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FTC Sues Funeral Home for Continuing Failure to Disclose Prices

Posted: May 11, 2012

Less than a month after releasing data about its 2011 undercover inspections, the FTC announced that it was charging a funeral home with violating the Funeral Rule and seeking $80,000 in civil penalties.

According information released by the FTC, on two occasions, the defendant, Harrison Funeral Home Inc. in Harrison, N.Y. (not an NFDA member), allegedly failed to provide an itemized price list at the start of an in-person discussion of funeral arrangements, and a casket price list before showing caskets, as the Funeral Rule requires. According to the FTC's complaint, the defendants also violated the Rule by failing to provide an outer burial container price list before showing any outer burial containers.

This was the second FTC enforcement action against Harrison Funeral Home; allegedly, the firm committed these latest Funeral Rule violations after being given an opportunity to take compliance training to resolve prior price disclosure citations.

The FTC conducts undercover inspections across the country every year to ensure that funeral homes are complying with the Funeral Rule. In 2011, the FTC detected significant violations of Federal Trade Commission consumer protection requirements in 23 of 102 funeral homes they visited; additionally, 33 funeral homes were found to have minor compliance deficiencies. Since the FROP program began in 1996, the FTC has inspected more than 2,500 funeral homes and found fewer than 400 engaged in significant Rule violations.

More information about the lawsuit can be found on the FTC website.

The FTC makes a guide, "Complying with the Funeral Rule," available to funeral professionals on its website.

NFDA has a variety of resources to help you ensure your firm is in compliance with the Funeral Rule, including:

If you need additional resources, please call your personal NFDA member services representative at 800-228-6332.