TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Jan. 11, 2013) - The Canadian Association of Debt Assistance (CADA) has reviewed the regulatory proposals released by The Ontario Ministry of Consumer Services. CADA openly supports the Ontario Ministry and regulatory changes which would require clear disclosure and transparency within the debt settlement industry and CADA plans to continue an active role within the initiative.
While CADA is supportive of regulatory changes, CADA members agree that restricting or imposing a ban on fee structures would eliminate the option for debt settlement. CADA chairman, Richard Cooper, states, "Without debt settlement existing in Ontario, there is no program that will be available to the consumer which advocates for them." The elimination of debt settlement would give more power to credit card companies, not for profit credit counsellors, and bankruptcy trustees who advocate for the best economic interests of creditors, not the consumer seeking debt relief.
CADA will continue its efforts to assist the Ontario Government in identifying uniform standards for the debt settlement industry including the suggestion for all debt settlement companies to abide by the CADA Code of Ethics and Conduct which would require specific disclosures, clear contracts, money-back guarantees, and compliant advertising.
CADA is preparing a response to the government's consultation process and will release its response publicly. The principles that will guide our submission will be:
- Debt Settlement is the only resource available that represents the rights of the consumer during times of financial hardship
- Comprehensive and distinct disclosure and expectations of debt settlement programs should be made prior to enrolment
- There should not be two tiers of regulations, all companies should have the same requirements and protections
- Changes to limit the power of banks, credit card companies and collection agencies to directly contact or take action against clients enrolled in debt management programs must be considered
- Proposed disclosure for the debt relief industry as a whole, including full contract disclosure regarding the source of funding or affiliate relationship with the consumer's creditors
"Options such as Bankruptcy, consumer proposal, and credit counselling are not the answers for everyone. Our members provide, for many people, a necessary alternative to the Creditor-funded agencies and high-priced trustees." Boaz Avni, Canada Debt Settlements.com
The Canadian Association of Debt Assistance is a group of like-minded debt settlement companies that believe in helping consumers who are caught in the debt trap by providing options by working for consumers instead of the creditors. CADA members believe that they work for their clients first.
CADA members commit to a code of ethics that include:
- Not accepting compensation from the creditors of our clients
- Promotion of the preservation of choice in consumer debt relief options
- Fees will be clear, fair and only collected for services rendered
- Working with Creditors to help resolve debt
- Clear disclosure to consumers of risks and benefits of member programs
- Only using marketing claims that fairly reflect program results
- Protection of consumer personal information
- Compliance with the Canadian Code of Advertising Standards
For additional information, please visit our website www.canadianassociationofdebtassistance.org.