Vantage Acceptance Wants Customers to Demand Companies Follow Law
WOODLAND HILLS, CA - 3/2/2016 (PRESS RELEASE JET) -- Some illegally operating debt settlement companies continue to give the industry a black eye, but Vantage Acceptance Inc. announced it certainly isn’t one of them.
Of the 790,000 complaints received by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau as of Jan. 1, 2016, only 2,700 fell into the category of “other financial service.” This category consists of debt settlement, check cashing, credit repair and money orders companies.
The good news is that’s a very small share of all the complaints the federal agency has received. About 60 percent of those “other financial service” complaints related to debt settlement and credit repair companies -- often related to firms that charge customers upfront fees before reaching settlements with their creditors, the CFPB announced.
Woodland Hills-based debt relief firm Vantage Acceptance officials were saddened to hear that practice still occurs, more than five years after a 2010 federal law made it illegal.
At Vantage Acceptance, customers pay nothing until the company succeeds in negotiating a settlement with the creditor of their unsecured debt. To be clear, the customer is parting with money from the beginning, but they’re simply depositing it into an account each month. When the account accumulates enough money to pay the creditor an agreed upon amount, often 30 to 40 percent of the original debt, Vantage Acceptance pays it to the creditor to settle the debt.
It’s then, and only then, that the customer pays Vantage Acceptance a fee.
The Federal Trade Commission expanded the Telecommunications Sales Rule in 2010 to include more debt relief companies in the aftermath of the financial crisis that triggered the Great Recession. The rule requires three things of debt relief firms:
- They can’t charge customers fees upfront before reaching a settlement with creditors. Customers can be required to periodically place money in accounts that will later be paid to the firm once a settlement is reached, but the rule places restrictions on those accounts aimed at protecting customers.
- They must disclose certain fundamental aspects of their services before signing people up, including how long it will take to get results, what it will cost, and the negative consequences that could result from using debt relief services.
- They may not make false or unsubstantiated claims about their services.
Vantage Acceptance proudly adheres to all three of these requirements, and we hope our competitors’ customers are demanding that they do the same.
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