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North Carolina Regulatory Board Targets Funeral Consumer Group

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What's the state board doing sending threatening letters to a retired consumer advocate?

Which of these is a threat to consumer safety:

  • A. A funeral director who dips into customers' prepaid funeral money to buy a new hearse
  • B. Funeral homes that rent out their embalming rooms to fly-by-night tissue brokers who dissect bodies and sell them for profit
  • C. A retired woman volunteering for a nonprofit organization that helps protect grieving consumers from overspending and fraud

Most people would pick A and B. But on March 19, 2007, the North Carolina Board of Funeral Service apparently thought the most important thing they could do with taxpayer dollars was send a letter to a Funeral Consumers Alliance volunteer threatening her with criminal prosecution for - wait for it - helping a grieving family. Mary Brack, President of the FCA of the Central Carolinas (FCACC), was shocked to receive a letter from NCBFS attorney Stephen Dirksen telling her to "cease and desist from this behavior immediately and take whatever steps are necessary to prevent future representations to the public that FCACC may practice funeral service in North Carolina . . . .North Carolina law provides clear criminal liability for anyone who practices funeral directing without a license" [see attachments below].

Download this file (bayhamtodirksen.pdf)bayhamtodirksen.pdf[Institute for Justice Letter to NCBFS]74 Kbm/j/Y
Download this file (bayhamtodirksen1.pdf)bayhamtodirksen1.pdf[IJ Response to NCBFS]95 Kbm/j/Y
Download this file (bayhamtoncag.pdf)bayhamtoncag.pdf[Institute for Justice Letter to North Carolina Attorney General ]126 Kbm/j/Y
Download this file (brackresponse.pdf)brackresponse.pdf[Mary Brack's Response]377 Kbm/j/Y
Download this file (dirksentobayham1.pdf)dirksentobayham1.pdf[NCBFS Response to IJ - first]185 Kbm/j/Y
Download this file (dirksentobayham2.pdf)dirksentobayham2.pdf[Second NCBFS Letter to IJ ]204 Kbm/j/Y
Download this file (dirksentobrack.pdf)dirksentobrack.pdf[NCBFS Letter to Mary Brack]1074 Kbm/j/Y
Download this file (slocumtoncbfs.pdf)slocumtoncbfs.pdf[FCA National Letter to NCBFS]118 Kbm/j/Y
Last Updated ( Tuesday, 04 December 2007 11:10 ) Read more...

The High Cost of Funerals and How to Beat It

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The High Cost of Funerals and How to Beat it — The American Consumer Institute issues ConsumerGrams on smart funeral shopping with help from Funeral Consumers Alliance.

Neptune's Legal SCAMS

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10/06/2008 - Thinking about doing business with the Neptune Society? Think again. For years, FCA has been pointing out Neptune's tricky accounting practices they use to illegally pocket consumers' prepaid cremation money instead of putting it in the bank as most state laws require. Finally, one state is taking legal action. Hats off to the Colorado Division of Regulation for a great job protecting funeral consumers. Here's their press release. . .

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 07 October 2008 16:36 ) Read more...

Three Out of Four Ain't Bad

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The Federal Trade Commission recently issued opinions on charging customers extra for refrigeration, casket storage, trash disposal, and running errands in cars. Read all about what it means for funeral consumers.

Download this file (opinion07-2.pdf)opinion07-2.pdf[Full Staff Opinion]267 Kbm/j/Y

Tennessee Officials Say Forest Hill Cemeteries Will Start Honoring Prepaid Funeral Contracts

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Tennessee Officials Say Forest Hill Cemeteries Will Start Honoring Prepaid Funeral Contracts; Michigan Authorities Arrest Forest Hill Owner on Charges of Embezzling $70 Million in Customers' Prepaid Money. Read the update below.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 04 December 2007 12:35 ) Read more...

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