Latest Posts
Home > Debt Articles > Bankruptcy Information > Dave Ramsey and His Un-Truth About Bankruptcy

Dave Ramsey and His Un-Truth About Bankruptcy

So here I am, minding my own business and what does divine intervention deliver in front of me, a link to The Dave Ramsey page titled the Truth About Bankruptcy.

I really wonder if Mr. Ramsey actually believes some of the rubbish he prints. Sometimes it seems to me he is so vested in his old points of view that he has not updated and revisited them.

Dave Ramsey says, “If you’re facing the prospect of bankruptcy or in the middle of it right now, you know it’s a living nightmare. It can devastate your job, destroy your marriage and steal your peace of mind.

Bankruptcy is not something I recommend any more than I would recommend divorce. Are there times when good people see no way out and file bankruptcy? Yes, but I will still talk you out of bankruptcy if given the opportunity. Few people who have been through bankruptcy would report that it is a painless wiping-clean of the slate, after which you merrily trot off into your future to start fresh.

Don’t let anyone fool you. I have been through bankruptcy and have worked with bankruptcy for decades, and it is not a place you want to visit. Bankruptcy is listed in the top five life-altering negative events that we can go through, along with divorce, severe illness, disability, and loss of a loved one. I would never say that bankruptcy is as bad as losing a loved one, but it is life-altering and leaves deep wounds both to the psyche and the credit report.” Source

I’ve been through bankruptcy myself, just like Dave has and I’ve helped people since 1994, nearly as long as Dave Ramsey has but my experience is exactly the opposite when it comes to bankruptcy. As far as I can see, most of the negative press and stigma about bankruptcy comes from fear mongering about a process that is legally sanctioned and permitted under the law. In fact bankruptcy is initiated by the consumer with the blessing and cooperation of the courts.

Are some people traumatized by bankruptcy, yes. But the largest source of those fears is the very stuff Ramsey and other debt advisors blurt out without considering the consequences. In my experience, once you make sure the individual is a s fully informed as possible about the bankruptcy process, the fear is greatly reduced and the knowledge that the person is now protected under the law from creditors is comforting.

It is very easy to repair credit after bankruptcy. I would argue that if it takes you years to avoid bankruptcy and limp along paying what you can under the Ramsey approach, that your credit remains worse for longer.

I would no more talk anyone out of bankruptcy than I would talk them into years of on the edge financial living, encouraging themselves to be sued and remaining in the pain and stress of money troubles. Honestly, which is more cruel?

Seriously, people need to stop drinking the Dave Ramsey Kool-Aid at times and investigate all debt relief solutions for themselves so they can make an educated and informed decision.

If someone is looking forward to remaining in collections, being sued, ruining their credit for much longer and struggling for years to repay their debts, that’s their own choice. But if repaying the debts is the end game that Ramsey wants people to achieve, why not recommend people to get the protection bankruptcy has to offer and still repay your debts in full. There is not one thing that prevents that. In fact with that approach the interest rates go to 0% and the total amount paid is much less than with the Ramsey punishment approach.

Let’s look at the individual approaches:

Bankruptcy:

  • You get legal protection from creditors.
  • Lawsuits are stopped or prevented.
  • Judgments and wage garnishments are stopped.
  • Interest is stopped and goes to 0%.
  • You can return faster to being able to save an emergency fund.
  • Your house can be saved from foreclosure.
  • Your car can be saved from repossession.
  • A repayment plan can be created based on what you can afford.
  • Debt collectors not legally able to contact you.
  • Credit rebuilding starts faster.
  • Depending on how far you are behind on your debts bankruptcy can actually increase your credit score.

The Dave Ramsey Punishment Method:

  • Collection calls continue.
  • Debt collectors continue to chase you and may even call your job or neighbors.
  • Your credit remains trashed.
  • Lawsuits can be filed for not paying your debts as agreed.
  • Your wages can be garnished.
  • Interest is increased on past due accounts.
  • Additional fees and penalties are charged on past due accounts.
  • Original balances can increase significantly due to fees, penalties and increased interest.
  • Your home cannot be protected from foreclosure.
  • Your vehicles cannot be protected from repossession.
  • You can’t effectively rebuild your credit until all the past due credit has been satisfied.

So please, do yourself and me a favor, if you have ruled bankruptcy out because Dave Ramsey has scared you about it, you owe it to yourself to click here to find a local bankruptcy attorney you like. Go talk to the attorney and get yourself educated about bankruptcy and what it is really like. Once you do that then you can make good decisions based on knowledge, not fear.

Poll – Vote Now

Do you think Dave Ramsey's position on bankruptcy is the way to go?

View Results

Dave Ramsey and His Un Truth About Bankruptcy Loading ...

Dave Ramsey and His Un Truth About Bankruptcy
Get Out of Debt Guy – Twitter, G+, Facebook

Dave Ramsey and His Un-Truth About Bankruptcy by

Share This and Spread the Word

About Steve Rhode

Steve Rhode
Steve Rhode is the Get Out of Debt Guy and has been helping good people with bad debt problems since 1994. You can learn more about Steve, here.
  • Ross80

    I’m in the Ramsay class right now. I like that his sense of humor has built my wife’s affinity toward him, broken down her walls on “I can do whatever I want, that’s why I went to school” mentality. I can live with less now, to “live like no one else.” He has set forth a plan that the masses can deal with, and improve their life.

    Morality aside, religion aside – I don’t understand where he’s coming from when he says “FICO doesn’t matter.” He shows a picture of proof that he doesn’t even have credit anymore, but recommends we pay down our debt. Like I said, morality aside, why wouldn’t he recommend bankruptcy if his schtick is to eliminate all debt and pay cash for everything!?

  • JustSomeGuy

    Thing is for me since my Bankruptcy I have found it nearly impossible to find a job. In this economy when businesses can be picky about who they hire having a bankruptcy on your credit report definitely holds you back.

  • http://twitter.com/musicgirl77 Scotty Strickland

    My inlaws are in the midst of it and it has broken my fil. COMPLETELY broken him. DO NOT tell ME its a good thing!

  • Phil_78_2000

    The Dave Ramsey plan is the way to go. You did not get into your predicament overnight and you won’t get out of it overnight. Paying your creditors off is the moral thing to do.

  • 7margeaux7

    I am amused that Dave insists that the government can’t do anything right, and that no one should take any help from the government.  Government BAD; private GOOD

    Yet all of his kids went to the University of Tennessee and he recommends that everyone send their kids to public schools and universities because its a fraction of the price?  So he wants his kids ot have inferior educations? 

    I guess he and his listeners miss the irony, just like they miss that he benefited from bankruptcy.

    • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

      That’s an interesting comment. I suppose if we take the assertion that government is bad further out then we should do away with State run schools in favor of private market colleges and universities which have proven to be much higher priced per degree than government backed schools.

  • Christina

    I drank the kool-aid when I was almost $2 million in debt, completely broke and on the verge of suicide. Obviously I didn’t commit suicide, but now I am down to $100k in debt and still working the plan. I never filed bankruptcy and dealt with the phone calls and all the drama. Nobody forced me in to that debt and I agree that sometimes bankruptcy is the only option. I had several lawyers tell me that was my only option; but I chose to stick it out and honor my commitments. I have had to settle a few and will have to settle on the remaining 3, but in my mind it was worth it. They are getting something and it usually works out to be the original amount anyway. It was a humbling experience and I thank God for that experience every day. I am a better human being for it. I wouldn’t ever wish it on anyone else and would never want to repeat it, but I try to learn from everything that happens in my life instead of dwelling on it. – Bottom Line– Dave motivates people to get out of debt before they have a complete meltdown and ministers and motivates to those who are in the meltdown. If any of you have ever met the guy you would see that he really just wants to help people not go through what he did. He is not perfect; but none of us are Jesus are we???

  • Tara

    IF YOU BORROWED THE MONEY YOU SHOULD REPAY IT. Bible aside, it’s a moral and ethical issue. Steve, I’m glad I’m not one of your debtors – I wonder if they know that you feel no obligation to pay them back the money you have taken from them? You’d just as soon file bankruptcy. To say that because someone files bankruptcy no longer has debt is an untruth my friend. The debt still remains, just not on their credit. They created the debt, and the company that loaned them the money gets screwed.

  • Tara

    Again Steve, that’s what the emergency fund is for. That’s why after you are debt free you build a nest egg. And for you to imply that because someone follows Dave’s plan means they want to “live off the grid and grow their own wheat” clearly shows your ignorance and hatred towards someone who has bettered you in life. My husband and I paid off $37,800 in debt in 18 months by taking extra jobs/no vacation/no eating out and we have 4 children. In the last 7 years, we have purchased a new home and 2 vehicles with a credit score of 450. We were able to put over 40% of our home’s price down in CASH. Because we followed Dave’s plan. We could have chosen bankruptcy and thank God we didn’t. We live in a suburb, and buy our own wheat. With cash.

  • Tara

    If you follow Dave’s plan, you’ll pay cash for a car. You’ll have such a big down payment on your home it won’t matter if your credit score is low. You won’t need to borrow money at all. Steve, it seems like you have a chip on your shoulder buddy – Dave’s taken your spotlight. You started around the same time he did and went through a bankruptcy also. But here’s Dave the millionaire and who are you? Some guy with a blog. I agree that in some cases, bankruptcy may be the only choice. But you clearly don’t listen to Dave – he does NOT judge people. He does not speak untruth. What about this is not true: You have a moral obligation to REPAY creditors. From suffering comes perseverance, from perseverance character. If you have to take 2 extra jobs and stop eating out and stop spending money that you DON’T HAVE to repay that debt, then do it. It’s about making a lifestyle change, not a band-aid fix. It’s like telling someone who is morbidly obese to have liposuction. It won’t fix the problem, just mask it for awhile. Yes, it may take someone years to get to a point where they can get out of debt and save a lot of money. But that’s life. There are consequences to actions.

  • Steve Rhode

    I agree. I get the car thing and that’s great for people that plan in advance like that. Cynically, most don’t. And it doesn’t address the car purchase that happens after an unexpected event or without warning. If everything in life was orderly and predictable, that would be awesome.

    For those that want to live off the grid and grow their own wheat. Right on!

    But we just got a mortgage and in this lending environment it is tough enough. I can’t imagine finding a mortgage broker that would manually underwrite. A good credit score easily led to great rates from multiple sources that I could use to bargain the rate down lower.

    I think what the Ramsey position fails to appreciate is you don’t need to be in debt to have a great credit score.

    (Hi Craig!)

  • Craig Arbour

    Here’s how Dave would respond:
    **
    Car- You should never finance a car. Save up the money and buy a reliable used car. Pay yourself a car payment and save up.

    House- You don’t need a Credit Score to buy a house. You have to find a Mortgage broker/company that can do manual underwriting.
    **
    I agree with the car thing. The house answer is a little weak in that he assumes you have no credit score at all. Not sure how long that would take after trashing your credit score to begin with.

  • Steve Rhode

    I get the approach to not care about your credit score. But to not rebuild it after bankruptcy does not make sense. There are too many things that are dependent on having a good credit score, even if you do not wish to be a consumer.

    When you buy a future house or car don’t you want the lowest interest rates?

  • Freightpolice

    I am contemplating filing bancruptcy and then stepping into the Dave Ramsey program. I just finished the “Total Money Makeover” and I agree with the principals set forth. However, I believe I am too far in debt to work the Money Makeover from the very beginning. Once all the debts are “erased” under bancruptcy, I look forward to pressing forward with the committment that we will avoid debt at any cost. I won’t care about my “credit” score because I totally agree with Dave that we are better of with a “pay cash or do without” mentality.

    Any thoughts on this?

  • Freightpolice

    I am contemplating filing bancruptcy and then stepping into the Dave Ramsey program. I just finished the “Total Money Makeover” and I agree with the principals set forth. However, I believe I am too far in debt to work the Money Makeover from the very beginning. Once all the debts are “erased” under bancruptcy, I look forward to pressing forward with the committment that we will avoid debt at any cost. I won’t care about my “credit” score because I totally agree with Dave that we are better of with a “pay cash or do without” mentality.

    Any thoughts on this?

    • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

      I get the approach to not care about your credit score. But to not rebuild it after bankruptcy does not make sense. There are too many things that are dependent on having a good credit score, even if you do not wish to be a consumer.

      When you buy a future house or car don’t you want the lowest interest rates?

      • http://www.facebook.com/craigarbour Craig Arbour

        Here’s how Dave would respond:
        **
        Car- You should never finance a car. Save up the money and buy a reliable used car. Pay yourself a car payment and save up.

        House- You don’t need a Credit Score to buy a house. You have to find a Mortgage broker/company that can do manual underwriting.
        **
        I agree with the car thing. The house answer is a little weak in that he assumes you have no credit score at all. Not sure how long that would take after trashing your credit score to begin with.

      • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

        I agree. I get the car thing and that’s great for people that plan in advance like that. Cynically, most don’t. And it doesn’t address the car purchase that happens after an unexpected event or without warning. If everything in life was orderly and predictable, that would be awesome.

        For those that want to live off the grid and grow their own wheat. Right on!

        But we just got a mortgage and in this lending environment it is tough enough. I can’t imagine finding a mortgage broker that would manually underwrite. A good credit score easily led to great rates from multiple sources that I could use to bargain the rate down lower.

        I think what the Ramsey position fails to appreciate is you don’t need to be in debt to have a great credit score.

        (Hi Craig!)

      • Tara

        Again Steve, that’s what the emergency fund is for. That’s why after you are debt free you build a nest egg. And for you to imply that because someone follows Dave’s plan means they want to “live off the grid and grow their own wheat” clearly shows your ignorance and hatred towards someone who has bettered you in life. My husband and I paid off $37,800 in debt in 18 months by taking extra jobs/no vacation/no eating out and we have 4 children. In the last 7 years, we have purchased a new home and 2 vehicles with a credit score of 450. We were able to put over 40% of our home’s price down in CASH. Because we followed Dave’s plan. We could have chosen bankruptcy and thank God we didn’t. We live in a suburb, and buy our own wheat. With cash.

      • Tara

        If you follow Dave’s plan, you’ll pay cash for a car. You’ll have such a big down payment on your home it won’t matter if your credit score is low. You won’t need to borrow money at all. Steve, it seems like you have a chip on your shoulder buddy – Dave’s taken your spotlight. You started around the same time he did and went through a bankruptcy also. But here’s Dave the millionaire and who are you? Some guy with a blog. I agree that in some cases, bankruptcy may be the only choice. But you clearly don’t listen to Dave – he does NOT judge people. He does not speak untruth. What about this is not true: You have a moral obligation to REPAY creditors. From suffering comes perseverance, from perseverance character. If you have to take 2 extra jobs and stop eating out and stop spending money that you DON’T HAVE to repay that debt, then do it. It’s about making a lifestyle change, not a band-aid fix. It’s like telling someone who is morbidly obese to have liposuction. It won’t fix the problem, just mask it for awhile. Yes, it may take someone years to get to a point where they can get out of debt and save a lot of money. But that’s life. There are consequences to actions.

  • Steve Rhode

    Does it make more sense to try to repair the past or do better moving forward to create a safer financial future?

  • Karla Dennis

    I also have been through bankruptcy and no, there is nothing pleasent about it, and you don’t really learn anything. More recently we used the Dave Ramsey plan, because my husband never filed bankruptcy, but learned to borrow and use credit cards. We had medical bills comming in and other bills that were late, and 3 credit card payments. As soon as we informed the companies about our plan, they left us alone as long as we were paying. Yes, it did take once or twice of not paying and having them start calling agin to get us to stay on track, but it worked. No, everything is not paid off yet, but my husband is laid-off and has been for a year and we do not live in fear because of what we learned from Financial Peace. I fully recomend it…and it DOES work if you actually do what he sugjests

  • Karla Dennis

    I also have been through bankruptcy and no, there is nothing pleasent about it, and you don’t really learn anything. More recently we used the Dave Ramsey plan, because my husband never filed bankruptcy, but learned to borrow and use credit cards. We had medical bills comming in and other bills that were late, and 3 credit card payments. As soon as we informed the companies about our plan, they left us alone as long as we were paying. Yes, it did take once or twice of not paying and having them start calling agin to get us to stay on track, but it worked. No, everything is not paid off yet, but my husband is laid-off and has been for a year and we do not live in fear because of what we learned from Financial Peace. I fully recomend it…and it DOES work if you actually do what he sugjests

    • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

      Does it make more sense to try to repair the past or do better moving forward to create a safer financial future?

  • http://www.creditcardchaser.com Credit Card Chaser

    One of my biggest beefs with Dave Ramsey is his stance on credit cards and his stance on paying off credit card debt with the debt snowball. To be quite honest he is just flat out wrong (and I can prove it: http://www.creditcardchaser.com/dave-ramsey-credit-cards-i-love-ya-dave-but-you-are-dead-wrong/ ) That being said, a lot of what he says is good stuff.
    .-= Credit Card Chaser´s last blog ..Dave Ramsey & Credit Cards: I Love Ya Dave but You are Dead Wrong =-.

  • http://sandiegobillproblems.com Carl Starrett

    I appreciate Steve’s perspective in this and this post is providing and important counterpoint to Dave Ramsey’s position on bankruptcy. In fact, this post came up as No. 4 when I did a Google search for “Dave Ramsey Bankruptcy”.

    The problems I have Dave Ramsey his stance is a bit like Chicken Little. While file bankruptcy might be life changing, the sky is not necessarily falling for the rest of your life.

    As someone who professes to be a person of faith, my problem is that Mr. Ramsey seems to be trading unnecessarily on an unbalanced and possibly even a non-biblical fear that some evangelical Christian have about bankruptcy and not paying their debts.

    I am not your typical consumer bankruptcy attorney. I am very conservative, both politically and socially. I often joke that Mr. Nunley is my older twin brother, except that I am taller and tan better than him. I am also a born-again Christian that attends an evangelical Baptist church near my home and office. If you have ever heard of Dr. David Jeremiah or have heard his radio show called Turning Point, then you’ve heard my pastor.

    If someone can hang on a cross for someone’s sins, that forgiveness most certainly covers financial mistakes as well.

    This isn’t to say that Mr. Ramsey does not provide valuable information about budgeting and financial management. If one of my clients files for bankruptcy and hasn’t corrected the problems that got them there in the first place, them my services are of limited value. I would not, for example, file a bankruptcy for someone with a gambling problem they received treatment for their addiction.

    Bankruptcy is not to be taken lightly, but it is not the tragic choice that Mr. Ramsey portrays it to be.
    .-= Carl Starrett´s last blog ..Should Christians File for Bankruptcy? =-.

    • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

      Carl,

      Thanks for the comment. I just read the post on your site “Why Dave Ramsey is Wrong About Bankruptcy” and wanted to share part of it with everyone.

      “Dave Ramsey describes bankruptcy as a “gut-wrenching, life-changing event that causes lifelong damage.” He also goes on to claim that bankruptcy “can devastate your job, destroy your marriage and steal your peace of mind.” This type of Chicken Little mentality is unwarranted and may scare consumers away from becoming fully informed about all of their debt relief options.

      Mr. Ramsey’s message resonates particularly well with conservative and evangelical Christians. In my practice, I’ve come across far to many Christians who feel like they have failed in the eyes of God if they do not repay their debts. I devoted an entire blog entry to the topic to help those clients understand what the Bible really says about bankruptcy.

      Mr. Ramsey’s negative experience with bankruptcy is atypical. In my entire career, I have not had a single client express regret about filing for bankruptcy. I have seen marriages healed as a result of the stress relief achieved in bankruptcy. I have seen some clients improve their credit scores by as much 150 points because the individual no longer has any debt and their bad payment history will disappear over time.”

      • http://www.creditcardchaser.com Credit Card Chaser

        That passage in Deuteronomy 15 is commonly cited by those looking for Biblical justification for bankruptcy however nowhere in the above verse does the Bible promote backing out of debt that one owes but rather the Bible promotes the principle of mercy and leniency on the part of the lender (i.e. the lender initiates a forgiveness of a debt rather than the borrower). I go into more detail here: http://www.creditcardchaser.com/dave-ramsey-on-debt-negotiation-debt-settlement-wrong-again/
        .-= Credit Card Chaser´s last blog ..Sick of Airline Baggage Fees? Delta & American Express Have a Solution =-.

      • Tara

        IF YOU BORROWED THE MONEY YOU SHOULD REPAY IT. Bible aside, it’s a moral and ethical issue. Steve, I’m glad I’m not one of your debtors – I wonder if they know that you feel no obligation to pay them back the money you have taken from them? You’d just as soon file bankruptcy. To say that because someone files bankruptcy no longer has debt is an untruth my friend. The debt still remains, just not on their credit. They created the debt, and the company that loaned them the money gets screwed.

  • http://tulsabankruptcyandconsumerlaw.wordpress.com Ben Callicoat

    “I’m curious, can you imagine a time when people would come in for bankruptcy advice where it would be appropriate to turn them around, hand them a Ramsey book, and send them out the door telling them they can work harder and do better?”

    And now I’M curious: do you see any relationship to what you wrote above and what Dave Ramsey does? Really? Have you ever listened to his show?

    Steve, you seem to hear a judgmental attitude behind Ramsey that just isn’t there. He’s not harsh, he’s empathetic. If you listen to his show you can practically see him reaching a warm, brotherly arm around the callers who have filed bankruptcy. He doesn’t condemn them, he empathizes with them and their plight — much as anyone would who learned that someone they cared about had gone through a life-altering experience.

    Yes, I tell every single client that comes to me: “I’m a weird kind of bankruptcy lawyer I don’t like bankruptcy and if there’s a way around it, I’m going to find it and tell you about it.” “If not, then at least you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing that bankruptcy was the smartest choice for you and your family.”

    I don’t hand them a book and tell them to try harder, and neither does Ramsey. He walks them through the reality of what they’re facing and patiently explains that bankruptcy is not inevitable, but that they have options. Those options consist of getting serious about raising their incomes, dropping their luxuries (and yes, a new car *is* a luxury, not a necessity — I don’t care how cheap it was.)

    More than ever, I really believe that people who dislike Dave Ramsey are misinterpreting what he says as a condemnation of what they themselves have done or want to do. I just don’t think that is anywhere near an accurate representation of what Ramsey is about. Other than abusive credit collectors, he doesn’t judge people.

    As it happens, I reviewed Ramsey’s bankruptcy education video just this evening (the post-filing debtor education course required to get a discharge), on behalf of a client. Although I had seen it before, it had been over a year ago and I’d forgotten about it.

    I was struck upon watching it of how NON-judgmental he was as he addressed the camera. Ramsey was warm and supportive and friendly — not scowling or accusatory — toward the people who take the course. He treated them as if they were people who had just experienced a disaster. And that’s exactly the way he happens to view it.

    And I’m not so sure he’s not right about that. I *do* agree with Ramsey that bankruptcy leaves long-lasting scars on the psyche. And that is why I’m reluctant to let my clients rush into that choice.

    One more thing, on other posts I’ve seen many people insinuate that Dave Ramsey is some sort of huckster, who does what he does to sell courses. That’s not true either. I don’t know how many free courses and free books he gives away each and every day, but it’s a lot. Far from selling someone a book and telling them to do better, he gives away his 13 week course to callers in desperate situations all the time.

    So much so, that I forget that he sells stuff on his website. The thing is, you don’t have to buy a single thing from Ramsey — you can hear the whole thing by listening to his show and checking out his books at the library. (I’ve taken the FPU course — a thirteen week course with excellent materials and one-on-one support that I paid approximately $100 for.)

    Anyway, we’ve beat this horse into paste. But I’ll close by reiterating that Ramsey isn’t perfect, he has certain biases like that against bankruptcy. But that bias does not extend to those who *file* the bankruptcy, anymore than one would be biased against someone who has experienced some other personal loss.

    That’s more than you probably thought you’d get from me, my friend. But you asked and I answered.

    God bless and keep up the good work helping those saddled with debt. I’ll try to do the same.
    .-= Ben Callicoat´s last blog ..The Seven Habits of Highly Unsuccessful People* (a "How To" for Going Broke) =-.

    • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

      Ben,

      I never wanted to make a blanket statement about Dave Ramsey. My concern was for people in terrible debt that were landing on his page “The Truth About Bankruptcy” as I had accidentally done while looking for something else related. For those that get Dave and follow him they will have a different impression of him that those that are searching for the truth about bankruptcy.

      If you are following Dave you are already receptive to the broader messages he has.

      But let’s take the following woman Sue who posted her situation in the forum. I just can’t see how the message on Dave’s “Truth About Bankruptcy” that “It can devastate your job, destroy your marriage and steal your peace of mind.” is helpful to her and others in any way.

      My irritation when I wrote the article was that I can’t see how Dave’s message on his page about bankruptcy is helpful for any person in trouble and searching for advice. In fact, i would argue that scaring people about bankruptcy only serves to drive them closer towards other solutions which are either ineffective or do not provide any consumer protection at all.

      In my humble opinion, his message about the truth about bankruptcy should be to encourage people to speak to a bankruptcy attorney and specifically learn what bankruptcy would mean for them in their situation and that Dave also has a broader message about dealing with personal finances. Telling people it is a living nightmare is not helpful and if that’s the case then all bankruptcy attorneys are only agents that serve to devastate jobs, destroy marriages, steal peace of mind and put people into a living nightmare and place they don’t want to visit, and Ben, that’s not what you do.

      I would argue Ben that what you do is help people with care and compassion that are in difficult situations to find a legal way out of their mess. With your help, people can emerge from bankruptcy and do better in the future.

      Steve

  • http://tulsabankruptcyandconsumerlaw.wordpress.com Ben Callicoat

    Jeff Jackson brings up an important insight into a problem we bankruptcy professionals see very often: clients who are so poor that even without making any debt payment, they still struggle to get by.

    They are literally so poor that even a bankruptcy case would not solve their problems — although it might get them part of the way there.

    I see this all the time.

    The only solution is for these folks to increase their incomes, however they can manage to do that. The trouble is that in this economy, I’ve seen some indication that even unskilled minimum wage jobs which used to be had for the asking, are drying up.

    But motivated people somehow find a way. I worry about those who are so beat down by their predicament that they can’t muster the enthusiasm to even find a hamburger flipping or pizza delivery job.
    .-= Ben Callicoat´s last blog ..The Seven Habits of Highly Unsuccessful People* (a "How To" for Going Broke) =-.

    • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

      Ben,

      This long comment is based on my experience in helping people in debt, the ones that come to me for help and advice.

      Some people are ready to embrace the teachings of a pundit like Ramsey, Orman, or Edelman but on a whole I don’t think the moment of terrible loss, desperation, and depression is the teachable moment. But it can be the precursor to an opportunity for people to find a drive to never repeat their financial mistakes again. I always say, there is no sense wasting a perfectly good failure, learn from it.

      Maybe you see the same thing in your practice? I’m curious, can you imagine a time when people would come in for bankruptcy advice where it would be appropriate to turn them around, hand them a Ramsey book, and send them out the door telling them they can work harder and do better?

      By the time people reach me they are frightened, afraid, under a lot of stress, depressed, can’t sleep, losing weight, about to be evicted, etc. My job as I see it is to get them through to a better place, wisely, safely, and with the most consumer protection. For example, if a man approached me at the edge of a river who was being chased, that is not the moment to tell him he needs to go and learn to swim in the next 20 minutes before they bad guys catch him. In my opinion it is the time to take action and then once he is safely away from the threat, for him to take the initiative to learn to swim so he’s never in that position again.

      We can all have positions if Ramsey’s harsh message on his site about bankruptcy is appropriate or not. My point of view is that life is not absolute. Every situation is different. And many times the most caring and compassionate action we can take is to help rescue the person, not perpetuate the message Ramsey has on his site that the legal solution like bankruptcy is so bad and will make your life a living nightmare.

      I would no more tell someone that if they followed Dave Ramsey they were ruining their life and turning it into an everliving nightmare than I would turn someone away from a legal solution for very difficult financial problems.

      Steve

  • http://www.ohdebtcounsel.com Jeff Jackson

    I am neither for nor against Dave Ramsey. I am a bankruptcy attorney and I do believe that bankruptcy is not for everyone and that for others it is the only way to survive.

    We need more than baby steps to make changes when we are drowning. We need someone to pull us out of the water fast. We don’t need someone to teach us to swim.

    If we are dry or just wading, then we definitely should learn to swim. And I think we need more than baby steps.

    We must also keep in mind the economic climate we are dealing with. Credit Card companies are not willing to make many sacrifices to keep a defaulting customer. They are bringing suit very quickly. They are suffering like everyone else. The days are gone where you can negotiate with your creditor. Mortgages are no longer lending more than 30% of your income. Like we should have ever borrowed more than 50% of our income. We are all stuck with the decisions we have made in the past, and now must deal with them the best we can.

    Dan Nunley makes a great point. Debtors need to be well informed. That includes looking into what Dave Ramsey has to say, and others like Liz Weston. I personally recommend her books because they are thorough and very easy to read. Our gracious host, Steve, offers excellent advice based on some very limited facts. I have not read one of his responses that I felt was in error. And then there are the bankruptcy attorneys. Yes, they should be consulted also, to round out the options.

    I have seen bankruptcy clients with little to no assets, who after eliminating their unsecured debts are still in the negative on their budget. What are their options? Find more money? Where? These clients would not benefit from avoiding bankruptcy.

    Then there are others who, for whatever reason, have over time mismanaged their financial affairs to a point that they can’t unwind the mess. Is it their fault? Will avoiding bankruptcy be a positive for them? I don’t know the answers. I do know that getting out from under those financial burdens will take time, and most creditors will not give them time. One successful garnishment sucking 25% of your income just adds salt to the wound. The only true solution is bankruptcy if you want to stop the collection and garnishments.

    What American consumers are lacking is financial education. As I expressed above, people devote years digging themselves into debt. We are a society that depends on credit. We need to know how to effectively use credit and what the limits are. Just because credit is extended, doesn’t mean you should always take it.

    “If you can eat it or drink it, pay cash for it.” Nannette Dean. This is a baby step, just like it is financially better to buy a used car instead of a new car. These are sound pieces of financial advice. But they won’t help if we are already underwater.

  • http://tulsabankruptcyandconsumerlaw.wordpress.com Ben Callicoat

    John:

    Your point that Ramsey often over-generalizes radio-caller’s budgets is well taken. I’ve often thought the same thing myself while listening, namely that Dave talks about gross income while we all have to live on net. (I’ve often wished he would tell people to give him their net income, rather than their pre-tax. But part of the reason he asks for gross is that so many people idiotically overpay their withholding taxes so that the can get a big refund in April. Many times I’ve heard Ramsey tell people that they need to cut back on withholding so that they can increase needed funds and stop loaning the IRS their money at no interest.

    On the other hand, it is a radio program — not a formal budget that he’s recommending to callers, Dave’s not necessarily having “this woman living on $13k for a year” — he’s giving her a general outline for how to work it.

    As for whether or not he “gets it” — you’re talking about a guy who went from millionaire to eeking out a living typing up books on a typewriter in his living room, and zeroxing copies to sell to people. In other words, he’s been there, done that and quite obviously has the net worth to prove it. So not only does he have the college degree in finance, he’s got the “life experience” degree as well.

    As I said in my comments, Dave Ramsey is for whatever reason a polarizing figure. People either hate him or love him.
    .-= Ben Callicoat´s last blog ..The Seven Habits of Highly Unsuccessful People* (a "How To" for Going Broke) =-.

  • John

    Dave Ramsey has a very simplified view of finances. I’m not at all sure he ‘gets it’. For instance, the other day he advised a woman who is in $150k of debt, with a $250k/year income, that she should be able to pay off her debt in one year. This woman has a $600k mortgage. He told her he was leaving her $100k to live on for that year. Um… Dave… there’s that little issue of taxes. Tax (income and social security) on $250k, is approximately $87k. Do Dave, as usual ignoring those messy little details of life, has this woman living on $13k for the year, all the while making payments on her $600k mortgage.

    So take everything Ramsey says with a grain of salt. Although I do generally agree with him regarding bankruptcy (only in extreme, unavoidable situations should one be able to ‘dismiss’ their financial obligations), much of what he says is nonsense. Those who have ‘drunk the Ramsey Kool-Aid choose to ignore many of his moronic statements.

    • Christina

      I drank the kool-aid when I was almost $2 million in debt, completely broke and on the verge of suicide. Obviously I didn’t commit suicide, but now I am down to $100k in debt and still working the plan. I never filed bankruptcy and dealt with the phone calls and all the drama. Nobody forced me in to that debt and I agree that sometimes bankruptcy is the only option. I had several lawyers tell me that was my only option; but I chose to stick it out and honor my commitments. I have had to settle a few and will have to settle on the remaining 3, but in my mind it was worth it. They are getting something and it usually works out to be the original amount anyway. It was a humbling experience and I thank God for that experience every day. I am a better human being for it. I wouldn’t ever wish it on anyone else and would never want to repeat it, but I try to learn from everything that happens in my life instead of dwelling on it. – Bottom Line– Dave motivates people to get out of debt before they have a complete meltdown and ministers and motivates to those who are in the meltdown. If any of you have ever met the guy you would see that he really just wants to help people not go through what he did. He is not perfect; but none of us are Jesus are we???

    • Dbannist

      You can live off of 13000 a year after mortgage.  About 25 percent of people in America do that exact thing.  If she lives frugally, she can do it.  She also has the choice of selling that house and living in a trailer to reduce expenses.  The question is really, “is she willing to do what is necessary to get out of debt?” Probably not.
       

  • http://tulsabankruptcyandconsumerlaw.wordpress.com Ben Callicoat

    Steve:

    You are very gracious to invite my comments — especially since I think you’re aware that I will disagree with you. I am a bankruptcy attorney who loves Dave Ramsey and his approach.

    I’ve come to understand that Dave Ramsey is polarizing figure, somewhat like our last president or Sarah Palin. People have a visceral instinctive reaction to what Dave says, either for the good or the bad.

    I am truly puzzled by this, and don’t really understand why even though I’ve thought about it at length. I finally just resolved that people either “get” Dave, or they don’t (in which case they seem to want to “get” Dave.)

    For example, you call his statement “rubbish” and accuse him of “un-truth”. Yet, I challenge you to point to the “un-truth” in anything he says above. If there’s any un-truth in what’s posted, I’d like to see it. Because I don’t.

    Maybe its just my background as a lawyer, but my hackles go up immediately when *anyone* is accused of lying or speaking falsely (even when people I don’t like). In general, people throw around such accusations far too loosely for my taste.

    Let me give you the standard lecture that I give my children when they accuse someone of “lying”: a lie (or an un-truth, if you prefer) is a statement of fact, which is untrue, and which the speaker KNOWS to be untrue.

    I don’t think you can say that about what Dave said above. In fact, I don’t think that you can say that about anything he says. Mere statements of opinion are a different matter, of course. Bottom line, he may or may not be wrong or mistaken, but there’s no evidence that what he’s saying is an “un-truth”.

    That covered, this whole controversy reminds me of another one: the Atkins diet which was so popular several years ago. Adherents swore by it, and independent medical studies confirmed its effectiveness and safety. Nonetheless, critics derided it as “faddish” and unhealthy.

    The trouble was that the proponents of Atkins and the opponents of Atkins were defending / opposing two entirely different things. The critics opposed it based on the short two-week period in which carbohydrates were kept extremely low, and in which very little greens or other vegetables were allowed.

    What they didn’t realize (or perhaps ignored) was that this two-week induction phase was just that: a temporary regimen after which vegetables and other food categories were gradually added back into the diet.

    It occurs to me that criticism of Ramsey’s plan is very much similar.

    Ramsey is about modifying behavior and motivating people into getting on a plan and getting RADICAL about eliminating their debt. Although critics like yourself point to the fact that unlike bankruptcy, the Ramsey plan does not immediately eliminate your debt and stop interest rates, I think that missed the larger point of Ramsey, which is to use a debt snowball and extra income to eliminate debt very quickly.

    Yes, you’re right in that if you’re barely keeping the light bill paid and food on the table, continuing in that vein without making other changes will likely result in a long period of suffering through debt. You’ve gotta have something to get your debt snowball “rolling”, of course. That’s why Ramsey’s plan has very specific recommendations toward selling off and getting rid of “stuff” that people accumulate. Further, he counsels people to take second or third jobs to throw at their debt snowball. He calls this behavior “Gazelle intensity” and likens people in debt to gazelles fleeing rapacious lions (creditors). It is only when you get “Gazelle intense” that Ramsey’s plan works.

    But it’s also like Atkins in another respect: if you do it, it works. If you don’t, it doesn’t. Loads of people tried the Atkins diet and found that the pounds melted away very quickly. But then they stopped and didn’t continue to follow the other phases. Result? They put the weight back on (and then some).

    Dave’s plan is the same way: if all you’ve got is $50 a month after you pay for the “Four Walls” (food, shelter, transportation, and clothing), then you’re going to be quite a while before you eliminate the average amount of credit debt most American’s carry.

    But that’s not what the Ramsey plan recommends. He tells people to sell everything — in his words, “sell so much stuff that your dog starts to get worried.”

    Additionally, he regularly tells people to dump their luxury car payments — so often that he jokes about making a tape of him saying “Sell the car” and just playing that instead of doing his show. People have no business whatsoever with a $400 car payment in a budget with only $1600 worth of income, yet you’d be surprised how often I see that in my practice.

    Finally, where necessary, Ramsey counsels people to get a second or even a third job to increase size of their debt shovel.

    All that said, I do have some reservations about Ramsey’s plan. I agree with my friend Dan Nunley that sometimes (often, actually) people get themselves in such a bind that bankruptcy is the only wise or possible choice. So I part company (however slightly) with Dave Ramsey on this score.

    I would also say that unless you’re going to get “Gazelle intense” about eliminating your debt, bankruptcy may be your best option. But Dave Ramsey’s advice necessarily includes “getting Gazelle intense”. The status quo is not acceptable for Dave or his clients.

    Those are my two cents, anyway. Thanks again for being so fair as to invite opposing views. That’s very impressive these days.

    Ben Callicoat
    Tulsa OK
    .-= Ben Callicoat´s last blog ..The Seven Habits of Highly Unsuccessful People* (a "How To" for Going Broke) =-.

  • Craig

    I think Dave has mellowed a bit on bankruptcy. And he never belittles or berates someone on the show who has already filed. He just feels there are other solutions. He even has a court approved bankruptcy education program.

    If I was facing garnishments, judgements or lawsuits. I would probably file a 3rd time. I’m trying to take the principles that Dave teaches and apply those so I never get there again.

  • http://www.oklahoma-bankruptcy-attorney.com Dan Nunley

    Steve,

    I agree with what you say. In fact as you know, not long ago I wrote an article on my personal view of Dave Ramsey’s erroneous advice on bankruptcy (http://www.oklahoma-bankruptcy-attorney.com/general/dave-ramsey-financial-peace-university-and-bankruptcy/).

    I concur with much of Dave’s financial advice, I’ve taken Dave’s Financial Peace University, and I have read all of Dave’s books on money. But as much as I like Dave, he’s just plain wrong when he tells people that bankruptcy is never the best solution for their financial problems. Dave uses much to broad of a brush when he makes that call.

    Over the past 14 years, I have counseled thousands and thousands of Oklahomans struggling with serious debt problems. Some of these people had several options available to them and bankruptcy was not their best solution at the time. But many, many people were not so fortunate. They needed immediate help and had no other realistic option but bankruptcy.

    While I’m a bankruptcy lawyer, I never “sell” bankruptcy. All I do is review a person’s financial situation with him or her and make sure (s)he understands all of the available options, bankruptcy and non-bankruptcy, and the resulting consequences of each. If the debtor then makes an informed decision that bankruptcy is the best option, I’ll represent him or her to the best of my ability. But the debtor has to make that decision. For many it’s an extremely difficult decision. For others it’s relatively easy.

    But the decision as to whether bankruptcy is the best option can only be made by the individual considering filing bankruptcy. Dave can’t make that decision. It’s easy for Dave to have a blanket approach that says bankruptcy is always a nightmare situation and is never a good solution. But a blanket solution isn’t appropriate when you’re dealing with personal scenarios that are different for each and every individual. This isn’t an area where there are absolutes – where things are black and white. Here things are relative.

    Again, thanks for sharing a great article.

    Dan Nunley
    .-= Dan Nunley´s last blog ..Florida Based First American Debt Solutions Is Lying To Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Debtors Nationwide =-.

  • http://www.creditcarddebtpro.com Ryan Ortega

    Steve,

    Let’s keep in mind some may consider bankruptcy to be punishment- Here are my thoughts on the “Consequences” of avoiding bankruptcy, or as you so put it The Dave Ramsey Punishment Method:

    •Collection calls continue –
    * Although original creditors have the right to call most accounts become charged off after 180 days of delinquency, and once over to a collection agency a proper cease & desist letter can be sent to stop future phone efforts. If calls become an issue you could even go as far to get a new non published number, notifying all your close friends and loved ones of your new phone,

    •Debt collectors continue to chase you and may even call your job or neighbors-
    *Please see above comment… and as a former bill collector myself I’ll add they will only make these calls if you don’t answer your phone, or continually ignore their calls, after all they just want to talk to you, and if they get you on the phone (rather than avoiding answering) there’s no reason to call anyone else, period

    •Your credit remains trashed-
    * Most can’t borrow given the circumstances, and with all the variables to a credit score, this should be the last of worries for someone needing debt relief since they can already see where good credit has gotten them; more debt than they can afford to payback!

    •Lawsuits can be filed for not paying your debts as agreed-
    * Yes creditors do maintain the right to pursue legal as a method for debt collection, however most lenders will determine if it is cost effective for them to pursue the legal route, which many don’t since they have already lost money and often don’t see the potential of being paid, even after the legal process.

    •Your wages can be garnished-
    * In order for this to happen a creditor must pursue the legal route first, please refer back to last comment.

    •Interest is increased on past due accounts-
    * Creditors are only able to charge interest and late fees until the debt becomes a charge off, typically about 6 months worth- this may make your balance grow by 1500-2000, if it were $10,000 30%apr 39/mo late & over limit fees- these fees are obsolete if there’s a settlement reached, because it’s usually for less than the principal balance.

    •Additional fees and penalties are charged on past due accounts-
    * see last comment

    •Original balances can increase significantly due to fees, penalties and increased interest-
    * Using the above scenario $10,000 @ 30% default apr, for 6 months equals $1500 + 468 late & over-limit fees ($39 for each x 6 months) it may cause the balance to increase by 20% overall, however if there can be a settlement reached for 60% of the original debt, or 50% of the debt after fees it still means a payoff of $6,000 either way.

    •Your home cannot be protected from foreclosure-
    * There would be no protection; however the mortgage might have a better chance of staying current with a restructuring of how the unsecured debt is being paid

    •Your vehicles cannot be protected from repossession-
    *same thoughts on the mortgage- not to mention if you file bankruptcy these items may need to be given up or reaffirmed during bankruptcy, so if you run into trouble after these debts are no longer eligible for bankruptcy and you become liable for the full loan balance or any deficiencies, losing any protection from a previously filed bankruptcy and being unable to file again

    •You can’t effectively rebuild your debt until all the past due credit has been satisfied-
    * I think you meant to say you can’t effectively rebuild your credit until all the past due debt has been satisfied – this is true and most people should consider at least 3-5 years of downtime on their credit after resolving any unpaid debts

    NO matter which option for debt relief someone chooses, it must be one they are informed about, agree with, and are willing to stick to- otherwise none of them will work, period!

    Take Care,
    Ryan

    • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

      Ryan,

      I wanted to clarify some of your points.

      Collection calls continue as the account is sold and resold. FDCPA cease and desist regulations do not apply to original creditors that own the debt.

      Rebuilding your credit score is critical even if you don’t want to go into debt again. The credit score is used for pricing for other things like insurance. A good credit score can take you a long way.

      My site is filled with thousands of questions sent in from people that are being sued or have been sued with little to no assets. I’ve watched it happen for decades now. As one banking collection manager said to me once, “I don’t care if they’ve got nothing now, I’ll get the judgment and let it earn interest till they have something in the future.” Suing a consumer is just droping them into a hopper for a nationwide network of attorneys on retainer. Not a big deal or a big expense.”

      Here are a couple of questions with people struggling that are having their wages garnished. it happens in the real world.

      Interest does continue to build through the judgment. Not sure if you knew this but 90% of suits are not answered by consumers and immediately go to judgment and start earning interest again.

      Bankruptcy does not require homes or cars to be surrendered. In fact in a bankruptcy the value of second mortgages can be crammed down to bring the home back to its real value. I seeing people now that are passing through Chapter 7 with homes and cars without a problem.

      After bankruptcy and rebuilding their credit if someone wanted to they could buy a new car within two years and a home within three.

      There is so much misinformation floating around about the realities of bankruptcy and people have such incorrect assumptions about it they discount it without knowing the facts.

      Steve

  • Brent Kelly

    Good article with good points, but I have also been through bankruptcy and it is not a pleasant experience. Part of my shame in bankruptcy was not the guilt to my creditors (although it is a factor), but the fact that I didn’t do everything possible to find another way.

    I listen to Dave frequently and although he argues against bankruptcy in most cases, he agrees that if you are pushed into a corner it may be your only way out. I agree with Dave that most people file too soon without at least trying other options. I wish I would have. The calls and collectors are horrible, but it has been almost seven years since I filed and I am still living with it.

    Bankruptcy was an easy way out for me and helped with some short term problems, but did not change my spending and saving habits for the long term. Everyone has there own personal story.

    I appreciate what you do and can see that you and Dave have different views on this. Good luck to you.

    • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

      Brent,

      After my bankruptcy I felt the same as you but these days there is not one other single legal option that gives the consumer any protection from their creditors. And after much contemplation over the years I know I tried everything. I even tried to repay my creditors after my bankruptcy and they asked me not to send payments.

      I wish I had known someone like me back when I filed bankruptcy. If I had I would have gotten over it sooner and not wallowed alone in the negative stigma that bankruptcy is bad. Bankruptcy is necessary and you’ve got to ask yourself why it is that when large companies go bankrupt they are applauded but when individuals go bankrupt we speak negatively about them.

      What I needed to know then and what you need to know now is that creditors do not want to be accommodating and in fact tell people quite regularly to go bankrupt to get them off their books. Owing a big bank money is not the same things as you owing me money. In that case I would be accommodating and you would do the best you could. Once you were back on your feet you’d pick up the pace. With creditors, unless you meet their mandatory minimum payment and you fall far enough behind they sue you and chase you and not give you any solution that is reasonable.

      I wish I could wave a magic wand to break you out of this guilt. I seriously doubt that if you could leap back into your skin back then that it would be any more tolerable today. And guess what, you know what the number one reason why people file bankruptcy, collection pressure.

      Thanks for the comment.

      Steve

      • Brent Kelly (bizinsuranceguy)

        Steve,

        Thanks for your comments. I agree that people who have filed bankruptcy should not feel ashamed, but unfortunately there is a stigma attached with it whether right or wrong.

        For the rest of my life when an application asks if I ever filed for bankruptcy I will have to mark YES. This may not seem like a big deal, but believe me it definitely brings back painful memories.

        As I stated before, I listen to Dave Ramsey frequently and he doesn’t say that you should never file for bankruptcy, but does say you should try everything in your power to avoid it if possible. As I person who when through it, I couldn’t agree more.

        If you do everything possible to avoid it and you are completely backed into a corner then bankruptcy is viable option. You have done all that you can do. That’s all you can ask someone.

        Besides, bankruptcy did not help my change my bad habits. It got rid of debt and stopped the phone calls, but it did not make me address my major problem….ME. Fortunately, I have matured and learned to handle money much better of the past several years.

        Again, I appreciate much of what you do, but I just disagree with you on this one. All the best.

      • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

        Brent,

        You know, it’s okay to forgive yourself.

        And I to have to check YES, but so what.

        So let’s turn back the clock, tell me how your life would have been so much better if you had not filed.

        Steve

      • Brent Kelly (bizinsuranceguy)

        Steve,

        I have forgiven myself. I rarely even think about it anymore. I very well may have filed bankruptcy seven years ago regardless of how hard I would have tried to prevent it, but the bottom line is that I didn’t.

        I never said that my life would have been better if I hadn’t filed. Not quite sure where you thought I stated that. All I said is that there were alternatives prior to filing that I was unaware of (and I don’t mean just credit counseling/consolidation/settlement).

        I was scared at that time, avoided collectors, tried to ignore the problem and hoped it would go away. I could have made a better effort, worked an extra job, done a strict budget, etc. If I did everything possible and still got sued I still may of filed. My life would still be great today either way.

        Everyone has their own personal situations and no two are the same. I think I filed way too soon with little fight, but that’s just me. I don’t speak for anyone else. They have to make their own decisions.

        I think it’s important to know all your options. Just throwing up your hands and talking to a bankruptcy attorney is not always the best way to go. Bankruptcy is a viable option for many people seeking legal protection, but is often a symptom of their problems, not a long-term solution.

Get My FREE Get Out of Debt Guy Newsletter

It is the smart thing to do.

I promise to keep your email safe and secure.

Close

I want to keep you posted each weekday with just one email about the latest get out of debt news, scam alerts and information to beat back debt.

You can unsubscribe at any time with just one click.

After you subscribe, check your email to confirm your subscription. If the confirmation email does not appear in your inbox in a few minutes, check your spam folder for it. Sometimes it likes to annoyingly hide there.


  • It will keep you posted on the latest scams.
  • You will be alerted to the latest articles.
  • You will wind up smarter than everyone else dealing with debt.