New law tightens rules for debt firms

  • Article by: SUZANNE ZIEGLER , Star Tribune
  • Updated: June 6, 2009 - 7:23 PM

The law aims to keep companies from taking advantage of people.

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btwobomberJun. 6, 09 8:28 PM

Thank you Lori Swanson, you are a true advocate for the voiceless. Please keep up the good fight!

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randeg1Jun. 7, 09 6:52 AM

I am so, so glad to read this article. It is about time we put a stop to the scammers and as the author aptly describe it people taking advantage of others. How those people can live with themselves and sleep at night I don't know. At least the law is not asleep on this one. Evelyn Guzman http://www.debtchallenges.com (If you want to visit, just click but if it doesn’t work, copy and paste it onto your browser.)

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codger_56Jun. 7, 09 7:02 AM

Now if they could do something to credit cards and there hidden cost also utility's and cable company's that would be a good start.

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bubbydubbyJun. 7, 09 8:16 AM

I know when we had an small ID theft, everyone from the local police office to the companies who were continuing to take money from our account, unbeknownst to us wouldn't help. Lori Swanson's office got one phone call from us, we filled out papers and it stopped immediately. I would vote for this woman and the wonderful job her office is doing anytime. Regardless of her political connection. She is the type of politican this country needs.

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mahoneytJun. 7, 09 8:47 AM

especially Park Dental! After asking upfront and in person what my cost would be for a procedure they called my insurance provider (Delta Dental) and told me my cost. I wrote them a check and went ahead with the procedure. Now they're telling me my insurance doesn't cover it and I have to pay the bill. I have contacted the attorney general's office as well as the BBB. It's time for these businesses to take responsibility for their errors.

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drew15Jun. 7, 0910:34 AM

I am sorry this person was hurt by an an unethical firm. Did she read the contract before she signed it? There are legal manners in which to deal with fraud but, if you were taken because you as a customer did not do due diligence to protect yourself you earned it. Another law from the nanny state? It never ends.

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bcanadensisJun. 7, 0910:41 AM

There was a woman in Florida, this year, who paid the Consumer Credit Counseling Service (a legitimate debt management not for profit) $550/month for 8 months, then lost her job, with still a debt owed. She would have been better off just hiring a lawyer and filing for bankruptcy the first several months, then would have had much more money in the end. If people feel they can't stomach bankruptcy, then I would suggest only the CCCS, and no other for profit debt management firm. Otherwise, do like mortgage owners - just walk away from it with a bankruptcy. Think of all the money you could save on a monthly basis.

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linuxguyJun. 7, 0910:49 AM

What they don't say is that wages did not keep up with inflation since 2000. The wealthy got tax cuts but the money did not "trickle down" to the rest of us. Had wages gone up like they should have, debt would not have increased as fast as it did. Somehow the media never mentions that part.

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randy3237Jun. 7, 0910:50 AM

I HAD A COLLECTION AGENCEY SENDING ME AND CALLING ME ABOUT A DEBT FROM OVER 18 YEARS AGO AND THIS WAS THE FIRST I HAD HEARD ABOUT IT I CONTACTED ONE OF THOSE FREE CONSULTAION BANKRUPATCY LAWYERS AND THEY TOLD ME JUST TO IGNORE THEM AND IT WORKS BECAUSE THEY CAN T TAKE YOU TO COURT AND DON T EVEN SEND THEM 1 CENT BECAUSE THAT IS YOU ADMITTING THAT YOU OWE THE DEBT

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molgsJun. 7, 0911:11 AM

In the effort of full disclosure I own a company that offers debt settlement among other services to assist consumers in financial crisis. The reason these companies exist is because there is a need for an alternative to credit counseling and bankruptcy. Most people don't know that the reason there are small fees for consumer credit counseling is because the credit card companies give the credit counseling industry backend money called 'fair share'. Basically paying the credit counseling companies to collect their debt for them. The reason why debt settlement companies charge upfront fees is because they do not get that backend money thus needing funds to operate until the consumer accrues the money needed to negotiate. Regulate the industry but don't destroy it. Credit counseling rarely lowers monthly payments and we all pay for bankruptcy which has been virtually taken away from the common income person due to the new laws. Just like every industry there are bad apples but consumers who do their homework will find companies that provide full disclosure and great results. People in a financial crisis need options.

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