Advisory Opinions

Our staff issue advisory opinions to help clarify FTC rules and decisions regarding either competition or consumer protection issues, often in response to requests from businesses and industry groups. To find a specific opinion, use the filters on this page. Parties may request advice from our staff concerning proposed conduct.

Opinion 16-2

Provides compliance guidance to funeral directors prohibited by D.C. law from removals to a funeral home until a death from natural causes is pronounced by a physician.

Opinion 16-1

Confirms Opinion 15-1 requirement that Casket Price List must be provided before consumers view caskets, and addresses how funeral provider locations in storefronts, malls and mall kiosks may comply.

Letter From Stephanie Rosenthal, Chief of Staff, Division of Financial Practices, Bureau of Consumer Protection, To Jeff Appel, Deputy Under Secretary, U.S. Department of Education

This Commission Staff Advisory Opinion (1) explains that the Commission's Trade Regulation Rule Concerning Preservation of Consumers' Claims and Defenses, 16 C.F.R. § 433 (the Holder Rule) protects consumers who enter into credit contracts with a seller of goods or services by preserving their right to assert claims and defenses against any holder of the contract, even if the original seller subsequently assigns the contract to a third-party creditor, and (2) advises the U.S. Department of Education that -- just as courts commonly allow consumers to assert time-barred claims defensively, even if they would not be able to assert such claims in an affirmative lawsuit -- the Holder Rule would permit the time-barred claims or defenses against the holder, if state law would permit the time-barred claims or defenses against the seller.

Opinion 15-1

Addresses why placing a consumer in the casket display room to wait to speak with a funeral director violates the funeral rule unless the consumer first has been shown a casket price list.

Opinion 14-1

Discusses whether statutory and catalog sales exemption from definition of telemarketing applies to seller that solicits inbound calls in response to mailed catalogs, but does not complete a sale during the call.

Letter from Hampton Newsome, Staff Attorney, Division of Enforcement, Bureau of Consumer Protection

Advises that, consistent with the Department of Energy (“DOE”) enforcement policy on new regional standards for furnaces, the FTC staff will not recommend enforcement action against manufacturers that do not use the new label required by 16 C.F.R. Part 305 pending resolution of ongoing DOE litigation.