March 2, 2012

On March 1st, 2012 Canada’s top court, the Supreme Court of Canada, sent a strong message to businesses not to prey on “credulous or inexperienced” consumers….”

It’s about time government started to take truth in advertising more seriously!

Since the 1970s many provinces enacted laws to protect the public from false or misleading advertising. And, for a while, it was aggressively enforced. Then, gradually we heard less and less from government about it.

Take credit counselling for example. Outrageous claims have been advertised for years by a small group of credit counsellors about how they can solve debt problems and settle debts. They don’t mention that crown debts like taxes and student loans cannot be settled outside of a bankruptcy proceeding. Some of the agencies will go ahead and charge enormous fees to set up a debt management plan when they know that certain creditors will not consent.

People are not knowledgeable about debt collection harassment and put their faith in these misrepresentations that take advantage of their ignorance.

More recently a new wave of advertisements has bombarded the media with inflated promises about debt settlements. They catch the public’s attention when they ask questions like “Why pay 100 cents on the dollar when they can negotiate lesser amounts?”

Once again, they know that government debts cannot be settled and the majority of creditors do not settle for anything too significant. It is the misleading promise that seems too good to be true that influences people to call their numbers and get sucked into paying fees for services that are not likely to succeed as advertised.

Again, very recently, this tactic has been winning customers away from legitimate credit counsellors who will not and cannot make such unfounded promises. Unfortunately these hocus pocus credit counsellors are hurting the honest and credible companies because people want the magical solutions and their debts reduced. Who wouldn’t? But, it will not happen. Consumers will find out the hard and expensive way, later, sometimes much later.

You would think that these activities would attract attention from the regulators, but little has been done to stop it.

I can only hope that this Supreme Court Decision, which by the way applied to lottery winnings, will filter down to our industry.

Remember, if you are experiencing financial difficulties do not wait. Call Solutions Credit Counselling at 1(877)588-9491 or fill out our Debt Consolidation Questionnaire and get your Free Credit Counselling Advice today.

For more information visit Debt Canada - your Canadian credit education centre.

If you are a woman in debt, speak with Women and Money first. We specialize in helping women with their personal and business financeMoney management advice you can count on!


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