Latest Posts
Home > Debt Relief Industry > Bogus Department of Consumer Debt Mailer Really Clear Debt Solution and Legal Helpers Debt Resolution

Bogus Department of Consumer Debt Mailer Really Clear Debt Solution and Legal Helpers Debt Resolution

The BBB recently released a copy of a couple of official looking debt settlement mailers labeled the U.S. Debt Reduction Initiative that appears to come from a government agency, Department of Consumer Debt. It’s all a lie.

Bogus Department of Consumer Debt Mailer Really Clear Debt Solution and Legal Helpers Debt Resolution
Click on image for larger view

Bogus Department of Consumer Debt Mailer Really Clear Debt Solution and Legal Helpers Debt Resolution
Click on image for larger view

Bogus Department of Consumer Debt Mailer Really Clear Debt Solution and Legal Helpers Debt Resolution
Click on image for larger view

So in order to get to the bottom of who is behind what I feel to be an intentionally deceptive mailer, I called one of the numbers on the mailer. You can listen to the call below. The identifying information is in the part before I’m put on hold. You can stop listening at the hold music.

I made it as far as the call center but they identified the number in the mailer as belonging to Legal Helpers Debt Resolution and Clear Debt Solution.

Apparently there is a relationship between Legal Helpers Debt Resolution, LLC and Clear Debt Solution, a proud TASC member. – Source. On the Legal Helpers Debt Resolution site they show a link to Clear Debt Solution. – Source

In my opinion this deceptive mailer is one of the most misleading I’ve seen. Not only does it clearly appear to come from a government agency but it uses phrases like:

  • Status of Refund: Pending
  • Form T-09-A
  • Department of Consumer Debt
  • Debt Relief Eligibility Notice
  • Tax Year
  • Balance Reduction Notification
  • U.S. Debt Reduction Initiative

It is only down in the very fine print that a disclosure is given that the mailer is not associated with a government agency. In my opinion the mailer is CLEARLY intended to deceive recipients that it is an official government notice.

The mailer appears to clearly violate the advertising standards of The Association of Settlement Companies (TASC) who say:

Following are the recent clarifications regarding what TASC deems to be deceptive:

  • Using any depiction of a government official, government seal, government document or other symbols or imagery designed to give the impression the advertisement or its content is related to the government.
  • Using the terms “bailout,” “government program” or other terminology that implies or that gives the impression a debt settlement program is part of a government service or program.
  • Using references to laws, acts or common names of laws (such as Consumer Credit Reform Act) that implies or gives the impression that a consumer has a legal remedy to settle or reduce debt.
  • Any combination of the above concepts or terminology such that a reasonable consumer might believe the service being offered is related to the government.

Source

And as of today as I write this, Clear Debt Solution is still a member of TASC. – Source

This mailer released by the BBB is shameful in my opinion. According to the BBB many people have received this or similar mailer labeled U.S. Debt Reduction Initiative.

Better Business Bureau has received multiple reports from local consumers who received a letter informing them they may be eligible for debt relief through their program.

The notification letter expresses urgency in responding immediately as this is a “FINAL NOTICE” of eligibility and no further notice will be sent. Although the name “US Debt Reduction Initiative” is on the letterhead the company is not approved or endorsed by a government agency.

Typically with debt settlement or negotiation services, the consumer pays an upfront fee to the debt settlement firm with the understanding that the company will try to negotiate a settlement with creditors for less than what is owed. – Source

These insanely deceptive government mailers must stop. Not only do they make the debt settlement industry, and TASC, look horrible, but they are attempting to mislead consumers in an effort to sell them upfront fee debt settlement services to line their own pockets through lies and advertising fraud.

Mailers like this demand tough debt settlement rules, legislation and regulation. And what is ironic is that the two mailers were sent out after the presentation of the Debt Settlement Consumer Protection Act of 2010. It is exactly as if these companies don’t give a damn about reining themselves in one bit.

Is profits over people the legacy the debt settlement industry really wants?

Bogus Department of Consumer Debt Mailer Really Clear Debt Solution and Legal Helpers Debt Resolution
Get Out of Debt Guy – Twitter, G+, Facebook

This post is the result of a tip that was sent to me. Thanks! You know who you are.

Update: June 10, 2010

Clear Debt Solution posted the following statement in the comments below.

I would like to personally thank Clear Debt Solution for taking this matter seriously and taking swift and decisive action to remedy it.

My suggestion Clear Debt Solution, best to check out the mailer BEFORE you sign up for marketing services.

Dear Steve,

On behalf of, and as a managing partner of Clear Debt Solution, I’d like to thank you for posting this information.

The mailer in question was not mailed out by Clear Debt Solution. It was created and mailed out by a third party Lead Generation company that charges a fee on a “per call” basis. The calls generated from the mailer go into a general pool of debt settlement companies and are then routed to any number of companies. We had never seen the mail piece before, and upon seeing it today, immediately terminated the relationship. The toll free number used is not a Clear Debt Solution number.

We take this matter very seriously, and absolutely do not condone the use of misleading marketing. We’re taking additional steps to ensure it never happens again.

Also, just to clarify the relationship between Clear Debt Solution and Legal Helpers Debt Resolution. Clear Debt Solution debt specialists screen and refer prospective leads to a number of groups, including Legal Helpers Debt Resolution. Legal Helpers Debt Resolution was in no way affiliated with this marketing, and none of this has been sanctioned by Legal Helpers Debt Resolution.

I can always use your help. If you have a tip or information you want to share, you can get it to me confidentially if you click here.

Bogus Department of Consumer Debt Mailer Really Clear Debt Solution and Legal Helpers Debt Resolution 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.
  • Steve Rhode

    Legal Helpers Debt Resolution has just been sued by the Attorney General of Illinois. You can read the suit here.

  • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

    Legal Helpers Debt Resolution has just been sued by the Attorney General of Illinois. You can read the suit here.

  • kcmiranda437

    Thanks for this. I received this form and was so close to calling in on it. Being my usually cynical self, I decided to research it first and found your site. Probably saved me a lot of heartache. Thanks!
    ~C~

  • kcmiranda437

    Thanks for this. I received this form and was so close to calling in on it. Being my usually cynical self, I decided to research it first and found your site. Probably saved me a lot of heartache. Thanks!
    ~C~

  • Brock

    JUNE 16TH, 2010

    Steve I just received the exact same mailer from what claims to be “Department of Consumer Debt” National Debt Relief.

    Thanks for the heads up.

    Brock

  • Amy

    Dear Steve,

    On behalf of, and as a managing partner of Clear Debt Solution, I’d like to thank you for posting this information.

    The mailer in question was not mailed out by Clear Debt Solution. It was created and mailed out by a third party Lead Generation company that charges a fee on a “per call” basis. The calls generated from the mailer go into a general pool of debt settlement companies and are then routed to any number of companies. We had never seen the mail piece before, and upon seeing it today, immediately terminated the relationship. The toll free number used is not a Clear Debt Solution number.

    We take this matter very seriously, and absolutely do not condone the use of misleading marketing. We’re taking additional steps to ensure it never happens again.

    Also, just to clarify the relationship between Clear Debt Solution and Legal Helpers Debt Resolution. Clear Debt Solution debt specialists screen and refer prospective leads to a number of groups, including Legal Helpers Debt Resolution. Legal Helpers Debt Resolution was in no way affiliated with this marketing, and none of this has been sanctioned by Legal Helpers Debt Resolution.

    • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

      Amy,

      Thank you for your comment, taking the matter seriously, seeing the issue and taking swift and specific action.

      I need to give Clear Debt Solution a pat on the back for doing the right thing on this matter.

      Steve

  • Steve is a Fraud

    Steve you have an “Ad” on your page for a Debt Settlement Company that say’s “Obama’s Credit Bailout Plan!” Who’s the one deceiving people? Here’s the link from “YOUR” webpage:

    http://www.creditreliefact.com/?ref=db1&type=1a

    This link takes you to a “Non” Government Program and it’s deceiving.

    • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

      For information on ads, see the site terms. It’s all covered in there.

      Rather than just pissing at me anonymously, do you have a point?

      You know who I am, who are you, or do you just want to hurl insults behind fake names?

      Steve

  • I Am On To You

    Sean Ryan, I am with you. I have received tons of marketing adds that look just like this. I understand the difference between marketing adds and government policy. I don’t believe Steve actually asked if the company was enacting a government policy, or a govt. program. I have also encountered many adds that tell me my car warranty can be extended through some government program, that I also understood to be a marketing add, that looked very similar to the same debt advertisement above. For whom ever is too dense enough to realize the govt. bail out was for the Banks doesn’t deserve to have their debts reduced.

  • Anastesia Beaverhausen

    What a scammer this guy is! This guy filed bankruptcy and then become a financial consultant and tells people who to trust when he’s just as irresponsible as his clients. Would this be a prime example of the blind leading the blind?

    Additionally, it appears as though some of his clients include debt settlement companies — Could it be that he is smearing the names of other companies in order to make his clients look better?

    http://www.scamchecker.com/content/steve-rhode-getoutofdebtorg-myvestaorg-beware-steve-rhode-and-getoutofdebtorgthis-company-fr

    Let’s just file this crap under ‘kettle and black’.

    • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

      LOL. Did you not just see my answer to the other similar comment? I surprised you didn’t since both comments were posted from the same computer.

      Steve

      • Anastesia Beaverhausen

        While I did not see that comment before posting my own, I completely agree with your whistle blower. I am at my own computer, at home… Nobody else is here… Steve is that you???

  • Steve is a Fraud
    • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

      Yep, that’s all bullshit and I’ve talked about that many times before. See this link if you want to see the original B.S. piece that came from and my rebuttal.

      Steve

      • I Am On To You

        Sean Ryan, I am with you. I have received tons of marketing adds that look just like this. I understand the difference between marketing adds and government policy. I don’t believe Steve actually asked if the company was enacting a government policy, or a govt. program. I have also encountered many adds that tell me my car warranty can be extended through some government program, that I also understood to be a marketing add, that looked very similar to the same debt advertisement above. For whom ever is too dense enough to realize the govt. bail out was for the Banks doesn’t deserve to have their debts reduced.

  • http://active-debt.com Sean Ryan

    would have been interesting to hear how they answer the question of “is this part of the gvt bailout”- How a company gets your attention is one thing tho- What they tell you when you call is the heart of the problem- No-one goes after Hollywood for putting out previews that make some awful movies look great- Could be said to be deceptive as well. The line needs to drawn at the explanation level. As far as deceptive marketing, deceptive & marketing can be interchangeable terms. I have NEVER eaten a Big Mac that looked anything like the one on TV- Were I to complain to McD’s however, they’d likely refund my $3-

    • I Am On To You

      I agree. This is just an add.

    • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

      Sean,

      Labeling this a deceptive advertisement is not by my definition alone. The Association of Settlement Companies says it is also. It seems the mailer above falls right into line with the deceptive marketing guidelines the debt settlement trade association sent out. From the TASC site:

      Following are the recent clarifications regarding what TASC deems to be deceptive:

      - Using any depiction of a government official, government seal, government document or other symbols or imagery designed to give the impression the advertisement or its content is related to the government.

      - Using the terms “bailout,” “government program” or other terminology that implies or that gives the impression a debt settlement program is part of a government service or program.

      - Using references to laws, acts or common names of laws (such as Consumer Credit Reform Act) that implies or gives the impression that a consumer has a legal remedy to settle or reduce debt.

      - Any combination of the above concepts or terminology such that a reasonable consumer might believe the service being offered is related to the government.

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.