Innovative Policy Partner Membership Supports USOBA Legislative Efforts

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Currently there is active legislation in over 14 states requiring USOBA representatives to travel nationwide to testify at various legislative hearings. USOBA Executive Director Jenna Keehnen expects there will be even more legislation introduced in the coming weeks. The driving force behind creating the Policy Partner program was ensure that USOBA members have an active voice in the legislation being introduced, amended, and passed.

We are pleased to have Credit Solutions and Nationwide Debt Settlement join the shortlist of Policy Partners who play an active role in shaping the future of debt management industry governance, and who also serve as models of customer service excellence

In an effort to increase consumer protection within the debt settlement industry, The United States Organizations for Bankruptcy Alternatives (USOBA), a trade association representing the debt negotiation industry that advocates for fair regulation and protection of consumers, created a new progressive membership tier – the Policy Partner Membership.

Policy Partner Membership effectively contributes directly to USOBA’s legislative efforts with funds paid in addition to annual membership dues.

USOBA member companies Credit Solutions and Nationwide Debt Settlement have both become Policy Partner members demonstrating their support and dedication to USOBA’s legislative efforts in advocating for fair regulation and increasing consumer protection in the industry.

"We are pleased to have Credit Solutions and Nationwide Debt Settlement join the shortlist of Policy Partners who play an active role in shaping the future of debt management industry governance, and who also serve as models of customer service excellence," USOBA Executive Director Jenna Keehnen said.

Policy Partners and donations from its membership toward the legislative fund will allow USOBA to work on gaining access to important states where legislation may not be specific to the debt settlement industry.

Currently there is active legislation in over 14 states requiring USOBA representatives to travel nationwide to testify at various legislative hearings. Keehnen expects there will be even more legislation introduced in the coming weeks. The driving force behind creating the Policy Partner program is ensure that USOBA members have an active voice in the legislation being introduced, amended, and passed.

According to executives from both Credit Solutions and Nationwide Debt Settlement, the new level of membership is a step in the right direction for USOBA and its policy partners.

"As the debt settlement industry leader, we continually seek ways to reassure potential clients that we are committed to the highest standards of professional conduct and business best-practices," Credit Solutions CEO Doug Van Arsdale said.

“Consumers should be able to feel confident in choosing a reliable, honest, and trustworthy debt settlement company with which to work, and by supporting USOBAs Policy Partner program, we provide them that level of confidence,” Nationwide Debt Settlement owner Sarah Leineke said.

Ten states enacted laws impacting the debt negotiation industry in 2008. Despite changes in bankruptcy legislation that made filing for bankruptcy more difficult, U.S. consumer bankruptcy filings jumped nearly 33% in 2008 - to 1.06 million, up from 801,840 in 2007, according to data collected by the National Bankruptcy Research Center and published by the American Bankruptcy Institute. USOBA members often are consumers' last hope before bankruptcy.

Approximately five states have legislation currently pending that would seriously hinder if not eliminate debt settlement as a viable option for consumers, or would impose such egregious fee restrictions that debt settlement companies would not be able to offer services to consumers. Legislation has been introduced in two major states, California and Florida. USOBA is actively working with legislatures and lobbyists in both states to ensure that any legislation that is voted on has maximum consumer protection and fair rules regulating debt settlement companies.

About USOBA
USOBA is dedicated to providing its member companies with important, industry related information, including compliance requirements, as well as advocating on behalf of its membership for fair and appropriate industry regulation that maintains the utmost in consumer protection. USOBA members are provided a USOBA State Law Summary guide, the only one of its kind in the industry, to better ensure and promote national compliance. This guide contains the laws and regulations, state by state, and has been reviewed by regulators and legislators. For further information, please visit http://www.usoba.org.

About Credit Solutions
Credit Solutions is recognized by American Business Awards for the "Best Customer Services Department in Financial Services." A platinum-level member of the International Association of Professional Debt Arbitrators, Credit Solutions is a Charter Policy Partner of the United States Organization for Bankruptcy Alternatives (USOBA) and accredited through BSI Management Systems for compliance with USOBA Best-Practice Standards. For more information about Credit Solutions and its debt management program, visit http://www.creditsolutions.com.

About Nationwide Debt Settlement
As a Better Business Bureau Ethics Award nominee, Phoenix Chamber of Commerce Impact Award Nominee and USOBA Board of Directors Membership Co-Chairpersons, Nationwide Debt Settlement, located in Phoenix, AZ, is committed to educating otherwise inexperienced consumers on the importance of compliance and ethical standards within the industry. By participating in the Policy Partner program, Nationwide Debt Settlement continues to demonstrate its perpetual commitment to adhering to the very highest of standards of business ethics and practices, as well as encouraging and promoting industry standards that far exceed consumer expectations. For furthers information, please visit http://www.nwdsonline.com

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