Dealing with overwhelming debt is stressful enough, but these days finding legitimate help can be difficult. With so many debt negotiation scams operating around every corner, how are consumers to know that the company they chose to negotiate their debts isn’t reputable? Although the Federal Trade Commission is working to better educate consumers, a new Senate Bill passed in Connecticut also aims to step up regulation of debt negotiation companies.
Substitute Senate Bill No. 362
Debt negotiation companies in Connecticut will be given some additional guidelines for conduct to be effective October 1, 2012. The new bill is aimed at ensuring debt relief companies are more forthcoming with the description and scope of their services and disclosure of any conflicts of interest or unfavorable terms. Bill 362 will ensure that debt negotiators:
- Complete a detailed list of services to be performed, including the cost of such services.
- Provide a statement certifying the debtor agrees to allow the company to review and negotiate debts on their behalf.
- Determine the realistic amount that their services can reduce the risk of threats such as repossession, foreclosure or credit damage.
- Allow for up to a three day cancellation of services window for debtors.
- Only accept payment once services have been satisfactorily rendered.