FTC Testimony Outlines Agency's Work to Protect Consumers, Promote Competition

by Sabrina I. Pacifici on March 5, 2012

News release: “In testimony before the U.S. House Appropriations Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government, the Federal Trade Commission summarized the agency’s FY 2013 budget request and described its ongoing work to promote competition and protect American consumers. The testimony, delivered by FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz and Commissioner J. Thomas Rosch, outlined steps the agency has taken to carry out its mission efficiently, without putting unnecessary burdens on businesses. It describes FTC initiatives such as the agency’s efforts to stop scammers from taking advantage of financially distressed consumers, protect privacy, and ensure that American consumers benefit from competition in the health care, technology and energy sectors. The testimony states that the FTC has continued to bring law enforcement actions to stop con artists aiming to take advantage of financially strapped consumers using deceptive practices such as falsely promising that they can help modify consumers’ mortgages or solve their debt problems; and by using threats and deception to collect consumer debts. Overall, the testimony states, the FTC has brought more than 90 cases since 2009 to put a stop to these types of scams. Since 2010, the agency has filed seven actions to combat illegal debt collection practices, and obtained more than $8.1 million in civil penalties.”

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