Before embarking on a debt relief program, it is helpful to understand your consumer rights as outlined by the Federal Trade Commission. From receiving free credit reports to staving off abusive debt collectors, regulations have been put into place to ensure fairness and justice on your behalf.
Below is a list of consumer credit acts; familiarizing yourself with each is a smart way to stay one step ahead of your credit.
The purpose of this Act is to protect consumers against having false and erroneous data reported to the Credit Bureaus.
The Act highlights include:
- One free credit report per year
- Credit report dispute process
This Act protects consumers from inappropriate collection practices by prohibiting unfair, deceptive, and abusive practices by third-party debt collectors.
The Act highlights include:
- Means of verifying data accuracy
- Credit dispute system
Designed to protect the consumer when it comes to credit card transactions, this Act requires lenders to reveal costs and crucial terms of the lending arrangement in standard, readable language.
- Rights to cancel certain transactions
- Regulations of some credit card practices
Assists consumers with credit counseling and debt settlement, this Act also helps with:
- Regulation of accreditation requirements
- Non-compliance disclosures and penalties
Government Resources and Services
The federal government, as well as state and local governments, offer a wide variety of programs and services to assist individuals and families that are struggling with debt, unemployment, and inadequate food and shelter. Many offer tips, advice and information about financial matters.
- US Department of the Treasury: Information on various programs available to consumers, including grants, loans and financial assistance and the Making Home Affordable program.
- Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC): Resources to educate and protect consumers.
- Federal Reserve Board: Information on credit reports/credit scores, and and other help for consumers.
- Federal Trade Commission (FTC): Helpful tips and advice about avoiding scams and other consumer protection issues.
- The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency: Find answers to your questions regarding national banks and federal savings associations.
- United States Department of Labor: Information about unemployment insurance.
- USA.gov: List of US Government agencies and services.
- Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) – Federally funded assistance in managing costs associated with home energy bills, energy crises and weatherization and energy-related minor home repairs.
- Benefits.gov – Find out if you’re eligible for government benefits. Use the online eligibility pre-screening tool to help you find government benefits that you may be eligible to receive.
- Disasterassistance.gov – information, support, services and a mechanism to access and apply for disaster assistance
- US Department of Agriculture (USDA) – Food and nutrition support and services, including Women, Infants and Children (WIC), Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Programs (SNAP), and The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP).
Debt relief is possible and can be accomplished with the assistance of a professional company, such as The Debt Management Group, and the protective regulations the FTC has put into place. You need not tolerate abusive, unethical (and sometimes illegal) methods that some creditors and collections agencies use to harass and intimidate consumers. We can step in immediately and get your financial situation under control and relieve the stress of high monthly bills, high interest rates and debt that seems to have no end. Contact our debt relief specialists to see how a small change can go a long way towards financial freedom.
The Debt Management Group assists with debt relief solutions in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Ohio, Minnesota, and regionally.