’t collect fees from customers until:
• they successfully settle or change the terms of at least one of their debts;
• there’s a settlement agreement, debt management plan, or other agreement in place that has the approval of both the creditor and the customers; and
• the customer has made at least one payment to the creditor as a result of the agreement negotiated by the debt relief provider.
What about businesses with questions on how to comply? Debt Relief Services & the Telemarketing Sales Rule: A Guide for Business is the best source for plain-language staff guidance on the rule. In addition, Debt Relief Services & the Telemarketing Sales Rule: What People Are Asking addresses many of the questions FTC staff has received since the Rule was announced. Companies also can incorporate this new video into in-house training.