Following a string of controversies, TASC or The Association of Settlement Companies, have released a statement saying that they are pushing for legislation that will regulate debt settlement companies on both the state level and the national level. TASC is a non-profit organization which claims to be the watchdog of the debt settlement industry.
The debt settlement industry has seen large growth this past few months owing mainly to consumers desperate to find a way to control their debt. The economic crisis has severely curtailed consumer finances. Coupled with the fact that banks are cutting down credit to reduce risk on their side, consumers with debt are scrambling for every possible opportunity to cut it down to more manageable levels or eliminate it completely. Debt settlement, being one of the ways that consumers can do this, has therefore become quite profitable.
Unfortunately, many consumers have had bad experiences with several debt settlement companies. Some debt settlement companies have been downright deceptive in their practice and their customers ended up paying enormous fees without seeing any benefits. The practice has also become much publicized and some companies have been sued. These practices, while enriching some debt settlement companies, only hurt the debt settlement industry in the end.
TASC President Chris Kesterson recently said, “Fair legislation will help eliminate the bad apples from the industry while addressing the concerns of critics and regulators. At the same time, we want to continue helping consumers struggling with their debt to get back on their financial feet”.
Currently, TASC is at work with several bills such as California and New York's the Debt Management Services Act. The one in California is Assembly Bill 350 while the one in New York is Assembly Bill 7268. here are also bills in progress in Nevada, Tennessee and Texas. The one in Texas is Senate Bill 2233, in Tennessee it is House Bill 1278 and in Nevada it is Senate Bill 355.
TASC has lobbyists working for these bills in several states as well as in the nation's capital, Washington D.C.
With regulation in place, TASC hopes to restore the credibility of the debt settlement industry which has taken quite a hit due to the many controversies that have happened within the industry. Currently, many industry experts are skeptical of the capability of debt settlement companies to help out their customers. Some credit card companies are also wary of debt settlement companies and refuse to deal with them entirely.