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Examples of Deceptive Official Marketing Sent Out By Debt Settlement Companies to Trick Consumers. Some are Members of TASC & USOBA.

I’ve seen more coy and scammy mailers being sent by companies in an attempt to trick or confuse people in debt to believe that some sort of government help is available to help them with their consumer debt. For the most part these mailers are nothing more than deceptive advertisements that try to get consumers to call and then be sold a debt settlement program.

This trend began for me with a previous post “Copy of Fake Bankruptcy Dismissal Notice From First American Debt Solutions” but the trickery continues from other companies. Here is my collection of recent, what I think are deceptive, mailers.

I have redacted out any personal information contained on these mailers so I could show them to you.

As you can see the mailers typically are designed to look like government mailers or tax forms. It’s easy to see how some people receiving these may think they are official government documents.

You can click on all images for a larger view.

Debt Reduction Notification – Secured Document – Debt Regret

This imposing looking mailer with its $2,000 fine notice comes from Debt Regret, a proud member of The Association of Settlement Companies (TASC) and the International Association of Professional Debt Arbitrators and the American bankers Association. – Source

Once you open up the mailer it certainly appears to be an official government mailer or form of some sort.

Examples of Deceptive Official Marketing Sent Out By Debt Settlement Companies to Trick Consumers. Some are Members of TASC & USOBA. Examples of Deceptive Official Marketing Sent Out By Debt Settlement Companies to Trick Consumers. Some are Members of TASC & USOBA.

National Debt Relief Program – National Credit Exchange

This appears to actually be a mailer from National Credit Exchange which was confusing at first since National Credit Exchange and Endeavor Financial Solutions share the same business address. National Credit Exchange is a member of TASC. – Source

Examples of Deceptive Official Marketing Sent Out By Debt Settlement Companies to Trick Consumers. Some are Members of TASC & USOBA. Examples of Deceptive Official Marketing Sent Out By Debt Settlement Companies to Trick Consumers. Some are Members of TASC & USOBA.

National Debt Relief Foundation

The National Debt Relief Foundation site makes it appear to be some sort of government site with official looking logos and the flag. Notice the affiliate link right at the top when you click on the thumbnail of the site.

As an example of what I think is a deceptive logo in their site look at the FCAP logo they use. It looks governmental but it’s not. As they say, “The National Debt Relief Foundation, in conjunction with creditors, consumers and debt settlement companies, has created the Fair Credit Assessment Program (FCAP) and FCAP Index.”

Examples of Deceptive Official Marketing Sent Out By Debt Settlement Companies to Trick Consumers. Some are Members of TASC & USOBA.
Examples of Deceptive Official Marketing Sent Out By Debt Settlement Companies to Trick Consumers. Some are Members of TASC & USOBA. Examples of Deceptive Official Marketing Sent Out By Debt Settlement Companies to Trick Consumers. Some are Members of TASC & USOBA. Examples of Deceptive Official Marketing Sent Out By Debt Settlement Companies to Trick Consumers. Some are Members of TASC & USOBA.

Southern Division Mailer – Western Settle

The only way to identify this mailer comes from Western Settle is by comparing the telephone number. Otherwise Western Settle is nowhere to be found on the mailer. – Source

Examples of Deceptive Official Marketing Sent Out By Debt Settlement Companies to Trick Consumers. Some are Members of TASC & USOBA.Examples of Deceptive Official Marketing Sent Out By Debt Settlement Companies to Trick Consumers. Some are Members of TASC & USOBA.

Mail Dept – PaymentSOS.com

Just from looking at the outside of the mailer you would think this was an IRS mailer. It actually comes from PaymentSOS.com. – Source. But you don’t know it comes from PaymentSOS till you open the official looking mailer. Very deceptive.

Examples of Deceptive Official Marketing Sent Out By Debt Settlement Companies to Trick Consumers. Some are Members of TASC & USOBA. Examples of Deceptive Official Marketing Sent Out By Debt Settlement Companies to Trick Consumers. Some are Members of TASC & USOBA.

Official Business – ApexDebtRelief.com

This mailer from Apex Debt Relief looks like an official government mailer. After all it is OFFICIAL BUSINESS. Apex Debt Relief is a proud member of TASC. – Source. The inside of the mailer talks about being eligible for debt settlement as a result of the Governmental Economic Stimulus Act of 2008. There is no such correlation and no such act by that name. The mailer also has what appears to be a government Equal Housing Opportunity logo on the footer of the inside.

Examples of Deceptive Official Marketing Sent Out By Debt Settlement Companies to Trick Consumers. Some are Members of TASC & USOBA. Examples of Deceptive Official Marketing Sent Out By Debt Settlement Companies to Trick Consumers. Some are Members of TASC & USOBA.

Department of Disbursement – Miracle Debt Solutions

FINAL NOTICE ENCLOSED. I’m not sure what this means. maybe it is your final notice to get a fake government looking mailer from Washington, DC to sell you debt settlement services from Miracle Debt Solutions, a proud member of USOBA, yet another debt settlement trade association that seems to not have a problem with these apparently deceptive marketing practices.

You will notice the mailer proclaims the Consumers Financial Stability Plan, yep, that’s BS.

Examples of Deceptive Official Marketing Sent Out By Debt Settlement Companies to Trick Consumers. Some are Members of TASC & USOBA. Examples of Deceptive Official Marketing Sent Out By Debt Settlement Companies to Trick Consumers. Some are Members of TASC & USOBA. Examples of Deceptive Official Marketing Sent Out By Debt Settlement Companies to Trick Consumers. Some are Members of TASC & USOBA.

Consumer Debt Institute – Consumer Debt Initiative – Debt Free Associates

This mailer is interesting since it actually discloses they got the mailing list from one of more credit bureaus. Apparently they purchased a mailing list from a credit bureau since the mailer includes an opt-out notice instructing the recipient to contact the credit bureaus to opt-out of future mailings. Or maybe that’s just to throw us off the trail?

The BAIL OUT PLAN 2010 slung across the envelope helps to make this look, yet again, like it is part of some government program. Debt Free Associates is a proud member of both debt settlement industry trade associations of TASC and USOBA. – Source

Examples of Deceptive Official Marketing Sent Out By Debt Settlement Companies to Trick Consumers. Some are Members of TASC & USOBA. Examples of Deceptive Official Marketing Sent Out By Debt Settlement Companies to Trick Consumers. Some are Members of TASC & USOBA. Examples of Deceptive Official Marketing Sent Out By Debt Settlement Companies to Trick Consumers. Some are Members of TASC & USOBA. Examples of Deceptive Official Marketing Sent Out By Debt Settlement Companies to Trick Consumers. Some are Members of TASC & USOBA.

National Debt Relief Plan

This mailer even contains what looks like a check and says it can’t be detached unless present at your participating location. Huh? The National Debt Relief Plan web site is minimal and does not provide much information. – Source. Notice it also comes from a Washington, DC address in what appears to be yet another attempt to make people believe this is some sort of government form.

The endorsement space on the back of the fake looking check says, “The national debt relief plan is a consumer advocacy program entitled to help consumers out of debt.” I struggle to find the advocacy in selling the person into a debt settlement program with few, if any disclosures.

Examples of Deceptive Official Marketing Sent Out By Debt Settlement Companies to Trick Consumers. Some are Members of TASC & USOBA. Examples of Deceptive Official Marketing Sent Out By Debt Settlement Companies to Trick Consumers. Some are Members of TASC & USOBA.

TASC Calls Out These Mailers as Deceptive

The Association of Settlement Companies, a debt settlement trade association, whose very members are sending out these mailers recently posted a notice these mailers are NOT COOL and “companies like these that hurt the very consumers we are all trying to help and that give our
industry a black eye.”

Dear TASC member,

I want to bring to your attention a recent increase in companies practicing deceptive marketing; specifically, they are using letters that resemble government documents to solicit customers. It is companies like these that hurt the very consumers we are all trying to help and that give our industry a black eye.

TASC was able to get a hold of some of these marketing pieces. The return address is from Washington, D.C., with a logo of a judicial-type building. The letters use terms to confuse consumers such as “U.S. National Debt Relief Plan” and “Consumer Debt Initiative.”

Rest assured, we will do everything in our power to call attention to these deceptive practices and put these companies out of business. If you encounter any of these marketing pieces or know of any companies that use them, please let us know immediately.

TASC prides itself on holding its member companies to strict guidelines of operation. This is why we are, and will continue to be, the leading debt settlement trade association.

Sincerely,

David Leuthold
Executive Director
The Association of Settlement Companies – Source

Yet I’ve shown you above that members of TASC are in fact sending out these deceptive and scam marketing materials.

Examples of Deceptive Official Marketing Sent Out By Debt Settlement Companies to Trick Consumers. Some are Members of TASC & USOBA.The next question is what will TASC really do to slap the hand of the offending TASC members and put Debt Regret, National Credit Exchange, Apex Debt Relief, and Debt Free Associates out of business like they say? Let’s see if they nut up or shut up. Or, since so many TASC members seem to have been caught with their hand in the scam deceptive marketing jar I wonder if TASC will backtrack and say, “Well we only meant mailers with that had a logo of a judicial-type building on them. Ah, hell with it, the fake IRS stuff is just fine.

Pssst boys, don’t do that anymore and cross this line. Or that line. Or this line. Or that line.”

In fact, one of the companies caught here with official looking mailers include TASC board member Alan Barnes of Debt Regret who is the head of the TASC Web Committee. – Source. An interesting turn of events.

Bottom line on the TASC thing, it’s really hard to take TASC seriously when there don’t appear to be any consequences. Let’s really see who they boot out, if anyone. I’ll contact them for a comment. Don’t hold your breath.

Examples of Deceptive Official Marketing Sent Out By Debt Settlement Companies to Trick Consumers. Some are Members of TASC & USOBA.
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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.
  • Steve Rhode

    What is there to update?

  • Kate

    Steve, I am from Apex Debt Relief. We adhere to all FTC guidelines and compliance that went into effect on 9.27 and 10.27. You may wish to update the information on your site.

  • Kate

    Steve, I am from Apex Debt Relief. We adhere to all FTC guidelines and compliance that went into effect on 9.27 and 10.27. You may wish to update the information on your site.

    • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

      What is there to update?

  • Mike

    Steve….have you come across any companies in this field that seem to be truly interested in helping people and not a scam? My mother has contacted Eagle One and is in discussions with them but I asked her to wait until I could get any information pro or con, or another company that might be better/more reliable. Thanks!

    • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

      What is her situation?

  • darrien

    Where is the mailer from Global Debt Management? It used to be on this page (and your post located at http://getoutofdebt.org/18667/is-global-debt-management-back-by-the-government-under-the-obama-debt-stimulus-plan-to-reduce-debt-lynne states there is a deceptive mailer from Global Debt Management)

    Thanks.

    • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

      I don’t ever remember seeing one from Global and the post simply says to follow the link to see deceptive mailers, not that I had one from Global. I have not removed anything from that article.

      Steve

    • Harvey Steinberg

      Darrien, The Global Debt Management deceptive mailer you are referring to is the last one posted called “National Debt Relief Plan”. If you visit the website on the mailer http://www.nationaldebtreliefplan.com it goes right to Global Debt Management’s application page. You’ll notice the bogus testimonials they use are the same on both the http://www.globaldebtmgmt.com/ website and the http://www.nationaldebtreliefplan.com website. Call the 800# on the http://www.nationaldebtreliefplan.com website and it goes straight to Global Debt Management. They have sent deceptive mailers under Federal Debt Relief Plan, National Debt Relief Plan, National Debt Relief Program and I’m sure they are working on a new one as I right this letter. These guys are SCAM ARTISTS!

  • http://Website peter

    Steve is a closet homosexual

    • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

      Peter,

      LOL. That’s the funniest punch taken at me in a while.

      While I happen to not be gay, I do fully support the rights of the entire LGBT community and have helped gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people with debt problems for all my many years.

      Steve

  • http://Website Federal Debt Help

    Complete with Obama picture and links to treas.gov, whitehouse.gov, usa.gov, etc

    http://www.bignews.biz/?id=858661&keys=government-stimulus-relief-debt
    http://www.feddebthelp.com/

    • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

      LOL, I saw both of those links yesterday and was going to write about them but after I was too tired to do it and bring attention to yet another bozo group trying to apparently deceive consumers.

      Thanks for doing that for me.

      Steve

  • http://Website Ron Nourse

    I am responding to your recent comments regarding National Credit Exchange and our mailer campaign. It is unfortunate that we let that mailer get by us and make anyone feel misled or deceived by what we sent them. Working with marketing companies has challenges and sometimes things are overlooked or not noticed before it happens. Deceiving the public is not our intent and we will take the appropriate steps from ever letting it happen again.

    It’s upsetting to me that someone would make such comments like you have when we here at NCE take pride in changing the perception of debt settlement companies by conducting business in this industry with the highest of standards. Our staff is trained to educate the consumer about all of their options available to them for freeing themselves from their debt. They are actually required to go over these options before going into the debt settlement program we offer. We want to be certain this program is best for them. If there is a better option for them then debt settlement, we will direct them that way. We are not in the business to put anyone in a worse position than they are currently in, we do not mislead anyone when they call for information, and we are up front about all the pro’s and con’s of a debt settlement program. We are truly here to help.

    If you do a little research you will see that NCE has zero complaints with any agency because of our high standards and expectations from our staff. Misleading any consumer by our staff is not tolerated. I find it very disheartening because you immediately insinuated that we are one of the bad settlement companies out there without any research or contact with us before posting such comments on your website. I truly believe that had you made contact with us prior to your post you would have a very different opinion of National Credit Exchange and your comments would’ve been much different from what you posted.

    In regards to your opinion on TASC and them putting us out of business or that the integrity of TASC does not exist is very disappointing. I happened to have attended the TASC conference this month and it was all about compliance and making certain that all debt settlement companies associated with TASC do business with the highest integrity and standards. We agree with that and that is the purpose of us making some changes effective immediately.

    We have contacted our mail house to inform them of this misconception and will take the necessary steps to not leave any consumer with this feeling of deception with future mailings. National Credit Exchange strives to conduct business with professionalism and integrity at all times.

    If you have any questions feel free to contact Franco Bianchini (Owner) at 888-345-7243 or myself at the number below.

    Ron Nourse
    National Credit Exchange
    Senior Debt Consultant
    949-769-3534

    • http://Website daveh

      Precisely what, in English, is a “Senior” Debt Consultant? As opposed to *what*?

      Give me a break. You’re not trying to cold-call here. No bloated meaningless titles necessary. You’re a dude in a cubicle trying to sell something. Good enough. But just say so.

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