Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Debt Settlement reform stalls in Senate

The Maryland General Assembly’s Senate Finance Committee today set aside legislation to regulate the debt settlement industry. Instead, a summer study will be commissioned to gather more data and input on the issue.

SB701 would have capped advance fees at $50 and limited the total fee to 15% of the amount the company saved the consumer.

“While of course we would have preferred passage of a strong bill, MCRC is glad that the Senate recognizes the need to protect consumers and to pass meaningful regulations,” said MCRC Executive Director Marceline White. “We look forward to participating in the study and to helping bring a good bill forward in the next session. We are also hopeful that the FTC will issue new rules this spring that will address some of these important issues.”

The Federal Trade Commission is considering new rules that would, among other things, ban advance fees in debt settlement. For more information about the proposed FTC rules, go here: http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2009/07/tsr.shtm.

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