Blog Entry January 2012

Watch what you're doing with time-barred debts

Of course, people are responsible for their debts.  However, at a certain point, how much time has passed becomes an affirmative defense under state law and creditors can’t prevail in court.  But what happens if a payment is made on a time-barred debt?  A consumer can really get clocked — because in many states the debt can be revived if a person makes a payment or says in writing that they intend to.  The FTC has announced a $2.5 million settlement with Asset Acceptance, LLC, for allegedly breaking the

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All that glitters

The BCP Business Center is here to help you comply with applicable laws.  But we’re also committed to protecting business owners from deception.  That’s why it’s important you have accurate information if you’re thinking about investing in precious metals.  An ongoing FTC law enforcement action suggests that potential investors should step on the brakes if salespeople tout big money and low risks.

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Paper, Plastic . . . or Mobile?

How consumers pay for things is changing.  Pretty soon exasperated parents may start reminding kids that “mobile payments don’t grow on trees.” And if there’s a remake of “Jerry McGuire,” the sports agent may yell to his client “Show me the mobile payment!”

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Looking forward to a long and productive relationship

Last Friday, the FTC and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau signed a memorandum of understanding outlining how the agencies will work together.  The CFPB — born out of the recent financial system overhaul — and the FTC now share responsibility for protecting consumers in the non-bank financial sector.

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Clearing out our IN box

We’re glad you’re visiting the BCP Business Center and thanks for your questions. Here are answers to some of your AQs. (Calling them FAQs on a site devoted to truth in advertising doesn’t seem quite right.)

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Payment processor pays the price for unauthorized debits

It may be tempting for a payment processor to look the other way about a client’s business practices, figuring it’s the merchant’s job to get proper consumer authorization for charges submitted for processing.  But donning blinders can lead to regrettable results, as an FTC action against a payment processor shows.

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Dollars to donuts

When consumers comparison shop, cost is crucial.  That’s why it’s so important for companies to make sure what they say about their prices is accurate.  If businesses need a timely reminder, the FTC’s proposed $5 million settlement with CVS Caremark drives that point home.

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Collection and protection

The terms of an FTC settlement apply just to that business, of course. But clued-in companies know there’s a lot that can be learned from someone else’s alleged misstep. The FTC’s law enforcement action against Upromise is no exception.

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Keeping Upromises

Upromise offers users a service where they can save for college by getting rebates when they buy merchandise from participating retailers. But as the FTC charged in a recent law enforcement settlement, when it comes to consumer privacy and data security, the college savings membership program may want to consider a refresher course.

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Material changes and heated discussions

If you’re in the textile industry or sell home HVAC equipment (and especially if you’re in the textile industry and sell HVAC equipment, in which case we’re dying to know what your store looks like), you’ll want to jot down some important dates from the FTC.

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Ringing in the New Year

It’s great to ring in the New Year, but there’s one thing savvy businesses don’t want to ring: a phone number on the National Do Not Call Registry or a company’s entity-specific list. A recent FTC law enforcement action — and stats from the FTC’s just-released Report to Congress on Do Not Call — emphasize the need for compliance.

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