Federal Trade Commission

Federal Trade Commission

If your company is in the funeral industry, the FTC has resources to make it easier to comply with the Funeral Rule and other consumer protection standards.  You can visit HERE for more information. 

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Notice From The Federal Trade Commission Regarding Complying With The Funeral Rule

The FTC Southeast Regional Office has requested our assistance in notifying GFDA members of this information. Review it carefully and be aware they are making visits to funeral homes across the state. 

Please review the letter and copy of the Federal Trade Commission's guide "Complying with the Funeral Rule". The information is provided to assist funeral providers in complying with the Rule.  Please share the information with all funeral directors and staff in your funeral home. Failure to comply with the Rule may result in civil penalties, which have recently increased at the direction of Congress to $40,654 per violation effective January 24, 2017.  

If you have any questions, please contact the Federal Trade Commission's Southeast Regional Office at FTCFuneralRule-SER@ftc.gov.

To view more information from the FTC about COMPLYING WITH THE FUNERAL RULE, visit their website page HERE

Letter to Funeral Service Providers

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Complying With the Funeral Rule

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Essentials for Complying with Funeral Price list Disclosures

By: Patti Poss, FTC Funeral Rule Program Coordinator | Jun 8, 2020 12:08 PM

If your business sells funeral goods and services, you probably know that the FTC Funeral Rule requires funeral providers to give itemized price lists to consumers. To help ensure that you know what specific information needs to be in the lists and when you must provide it, the FTC has released a new tip sheet, Funeral Rule Price List Essentials. 

FTC Funeral Rule Price List EssentialsThe Funeral Rule requires three price lists: the General Price List (GPL), the Casket Price List (CPL), and the Outer Burial Container Price List (OBCPL). If you are a funeral provider, review your price lists to be sure they include the required disclosures and information. You can follow guidance on the tip sheet and in the FTC Guide Complying with the Funeral Rule.

Next, make plenty of copies of your price lists so you and your staff have the information readily available to share.

Then, talk with your staff about when to give or show people the price lists and information. The tip sheet reviews when you need to give the information over the phone and in person. Here are the basics for each type of contact:

  • When you meet in person. Give a copy of the GPL every time you begin to discuss the types of funeral goods or services you offer, or their price. Show the CPL when someone asks or when you talk about caskets, alternative containers, or their prices, and before you show the items or pictures of the items. And show the OBCPL when someone asks or when you talk about grave liners or vaults, or their prices, and before you show the items or pictures of the items.
  • When someone calls. Give information from the GPL, CPL, and OBCPL and other easily available information that reasonably answers the questions about offerings and prices.

One final tip: Consider including the CPL and OBCPL information in the GPL with appropriate headings, so you can make it your practice to give all the itemized price information at the beginning of the arrangements discussion. Or give the three lists all at once when you first greet a new client.

For more resources, visit the FTC’s special page for members of the funeral industry.

Funeral Rule Price List Essentials

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June 8, 2020

Federal Trade Commission investigators, working undercover in five states, found failures to disclose timely itemized pricing information, as required by the Funeral Rule, in 17 of the 90 funeral homes they have visited since 2018.

The FTC periodically conducts undercover inspections to monitor funeral homes’ compliance with the Funeral Rule. The Rule gives consumers important rights when making funeral arrangements, requiring funeral homes to provide itemized information about the price of funeral goods and services. The Funeral Rule enables consumers to compare prices and buy only the goods and services they want.

Funeral homes that violate the price disclosure requirements for the first time may be eligible to enter the Funeral Rule Offender’s Program (FROP), a training program run by the National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA) designed to increase compliance with the Rule.

All of the homes found to have violated the Rule in these inspections have chosen to enter the FROP rather than subject themselves to the possibility of an FTC enforcement action seeking civil penalties, which can be as high as $43,280 per violation. The FROP provides participants with a legal review of the price disclosures required by the Rule and ongoing training, testing, and monitoring for compliance.

Funeral homes that participate in the program make a voluntary payment to the U.S. Treasury in place of a civil penalty, and pay annual administrative fees to the NFDA.

The results of the inspections for failure to comply with price list disclosure requirements by region are as follows:

  • In Marietta and Gainesville, Georgia, seven of the 13 funeral homes inspected failed to comply.
  • In Lafayette, Louisiana, three of the 20 funeral homes inspected failed to comply.
  • In Las Vegas, Nevada, three of the 23 funeral homes inspected failed to comply.
  • In Northern and Central New Jersey, none of the 11 funeral homes inspected failed to comply.
  • In Beaumont, Texas, four of the 23 funeral homes inspected failed to comply.

In addition, the FTC identified a number of funeral homes within the tested areas with minor compliance deficiencies. In such cases, the FTC sent letters noting the concerns and requiring the funeral homes to provide evidence that they have corrected the problems.

The FTC wishes to thank the Nevada Office of the Attorney General and the Nevada Office of Consumer Affairs for their assistance with the inspections in Nevada.

To promote compliance with the Funeral Rule, the FTC has issued a new tip sheet for businesses, Funeral Rule Price List Essentials, to help funeral providers comply with the Rule’s price list disclosure requirements. The FTC also offers a comprehensive business guide: Complying with the Funeral Rule.

The FTC provides information, in English and Spanish, about consumers’ rights under the Funeral Rule: Shopping for Funeral Services and Paying Final Respects, Your Rights When Buying Funeral Goods and Services.

The public is reminded that the FTC is seeking comment on whether to make changes to its Funeral Rule as part of the agency’s systematic review of all current FTC rules and guides. The notice has been published in the Federal Register, and the comment period will be open until June 15, 2020. Instructions for filing comments appear in the notice.

The Federal Trade Commission works to promote competition, and protect and educate consumers. You can learn more about consumer topics and file a consumer complaint online or by calling 1-877-FTC-HELP (382-4357). Like the FTC on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, read our blogs, and subscribe to press releases for the latest FTC news and resources.

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