« Credit Rating Agencies | Main | Bankruptcy Claims Trading: Part I »

Watching TV for the Commercials

posted by Adam Levitin

I recently saw an amazing commercial on CNN Headline News for an operation called 1-800-Credit Card Debt. It appears to be some sort of debt adjustment agency. The CEO, a guy named, Tom Cooke, I think, was speaking and said "Don't let bankruptcy even enter your thoughts." I sure hope these guys are not allowed to serve as a BAPCPA credit counselor. (What I believe to be their website is a bit more balanced.) The commercial, though, raises the question of whether there are any ethical guidelines for credit counselors? What about liability? Malpractice? I would think that a credit counselor should be obligated to neutrally inform people of their full range of options under the law. For some folks, filing for bankruptcy is a wise decision.

Of course, this commercial was immediately followed by one for a Merrill Lynch Rewards Visa. From the commercial you’d think that Merrill was selling (or just giving away) rewards, not a payment product. The term the commercial used was “Earn points to use for rewards.” A more accurate phrasing would be buy points to use for things you would otherwise buy directly.” The combined message of these commercials—go out and earn rewards points, and when you get overextended don’t think about bankruptcy.

There’s a lot more to be said about rewards programs, particularly the question of who actually pays for them, but that’s for another post or two.


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Watching TV for the Commercials:


The comments to this entry are closed.


Current Guests

Follow Us On Twitter

Like Us on Facebook

  • Like Us on Facebook

    By "Liking" us on Facebook, you will receive excerpts of our posts in your Facebook news feed. (If you change your mind, you can undo it later.) Note that this is different than "Liking" our Facebook page, although a "Like" in either place will get you Credit Slips post on your Facebook news feed.



  • As a public service, the University of Illinois College of Law operates Bankr-L, an e-mail list on which bankruptcy professionals can exchange information. Bankr-L is administered by one of the Credit Slips bloggers, Professor Robert M. Lawless of the University of Illinois. Although Bankr-L is a free service, membership is limited only to persons with a professional connection to the bankruptcy field (e.g., lawyer, accountant, academic, judge). To request a subscription on Bankr-L, click here to visit the page for the list and then click on the link for "Subscribe." After completing the information there, please also send an e-mail to Professor Lawless ([email protected]) with a short description of your professional connection to bankruptcy. A link to a URL with a professional bio or other identifying information would be great.