Debt Settlement Industry Earns Injunction on New Pennsylvania Law

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Court rules law affecting debt settlement companies may be unconstitutional.

The judge was concerned that the new law may be unconstitutional as it put a legitimate business on hold for about two years until the State could come up with rules to regulate the industry

A preliminary injunction granted Friday by the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania means members of The Association of Settlement Companies (TASC) can continue to perform a valuable service for Pennsylvania residents seeking meaningful debt relief.

The ruling by Judge Keith Quigley is the result of a TASC lawsuit against the Department of Banking of the State Commonwealth of Pennsylvania alleging a newly enacted law affecting debt settlement companies is unconstitutional. The law was scheduled to go into effect Feb. 6, but Quigley's ruling means TASC members can continue to do business until new rules are promulgated, or there is a final decision in the lawsuit contrary to the injunction.

"The judge was concerned that the new law may be unconstitutional as it put a legitimate business on hold for about two years until the State could come up with rules to regulate the industry," Wesley Young, Legislative Director of TASC, said. "The judge also found that, during this serious economic downturn, both the harm to consumers in losing a crucial debt relief option and the loss of jobs the new law would cause are not in the public's interest."

TASC, which self regulates its own members, filed the lawsuit on Jan. 9 so that its members could continue helping people manage debt.

The petition against the Debt Management Services Act (Act 2008-117) is filed as Case No. 11 M.D. 2009. TASC hopes to work with the Department of Banking to create regulation for the industry that does not prevent debt settlement companies from performing legitimate business while still protecting consumers.

About The Association of Settlement Companies:
The Association of Settlement Companies (TASC) promotes fair business practices, consumer protection and industry standards for the debt settlement industry. TASC, founded in 2005, serves to protect consumers through an organization seal that represents best practices and standards of reputable companies. The organization also protects its member companies through lobbying efforts at the state and national levels, as well as awareness initiatives to educate consumers on debt settlement as a financial solution. All TASC member companies pledge compliance to strict association bylaws governing business practices and ethics. For more information, visit http://www.tascsite.org.    

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