BILL 55 IS COMING INTO FORCE
Finally coming into force, regulations for debt consultants that will prevent the rip-offs.
Trustees in bankruptcy have a long history of having challenges in selling their services. Those challenges include stringent advertising requirements and poor marketing skills. Like many other business owners trustees cannot be expert at all things, advertising and marketing can be a very fickle venture regardless of industry.
Some trustees have created alliances with debt consulting companies and some have formed their own subsidiary debt consulting firms to be able to skirt strict advertising rules. The result has been at the expense of the hapless consumer who has been fleeced of sometimes thousands of dollars for nothing more than an introduction to an allied trustee’s office.
But this year Bill 55 will finally be implemented requiring registration under the Collection Agencies Act putting the for-profit and franchised debt consultants on par with non-profit agencies that have been licensed as collection agencies for the past several decades.
The good news is all for consumers – the new rules will limit the fees charged and provide opt-out solutions. The bad news is for trustees who have relied on referrals from debt consultants and will now have to revisit their advertising protocols.