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July 29, 2009



I think i have said this before, but the crazy thing about the FTC's position is this. First, it doesn't apply to "corporations." it applies to "persons."

Now obviously a corporation is a person, but guess what? So is a, you know, *person,* as in a human being.

Further, according to the FTC if there is any delay at all between the work being provided and the payment for such work, you are covered.

So raise your hand if you, as an individual person, feel that you are not covered. not so fast. when are you paid? and when did you do the work to get paid? i would assume that 99% of all working people reading this would say there is a delay between providing the work and providing the payment. So, pretty much everyone is a creditor, according to the FTC. And that makes them required to watch for identity theft, and to comply with the equal credit opportunity act (which bans discrimination based on sex or marital status, which is another government boondoggle*). That means the lowly floor mopper at Safeway is required to comply with these federal regulations, which should be the first sign to them that they are reading it wrong.

now to be fair some of the blame lies squarely with congress for passing an idiotically written law in the first place (which suggests, gee, maybe they should be reading what they pass). the literal words of the statute could be read this way, but the courts have walked it back, applying a standard of substantial contemporaneousness between the work done and payment. So if you bill monthly, you should be fine. lawyers should be familiar with the precedent that said that and i am too lazy to look it up right now.

so its not that the legal profession is specifically exempt but that everyone who bills monthly is by that case law, and until this idiot administration came in, they accepted that limitation, perhaps realizing how ridiculously broad a literal reading of the statute would be. i would go as far as to say that without that limiting interpretation, this law might be unconstitutional.

*why do i call that a boondoggle? Well, because by requiring banks to ignore the credit of spouses, which is the effect of that law, banks are required to ignore an obvious source of risk. If the wife has perfect credit, but the husband has a history of blowing the family savings in Vegas, isn't that at least relevant to determining how much credit to extend to them? And you have to wonder how much that contributed to the credit crisis we have now.

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