Some people just thrive on talking smack in the case of Steve Rhode, the self appointed get out of debt guy who claims to help you get out of debt for “free”. The truth is he wants you to come to his site so he can sell your information as a lead to a debt consolidation or debt settlement company; the same companies he enjoys bashing. Unfortunately the company he recommends was sued for violating Illinois state law. (Sorry to hear that Cambridge.) Steve is no stranger to getting in trouble with the law such as the case with the state of California issuing a desist and refrain order for his unlicensed bill payment software .
Steve’s personal life experience led him to bankruptcy which is a scenario I consider as the absolute last option since it wrecks your credit for ten years in most cases, not to mention you have to jump through all sorts of means testing hoops based on income and state guidelines. Hiring an bankruptcy attorney in most cases will stick youin a Chapter 13 scenario where you have to repay quite a bit of your debts back and relinquish control of your assets to the courts. You also will have an even more difficult time in finding a job with a bankruptcy on your credit report for ten long years instead of 7 years if you did a debt settlement or a credit counseling program that does not affect your credit score since you’re truly trying to resolve your debts.
Steve misinterpreted my quote in a press release stating “As of October 17, 2005 all Americans seeking bankruptcy must complete a credit counseling program. The problem with this is that so many people are unable to afford the monthly payments in a credit counseling program, and must seek debt settlement.”
I never implied that seeking bankruptcy and completing an education course delivered typically by credit counseling groups in order to qualify for bankruptcy meant you enroll in debt settlement. Duh! That class is required 180 days prior to acceptance in a bankruptcy. I never said the class forces someone to enroll in debt settlement. My key point of the press release was that many people are unable to afford the payment in a credit counseling program, and thus must seek debt settlement. Steve’s quick advice is to tell everyone to jump into bankruptcy because it worked for him. I find that foolish. If you could pay back your debts in 4 years with interest rates between 0-9%, why wouldn’t you do so in a credit counseling program? It doesn’t crush your credit score if you pay back your full debt on time and in full. 35% of your credit score is measured by making payments on time, and 30% is measured by your debt to income.
Should we all just give up and jump into bankruptcy? Ridiculous. Remind me not to be on a sinking boat with you Steve. If our clients cannot afford the credit counseling payment, the debt settlement payments are half of that. For example, on a $50,000 credit card debt, your payments are around $1,100 to $1,500 a month. If your interest rates are above 18% and you are making minimum payments, you will never paid that debt off. However, depending upon the creditor, we have arrangements with banks like Advanta, First Premier, Tiresplus, and Firestone to drop your rates to 0% interest as long as you make your payments on time. The payoff time is 4 years or less in most cases. If you can’t afford that payment, your payments could be as low as $641 over 48 months and you would save 30-40% of the debt amount since we have over 200 attorneys nationwide at our disposal.
Not to mention debt settlement historically yields a higher return to the creditors . (See Briesch Whitepapers and Weinstein Whitepaper) Debt settlement certainly yields more money to banks than than bankruptcies or judgments, which is why they work for both parties not only to heal our economy but more importantly, help our clients resolve their debts and send their credit score back up. I’ve personally done a debt settlement and I’m happy to say my credit score isn’t trashed because I listened to some poor advice from the quick yet devastating bankruptcy advice from Steve Rhode.
Yet Steve is more than happy to capitalize off selling leads off his website to debt management companies like Cambridge Credit Counseling , which was sued for violating one of Illinois’s latest state law revisions on limiting debt management upfront fees. Steve to me is just a wannabe Dave Ramsey who’s hoping his balding appearance and sob story about bankruptcy will capture audiences and more importantly, LEADS so he can then sell to make money off you. (Personally I like Dave Ramsey and most of his advice in regards to financial discipline but I don’t believe he understands there are some legitimate credit counseling and debt settlement companies out there, helping people get out of debt.) The entire first half of his Steve Rhode’s website is riddled with Google Adwords links that pay him everytime you click them like some worthless spam site so he can earn money every time you click them. (We have them too but they don’t cover the entire first half of the page; we find that annoying.)
Funny Steve. If the debt settlement companies are so bad, why don’t you just take down your referral form Isn’t supporting them hypocritical?? You of all people should understand the demand and need for people to leverage income in this recession while providing a valuable service for their clients through debt management and debt settlement services if they are indeed a fit for the programs. Our press release was written to mortgage brokers who are hurting in this economy and don’t know what to do with their dead leads.
Affiliates don’t need special licensing at this point in time to refer business to debt management companies in most states but the laws are changing since debt management has been the wild west. Several states are beginning to require licensing to even talk to their residents, but not all. South Carolina, Minnesota, and Illinois are a few of the states requiring even companys that refer business to credit counseling companies to be licensed and registered with the state.
We welcome debt management laws in regards to requiring educational courses like the few states currently do in this wonderful nation. Steve, I doubt you’re licensed or much less know about the new state laws.
As for your idiotic remark about the attorney general, I’ve met him. He’s a nice guy. And to clarify, we are not a debt settlement company. We train and teach affiliates the proper way to counsel and qualify people for debt management and settlement programs so they can make money just like you’re trying to do so they can focus on their core business. DebtManagementGuys.com utilizes over 200 attorneys nationwide ensuring only attorneys approve our clients truly belong in debt settlement programs, and if they truly are not a fit, guess what? They recommend bankruptcy if there is a true financial hardship that debt settlement cannot offer. No one can provide debt settlement services in Georgia unless they are attorneys which is why we ONLY use attorneys.
We’re also proud to say that our attorneys are averaging a 30% settlement on our client’s debts, and only went over 40% twice last year, which is 12% below the industry average. Credit Solutions of Texas boasts over 100,000 clients and their average is 41.6%. As for our debt management credit counseling clients, our processor maintains an 87% retention rate and actually purchases clients from debt management companies that are shut down due to noncompliance since they have to be serviced by someone. They also have an A rating with the BBB. So no Steve, we won’t be shut down because we let an A rated processor do what they do best as they are licensed and bonded in every state. We speak to every client that is referred to us to make sure they truly belong in the proper program rather than hustle them off into a program they don’t need.
Steve, perhaps you should take a basic phonics course and not skim our press releases, but rather read the entire article. With over $395,000,000 in delinquent credit card debt, this country needs help from ethical debt management providers who truly care about their clients, and thats exactly why DebtManagementGuys.com was created. People need jobs and helping people get out of debt, just like you’re trying to do, is a very rewarding career path. At the end of the day, we’re held accountable for our actions which is why we do everything by the book.
Perhaps if you spent more time on helping people and less time talking crap about things you don’t understand, you might learn something. As for us, we sleep great at night because our clients are truly helped. Maybe you can take some of your adwords revenue and seek hair replacement therapy, Dr. Cole here in Atlanta is an excellent hair replacement surgeon with his revolutionary Follicular Isolation technique. We wouldn’t mind throwing a few cents in your direction.