Today marks a new day for the debt resolution sector. As consumers struggle with historic levels of debt and a rising cost of living, our industry has become even more integral to the financial health of the American consumer.
While our companies work to help more Americans, we — the premier association representing the debt resolution industry — took an unprecedented step for our organization by becoming the American Association for Debt Resolution. This new name, along with a refined mission, will provide additional transparency about what our sector does, how it works, the standards it adheres to, and the economic benefit it offers American families in financial distress.
Debt resolution providers are an essential ingredient in the modern economy, and we must be absolutely clear about who we are and what we do. We are not credit repair companies or businesses that issue short-term loans; our organization is comprised of companies that offer an option to negotiate directly with a consumer’s creditors to reduce the amount they owe, allowing clients to get back to living more financially secure lives.
Over the past several years, our industry has evolved to better understand the needs of Americans overwhelmed with unsecured debt. Our organization has already played a critical role by establishing new standards for our member companies that protect consumers, and we have set accreditation standards that go beyond most federal and state requirements. That work will continue. As our organization has evolved, so must our name and mission.
The American Association for Debt Resolution, or AADR, will educate consumers and policymakers about debt resolution and its benefits, hold debt resolution companies to the highest industry standards, and protect and expand access to accredited debt resolution services nationwide.
Each piece of our mission is as clear as it is valuable:
- Education, ensuring policymakers — those who oversee financial service providers — and consumers understand who we are and the benefits debt resolution provides to those in severe debt.
- Standards, measuring the actions of all our members through a strict accreditation process and standards that protect consumers, and maintaining a high bar whether companies are just joining or have been a part of our organization for years.
- Access, fighting to ensure more Americans can call upon this critical financial option when and where they need it.
The AADR will continue to highlight the good our industry does for Americans facing financial hardships, saving them more than $1 billion each year and providing more than $2.50 in savings for every $1.00 in fees. Our industry is safe – operating under regulations from the Federal Trade Commission — and our member companies never charge a fee until after a consumer’s debt is negotiated and a payment has been made toward a balance.
In addition, the AADR and its member companies support financial literacy initiatives for all consumers by partnering with organizations like the Council for Economic Education.
Weathering economic uncertainty is no easy feat, and debt resolution is a vital part of the financial ecosystem that supports consumers who find themselves swimming against the current. Earlier this year, the total for consumer debt blew past $17 trillion for the first time, and consumer credit card debt topped $986 billion.
The AADR will continue to champion debt resolution by working with policymakers at both the federal and state level, and we will work with organizations that provide needed financial education to help Americans become more financially secure. We look forward to an exciting future for our industry and for the people our member companies serve as the American Association for Debt Resolution.