FTC Opinion Eases Attorney Concerns

The Federal Trade Commission has made public a rare advisory opinion on the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act in response to three specific questions presented by USFN, a national network of attorneys and trustee companies representing creditors in mortgage banking default services.

The questions relate to communication with homeowners regarding settlement options in connection with foreclosure proceedings.

The FTC opinion concludes that debt collectors do not violate the FDCPA when they provide settlement options to consumers who may be subject to foreclosure actions.

"This is an important result for USFN members, the industry and consumers," said USFN president Richard Leibert. "The FTC opinion provides an opportunity to assist consumers in retaining their homes within the provisions of the fair debt laws. Everyone benefits." In its opinion, the FTC states, "The commission believes that it is in the public interest for consumers who may be subject to foreclosure to receive truthful, non-misleading information about settlement options, especially in light of the recent prevalence of mortgage borrowers who are delinquent or in foreclosure." (c) 2008 Mortgage Servicing News and SourceMedia, Inc. All Rights Reserved. http://www.mortgageservicingnews.com/ http://www.sourcemedia.com/