Tag: Debt

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The FTC has filed another action against defendants who allegedly attempted to squeeze the last drop from homeowners already under water.  This case, however, involves a disturbing new variation on foreclosure "rescue" operations.
If you have clients in the auto industry, you’ve seen the ads:  “We’ll pay off your trade no matter what you owe . . . even if you’re upside down.” It’s an attractive claim to people struggling with their finances. But law enforcement settlements announced by the FTC with five dealers...
South Dakota can be lovely this time of year, but consumers struggling financially shouldn’t have to travel there to respond to actions filed against them in a tribal court that doesn’t have jurisdiction over their case. That’s what the FTC has alleged in its amended complaint against...
When the FTC conducts an investigation to see if a company has violated the law, it’s important that the process is efficient and not unduly burdensome on those involved.  The FTC’s Rules of Practice lay out the procedures the Commission follows.
In the market for a $430 case of shower caps or some “dolphin shaped craft embellishments”? Have they got a deal for you! But for people who thought they were paying $99 up front and $19 a month for a credit card, all they got was access to the defendants’ online store, which sold...
Of course, people are responsible for their debts.  However, at a certain point, how much time has passed becomes an affirmative defense under state law and creditors can’t prevail in court.  But what happens if a payment is made on a time-barred debt?  A consumer can really get...
Last Friday, the FTC and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau signed a memorandum of understanding outlining how the agencies will work together.  The CFPB — born out of the recent financial system overhaul — and the FTC now share responsibility for protecting consumers in the non...
In celebration of Halloween — and with apologies to Edgar Allen Poe — here’s our take on what companies can do to make sure spooky business practices don’t come back to haunt them. Once upon a midnight lawful Pondering practices, good and awful, Reading through the U.S. Code For dos...
FTC watchers will remember Phillip A. Flora.  In the first case of its kind, the FTC alleged that Mr. Flora was a One-Man Message Machine, churning out a “mind-boggling” number of unsolicited commercial text messages pitching mortgage modification services.  How many did he send? ...
According to the Consumer Services Protection Commission’s website, it’s a “National consumer protection agency and works For the Consumer to help avoid fraud, deception, and/or unfair business practices in the financial assistance marketplace.” The site went on to talk about the...
The FTC just announced more settlements with companies that falsely promised to help homeowners facing foreclosure. “Not relevant to our business,” you say? Think again.
“You can settle your credit card debt for pennies on the dollar without filing for bankruptcy.”For people struggling to stay afloat, Debt Relief USA’s national TV ads must have seemed like a lifeline.  When consumers called the company, representatives assured them that low monthly...
Savvy executives like to stay in the loop on FTC activities that could affect their industry.   They make it a habit to scan the headlines or check for relevant workshops or reports.  But there’s a third category of information a bit less understood: closing letters from BCP staff.In...
Thinking about using a pre-checked box to obligate buyers in an online transaction?  Maybe you’re considering a negative option arrangement without clearly and conspicuously disclosing the details of the deal.  Or perhaps you’re an affiliate marketer who’s concluded that legal...
Perhaps you see cops on the beat when they pass by your office. Maybe you serve on a committee with the Chief of Police or have a relative in the Sheriff’s Department. However you cross paths with local law enforcement, do them — and yourself — a favor by telling them about Consumer...
Is your briefcase feeling lighter? That’s because your dog-eared copy of Volume 16 of the Code of Federal Regulations (where most FTC rules and guides live) is decidedly thinner these days. For the past two decades, the agency has undertaken a systematic review of its rules and guides...
Incessant phone calls to consumers, often about accounts that weren't theirs. Repeated autocalls to wrong numbers. Illegal disclosures to other people that a consumer owes money.
In place since 1977, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act gives consumers rights in the debt collection process and sets standards for members of the industry.
Consumers have found their voice.  And last year they raised it more than 1.3 million times to complain about identity theft, fraud, and products that didn’t live up to the advertising hype.
Break out the bubbly and raise a toast:  It's National Consumer Protection Week.  NCPW is an annual campaign sponsored by the FTC and nearly 30 other federal agencies, consumer groups, and advocacy organizations, in conjunction with state, county, and local government offices that are...

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