Monday, July 15, 2013

History in the making: SAFTI in Debt Relief Industry

One year ago the Federal government sent Earthquake reverberations throughout the debt relief industry with a FTC ruling stating how this industry had to do business with US consumers. The most sweeping change stated that debt settlement companies now have to charge consumers their fee after a debt was settled. This resulting action forced many changes as this affected many areas of the companies’ operations. (see pie chart) Many companies had to layoff employees and even some companies decided to go out of business altogether. Then came enforcement of not only Federal regulations but also state regulations which created concerns in the industry on how to educate all the debt relief industry workers on the new ways of doing things. But exactly a year after the Government mandated change came a remedial action from within the industry, a self policing Initiative called the State and Federal Transparency Initiative (SAFTI)

"The best way to tackle the existing problems with the debt relief industry is through an undertaking like SAFTI,” said Laurence Larose, Executive Director IAPDA. “Industry players need to come together and strongly promote self regulation by supporting SAFTI, and I hope they do. The debt industry needs to move forward after a year of cleansing and re-grouping. The time to stop finger pointing and do what it takes to grow is now. Consumers are the top priority moving forward and they deserve the very best with debt relief services and they need a third party industry group to look to that they can trust, SAFTI provides this."

As history was made in the debt relief industry on October 27, 2010, history is being made exactly a year later on October 27th, 2011 where SAFTI will officially "GO LIVE". The system is FREE to join and applications are currently being accepted. The following industries will be involved: Debt Settlement/Resolution, Tax Resolution, Credit Repair and Debt Management and the myriad of vendors to the debt relief industry, especially the lead generation companies. (see chart)

“For the first time in our industry's history, this system will provide a completely transparent, self regulation system for the debt relief industry,” said Matt Hearns author of this bold initiative, “Consumers are once again spending away and leveraging their credit. We are at the top of a new cyclical wave of consumer debt. Since the October 27, 2010 action, many bad companies have gone out of business or left the space. Unfortunately so have many good ones. To add insult to injury, the debt relief space is sadly in the same state it was prior to the changes. We need a self regulation tool in place to show the consumers and the regulators that we can create a safe industry.”

Debt Relief professionals are invited to learn more by visiting.
SAFTI Network

Sources: The International Association of Professional Debt Arbitrators, providers of nationally-recognized debt relief certification programs.

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