Over the past year, there has been a great deal of federal and state activity touching on credit counseling, including: new rules for debt relief services under the Telemarketing Sales Rule (“TSR”) and mortgage assistance relief services (“MARS”); major enforcement actions by the FTC, state regulators and state Attorneys General against DMP providers, debt settlement companies, mortgage foreclosure consultants, and lead generators; a new HUD housing counseling manual and protocols for reverse mortgage counseling, along with rulemakings on reverse mortgage counseling; and changes in state debt adjusting laws. In addition, the rollout of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”) – which will regulate credit counseling agencies – as part of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act is well underway.
Will the new Bureau and the law result in over-regulation – with enforcement power over such statutes and rules as the SAFE Act, the TSR and the MARS Rule –and, inevitably, lead to industry consolidation or are there new business opportunities that will emerge from the new CFPB? Further, the IRS and the threat of private lawsuits cannot be ignored.
Jeff Tenenbaum and Jonathan Pompan will explain the issues and what this all means for your credit counseling agency going forward, explain why even tax-exempt credit counseling agencies need to pay attention to the new FTC requirements, and take questions from the audience.