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Life After Debt System. A Way for Debt Settlement Companies to Make Extra $$$.

A tipster (send in your tips here) sent me a copy of a recent email sent out by the United States Organization of Bankruptcy Alternatives (USOBA).

The email to other USOBA members is promoting a package called Life After Debt with the message;

The Life After Debt System is a consumer financial education package allowing debt settlement companies to receive an intial profit on the sale of the product as well as a monthly residual fee as their clients revice the monthly newsletter and CD. Earn at least $300 for the initial product sale plus $29 per month for as long as the client remains in the program.

The email looks almost identical to the Life After Debt site.

Life After Debt System. A Way for Debt Settlement Companies to Make Extra $$$.

The system includes the following:

  • Generic “I-Pad” player pre-loaded with the following modules
    • 157 Page Book – “The Journey” – Reinforces the use of debt settlement as a viable option (Chapters include – the emotional price of debt, slashing spending, building wealth forever)
    • “The Life after Debt” Journal – A chapter by chapter walk through of the book helping the consumer to harness the power of decision.
    • Audio module with Debt Settlement Disclosures per USOBA
    • Audio Module with FDCPA Guide
    • Audio Module with Options for Consumers in Debt focusing on Debt Settlement as the primary solution
    • Audio Module explaining the FICO credit scoring model
    • PDF of an example “stop calling letter”
    • PDF of the entire FDCPA
    • Bonus Budgeting Software and spreadsheets
  • Monthly – The “Life After Debt” Newsletter including breaking news on financial changes impacting our clients everyday lives as well as testimonials and inspiring examples of change. Wealth building, budgeting and financial guidance.
  • Monthly – The “Life After Debt” CD including an Interview or monthly teaching offering guidance on wealth building, budgeting and mindset.
  • Lifetime Membership and Members Only Access to our “Life After Debt” Web Education Vault. Updated monthly with videos and downloads. – Source

I don’t have a clue how much it’s going to cost but if the affiliate earns $300 on the initial sale then the price must be in the $1,200+ range. The monthly is probably in the $49 range. If anyone has any feedback on exact numbers, please post them in the comments.

Troubling for me is the fact the FTC has already addressed that debt settlement companies cannot sell mandatory products as a way to get around the advance fee ban for debt settlement companies. Some companies may use this product in that way. This could be a problem and run into trouble with the FTC Telemarketing Sale Rules for debt relief services.

The FTC’s SBP makes clear that the use of the term “service” is not intended to be limiting in any way. As a result, the Commission states that “regardless of its form, anything sold to consumers that consists [sic] of a specific group of procedures to renegotiate, settle, or in any way alter the terms of a consumer debt, is covered by the definition.” Further, “he Commission believes that this definition appropriately covers all current and reasonably foreseeable forms of debt relief services, including debt settlement, debt negotiation, and debt management, as well as lead generators for these services.”

Although the Final Rule does not include “products” in the definition of “debt relief services,” the Commission notes in the SBP that this limitation should not be “used to circumvent the rule by calling a service – in which a provider undertakes certain actions to provide assistance to the purchaser – a ‘product.’ Nor can a provider evade the rule by including a ‘product,’ such as educational material on how to manage debt, as part of the service it offers.” – Source

Because of the FTC statements on included or mandatory educational products as part of debt relief services I’d have to include this offer on my watch list of potential problems for debt settlement companies because they are getting a financial benefit from it or it is used as an upsell in conjunction with another program.

Life After Debt System. A Way for Debt Settlement Companies to Make Extra $$$.
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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.
  • Rob

    Hi Steve,
    The FTC definition as specified in your article states, “As a result, the Commission states that “regardless of its form, anything sold to consumers that consists [sic] of a specific group of procedures to renegotiate, settle, or in any way alter the terms of a consumer debt, is covered by the definition.”
    This product is NOT for the purpose of renegotiating or settling debt. It is a product much like you see Dave Ramsey or Suze Orman selling to help clients with budgeting, wealth building, Identity theft and credit repair to name some of the content. The content is rich and complete and comes either in CD form or on the LAD PAD. In fact, it is less expensive than similar products offered today on the market.
    I would think the FTC (and yourself) would see the benefit in helping clients to not only get out of debt but to be fiscally responsible and avoid debt in the future. It is not sinister and is meant to be marketed to existing clients and new clients as an option ONLY. If they choose it great, if not it is at least offered.

  • Rob

    Hi Steve,
    The FTC definition as specified in your article states, “As a result, the Commission states that “regardless of its form, anything sold to consumers that consists [sic] of a specific group of procedures to renegotiate, settle, or in any way alter the terms of a consumer debt, is covered by the definition.”
    This product is NOT for the purpose of renegotiating or settling debt. It is a product much like you see Dave Ramsey or Suze Orman selling to help clients with budgeting, wealth building, Identity theft and credit repair to name some of the content. The content is rich and complete and comes either in CD form or on the LAD PAD. In fact, it is less expensive than similar products offered today on the market.
    I would think the FTC (and yourself) would see the benefit in helping clients to not only get out of debt but to be fiscally responsible and avoid debt in the future. It is not sinister and is meant to be marketed to existing clients and new clients as an option ONLY. If they choose it great, if not it is at least offered.

  • Cool Guy

    Joe, USOBA is a trade association. They don’t have the authority to shut companies down. They can dismember them or “rat them out” but that’s about it.

    Second, this is a bad product. The market will decide….

  • Joe_debt_jr

    And the funny thing is that the folks offering this has already made millions off the consumers so you are right, GREED! USOBA should be shutdown for harboring all the deceptive companies that made the industry banged up so bad with 2 broken arms, a leg and even a butt cheek so red it still hurts.

  • Guest

    This is so troubling to my spirit as these types of firms are looking to capitalize on the consumers in ways that should be included in the service free of charge if they really cared about the people they serve. This is just one more example of a company that puts their own profits first and the consumers second. The no advance fee service is sufficient to drive the bad actors out but they always seem to find some angle that puts profits in their pockets at the debt burdened consumer’s expense. This is truly sad. Here’s a novel idea: Comply with the law, put the consumers first and provide the service you are selling. Wouldn’t the world be a different place if people put others first and actually provided the services to the consumers because it’s the right thing to do? I can’t believe how depraved the world has become when greedy people take advantage of already hurting people to make a quick million bucks. This “life after debt” service pack should be included free of charge to add benefit to the service. If you don’t have the funding necessary to do the business the right way, then simply find a cheaper business to go in to. No advance fee models are very profitable, provide value to all parties and force companies to put their money where their mouths are. Whatever happened to putting the customer first?

  • Guest

    This is so troubling to my spirit as these types of firms are looking to capitalize on the consumers in ways that should be included in the service free of charge if they really cared about the people they serve. This is just one more example of a company that puts their own profits first and the consumers second. The no advance fee service is sufficient to drive the bad actors out but they always seem to find some angle that puts profits in their pockets at the debt burdened consumer’s expense. This is truly sad. Here’s a novel idea: Comply with the law, put the consumers first and provide the service you are selling. Wouldn’t the world be a different place if people put others first and actually provided the services to the consumers because it’s the right thing to do? I can’t believe how depraved the world has become when greedy people take advantage of already hurting people to make a quick million bucks. This “life after debt” service pack should be included free of charge to add benefit to the service. If you don’t have the funding necessary to do the business the right way, then simply find a cheaper business to go in to. No advance fee models are very profitable, provide value to all parties and force companies to put their money where their mouths are. Whatever happened to putting the customer first?

    • Anonymous

      And the funny thing is that the folks offering this has already made millions off the consumers so you are right, GREED! USOBA should be shutdown for harboring all the deceptive companies that made the industry banged up so bad with 2 broken arms, a leg and even a butt cheek so red it still hurts.

      • Cool Guy

        Joe, USOBA is a trade association. They don’t have the authority to shut companies down. They can dismember them or “rat them out” but that’s about it.

        Second, this is a bad product. The market will decide….

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