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On June 6, 2008, the Federal Trade Commission ("FTC") announced that it will host a workshop on September 25, 2008 "to learn about the growth of for-profit debt relief entities and examine how the for-profit debt relief model is affecting consumers and businesses."  

According to the FTC: 

"Consumer advocates, industry representatives, and state and federal regulators will discuss a range of issues, including the history and expansion of the industry, the advertising and marketing of debt relief services, the role of third-party lead generators and other service providers, legal developments in the regulation of the industry, and ways to address consumer protection issues and education needs."

The FTC has invited the public to submit original research, surveys and academic papers regarding for-profit consumer debt relief services. The deadline for submission is August 15, 2008.

Update:  

The FTC has announced that the scheduled panels are:  

- Panel 1: Overview of the For-Profit Debt Settlement Industry: Understanding the Origins of the Industry 

- Panel 2: The For-Profit Debt Settlement Industry Today: Perspectives on Current Industry Trends and Practices 

- Panel 3: Protecting the Consumer: a Discussion of Consumer Protection Challenges Facing the For-Profit Debt Settlement Industry  

- Panel 4: The Future of the For-Profit Debt Settlement Industry: Where Will the Industry Go from Here 

For additional information about the workshop topics, see http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/workshops/debtsettlement/index.shtm; and to view public comments submitted to the FTC, see http://www.ftc.gov/os/comments/debtsettlementworkshop/index.shtm

 

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For more information regarding the Federal Trade Commission Act, other federal statutes (e.g., Credit Repair Organizations Act, Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, Fair Credit Reporting Act, and Fair Debt Collection Practices Act), state consumer protection statutes, state debt adjusting statutes, or the FTC and state regulatory enforcement history in this area, please contact Jonathan L. Pompan at 202-344-4383 / jlpompan@venable.com

 
To view the Venable index of articles and PowerPoint presentations on debt settlement, credit counseling and related industry legal topics, see the Credit Counseling and Debt Settlement publications page.
 

This article is not intended to provide legal advice or opinion and should not be relied on as such. Such advice may only be given when related to specific fact situations that Venable has accepted an engagement as counsel to address.