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Press Releases

November 8, 2013
Quietly and unexpectedly, the Massachusetts House passed HB 3569 via a voice vote on Wednesday. Yesterday, nearly two dozen consumer protection experts and community groups working to stop predatory lending in Massachusetts issued a major sign-on letter raising concerns about HB 3569 advancing further in the State legislature. The coalition letter is available online here. The troublesome legislation would reverse a long-standing statewide policy against for-profit debt relief services (including debt settlement) and allow providers to charge unlimited fees. The groups contend that the...
March 7, 2011
Oakland, Calif.--Californians struggling to overcome heavy debt will have greater protections and greater success if a bill by State Sen. Majority Leader Ellen Corbett (D-San Leandro) becomes law. Debt settlement companies advertise prominently on radio and television that they will reduce debts for pennies on the dollar, aiming to attract consumers dealing with overwhelming debt loads. Yet they typically collect large sums of their clients' money up-front, have a track record of settling very little debt, and often leave clients worse off than they were before. "Many Californians are...
July 29, 2010
American families won a major consumer victory today when the Federal Trade Commission issued a new rule barring debt relief firms from collecting up-front fees from customers before any service is provided. We commend the FTC commissioners for exercising their authority to lay down common-sense rules in the debt settlement arena, where unfair and deceptive practices are rampant. The new rule applies to any debt relief firm that either receives a call from or makes a call to a customer. It prohibits these firms from collecting fees up front before they have provided any promised service...