FTC has now extended the Red Flag compliance law till May 1, 2008. Do not feel safe yet, this delay does not keep you from being civilly sued (litigated) and you can still lose a lot of money in these suits.
They are only giving more time to educate you but you need to start the process now. You should be gathering information on your plan. Take time to read the FACTA Red Flag Compliance information, which you can find on the FTC site, just put in the search area Red Flag Compliance and see all the information there.
It is extremely important that you start now there is a lot of information that you will have to read and assimilate. There are three ways your company can become compliant with the Red Flags Rules.
Option 1 Hire an Attorney or Consultant – Typical costs for a Red Flags Consultant ranges from $3,500 to $10,000 per small to midsize office. Attorneys can cost even more and are more likely to drag out the process of compliance to last several weeks. As you can imagine, Red Flags professionals are very busy right now helping larger companies get compliant. This drives up prices and it is not uncommon to be put on a 3 month waiting list and that is even climbing to a 6 month waiting list!
Option 2 Do it Yourself – Yes, you can do this yourself, assuming you have a working knowledge of legal procedures and policy writing skills. You can get all the details of the Red Flags Rules by printing off and reading the 256 page FTC Report:Go ahead and take a quick look at the FTC document. Most business owners and managers find themselves confused and frustrated by just the 3rd page, just like I did.
Option 3 Find a system that you can use and do it much faster and cheaper than the 2 other options – The fastest and easiest way to comply with all the new Red Flags Rules is to follow a complete proven system already in place.
Option 3 sounds the best, but, you need to see if you can
1. Receive a jumpstart guide that will help you through the process and show you where you need to educate and elect the right person to handle that part of Red Flag compliances.
2. A Sample of a compliance plan, so you will have another tool showing you how a company fills out the information.
3. A Fill in the Blank compliance Template, it should be customizable for your business.
4. A Ticketing system so clients can communicate with you right away if they have any issues that need your attention!
5. A Live Chat for the website so the client can get help right away and the person you designate can answer right back and help them.
6. An online quarantine seal so the customer knows that you are compliant and an official Red Flag Seal.
7. As a treat it would be nice if they have a directory of all the people that are compliant and your business is in the directory so clients can see that you are compliant when they go look for a business that they want to use.
Now make sure that the price is right! I have seen quite of few services out there and they can range from 499.00 to over 5,000.00. Do not be fooled by the prices the most expensive may not be the best, and the cheapest could be your best bet. This way you can do it yourself with the guide, templates, and fill in the blank template and not have to spend those enormous prices and still get the job done!