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Let’s Play “Do They Comply” With Premier Debt Solvers

Here is the ad I saw and I clicked on the chat button. The advertisement says Debt Relief America and they’ve been on Oprah, MSN, Today, CNN Money, and Yahoo. The company that answered the chat request was Premier Debt Solvers and they are the first company to play my new game, “Do They Comply?

Lets Play Do They Comply With Premier Debt Solvers

I’m going to point out some facts from the chat but I don’t want to take anything out of context so I’ve posted the entire chat session below for you to read.

Sales Representative says:

  • Debt settlement program is the result of bailout. “ok basically the creditors are an unregulated business. they can raise rates on you, close your acct. at anytime. so what president obama did was pass various stimulous acts that makes it easier for clients going through a financial hardship to be approved for debt relief program”
  • They will settle my debt for 40% of the balance. “we have a team of debt arbitrators that negotiate with your creditors to settle your debt for 40% of what you owe.”
  • Fee for program is 15% paid during first half of program. “fees are taken out thought half of the program”
  • The up-front fee model is better for consumers because when they switch their fee is going to go from 15% of debt to 35% of savings. “i know we are charging 35% of saving”
  • They are licensed to do business but not licensed in Texas where I said I lived and they don’t have to be.
  • The program helps to restore my credit because it reduces my debt. “the only way the program help to restore your credit is in the end when we settle with your creditors, its not the program that helps restore your credit its the natural effect of fico. When you settle your debt your debt to income ratio goes down so that improves your credit”
  • I need to stop paying my creditors. “legally i cant tell you not to pay your creditors, but if your in a financial hardship its doesnt make sence to deposit money in the trust account for settlement and pay them”
  • They only enroll credit cards they have success with. “we only enroll cards that we previously had success settling with”
  • They will settle all of my debt. “based on our estimates and results all of it”
  • The reason they were kicked out of the BBB (source) is because the BBB does not like debt settlement companies. “you cant judge a company just on a bbb rating, especially not a debt settlement company, the industry is unfairly scrutinized by the bbb.”
  • The company is owned by attorney Michael Lupolover out of New Jersey. (I think it’s this guy.)
  • Attorney run company is paying for debt settlement leads. “because we buy leads from diff vendors”
  • On October 27, 2010 they will change to a performance based model that will be more expensive. Does not mention it until asked. “yes we are changing our model to the saving model”, “as of today we only have one model, fees are taken out thought half of the program”

So, what do you think, Do They Comply? Vote now and post a comment supporting why you think they do or don’t comply.

Vote Now

Does Premier Debt Solvers Comply With The FTC Telemarketing Sales Rule?

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Lets Play Do They Comply With Premier Debt Solvers Loading ...

The chat link went to http://messenger.providesupport.com/messenger/premierdebtsolvers.html

Bob:
Can you really help me out of debt in 36 months or is this just another scam I’ve heard about?

Call accepted by operator John. Currently in room: Bob, John.

John: no sir this is certainly not a scam
John: we are one the largest debt settlement companies in the country

Bob: If it’s not a loan, how you help then
Bob: How does the credit card bailout work?

John: we have a team of debt arbitrators that negotiate with your creditors to settle your debt for 40% of what you owe.. We give the consumer 55% and take a 15% service charge
John: we then customize a payment plan that fits your budget
John: to get you debt free

Bob: Is this part of the government bailout stuff that Obama passed in the last year? I missed it. Glad I found you now.

John: sir it would be so much easier to explain this to you over the phone. Is it ok if i give you a call?

Bob: No. At work.

John: anytime later tonight?
John: Im just in the middle of a consultation and would love to devote some time to you later

Bob: OK then. I’ll move on to someone that can help me now. Bye.
Bob: Oh, who are you guys?

John: hold on bob just give me 2 minutes ill help you
John: premier debt solvers

Bob: OK

John: ok basically the creditors are an unregulated business. they can raise rates on you, close your acct. at anytime. so what president obama did was pass various stimulous acts that makes it easier for clients going through a financial hardship to be approved for debt relief program
John: And thats exactly what this is a debt settlement
John: program

Bob: OK, makes sense. Glad he passed it. I have $120,000 of credit card debt. You said your program costs 15% so does that mean I have to pay you $18,000 for you to get started now?
Bob: I don’t have $18,000 to pay right now.

John: no sir our fee is factored into your monthly payments throughout your program
John: what state are you located in ?

Bob: I’m from Texas but on a trip at a client site at the moment.
Bob: Why does the site say Debt Relief America and you say you are premier debt solvers? Odd.

John: because we buy leads from diff vendors
John: that site is not ours

Bob: Oh.
Bob: Does interest stop and how this hurt my credit

John: you will become delinquent on your accounts, we cant settle with your creditors if you are current

Bob: How about my credit then. Will the program help restore it?

John: interest does not stop with the creditors, but we have encountered that into our payments that we are giving you and we dont charge interest
John: what is your credit now

Bob: its 720 but im just making minimum payments and not sure how much longer i can continue

John: the only way the program help to restore your credit is in the end when we settle with your creditors, its not the program that helps restore your credit its the natural effect of fico. When you settle your debt your debt to income ratio goes down so that improves your credit
John: credit goes does down because of couple of factors
John: owing more than 50% of your limit
John: even without being late your score will go down
John: if your over 505 of your limit
John: 50%

Bob: Do I pay each month or when you settle the debt? How do I know you’ll actually settle the debt?

John: if you go to our site www.premierdebtsolvers.com
John: we do have our previous settlements
John: legally i cant tell you not to pay your creditors, but if your in a financial hardship its doesnt make sence to deposit money in the trust account for settlement and pay them
John: like i said before we cant settle when you are current with them
John: logically doesn’t make sense for them

Bob: How do I know if you can really settle all of my credit card debt or those letters are just some accounts you did settle. What percentage of my debt are you going to settle for $18,000 of my kids college fund?

John: we doent settle student loans

Bob: I don’t have student loans

John: we only enroll cards that we previously had success settling with

Bob: I have Citibank, Bank of America, Chase. Those should be ones you work with all the time

John: yes we do

Bob: So for a big fee you should be able to give me some sort of assurance you can settle all my debt or why pay you 18000

John: chase had been a pain lately , but we are still averaging 39% with them
John: sir let me ask you a question
John: have you ever been to the doctor?
John: and you have an illness

Bob: ok ill play along. yes

John: im giving you an example
John: and he prescribes you medicine correct
John: does he guarantee you that you will be healthy after his medicine?
John: or does he go of his past results and experience
John: thats what we do
John: we go off our past results and exp

Bob: No but if I break my leg and the doctor fixes broken lega, is an expert, he can tell me with some certainty that my leg will heal based on his expertise. So how much of my debt will you settle based on your expertise?

John: yes
John: we go of our expertise

Bob: So how much of my debt will you settle bassed on your experience?

John: thats why we are offering you the numbers

Bob: And the number is…..

John: we will settle with based on 40%
John: since you have a big debt
John: we can reduce our fee to 10%

Bob: I know that. I’m asking how much of my debt will you settle, all of it, some of it, 10% of it. Will my debt be done and gone when I finish your program?

John: so now our fee will become 12k
John: based on our estimates and results all of it
John: why would we than be in business we can only handle 10% of it
John: *if we can
John: again im going of our previous estimates and results

Bob: While I’m killing time here at the support desk I looked you guys up and can you help me to understand why the BBB revoked you guys. It says “this company’s accreditation in BBB was revoked by BBB’s Board of Directors due to failure to maintain minimum BBB Rating.” That’s not good.
Bob: I want to avoid being scammed.

John: you cant judge a company just on a bbb rating, especially not a debt settlement company, the industry is unfairly scrutinized by the bbb. Also premier debt solvers is owned and operated by an attorney

Bob: Client walked in. sorry. I’m back

John: we dont have any outstanding complaints
John: its ok Bob

Bob: An attorney, that’s good. Whose the attorney? Is he in Texas?

John: No he is in New Jersey

Bob: Who is it? I’d like to know the guy that’s going to represent me then.

John: He is not going to represent you sir, like i said before he only owns the company

Bob: OK, now you’ve got me curious who he is and why you won’t tell me who is is even if I’m giving you $12,000. Fishy.

John: Sir i have no reasons to hide anything, if you want you can call and the attorney that owns the company will speak to you gladly

Bob: OK, who is he then and what’s the number?

John: his name is Michael , the office number is 1877-857-6583 ask for him
John: he will give you all his credentials

Bob: Seriously, no last name? LOL

John: lupolover

Bob: Or do you not know his name?
Bob: OK, thank you.

John: i hope i disclosed everything

Bob: According to this Fox news article today I pay the fee after you settle my debt. Is that correct? http://www.foxbusiness.com/personal-finance/2010/10/13/ftc-issues-final-rules-protect-consumers-credit-card-debt/
Bob: On Oct. 27, debt-relief companies are prohibited from collecting a fee upfront. Under this provision, the company must successfully settle or negotiate at least one of the consumer’s debts and the consumer must make at least one payment to the creditor before any fees are paid.

John: and you understood everything
John: yes we are changing our model to the saving model
John: on oct 27 sir

Bob: So I should wait till then

John: if you would like

Bob: Wouldn’t you?

John: its up to you sir, the only diff is that we collect when we settle
John: that doesnt not change your payment
John: you have the same office working on negotiating your debt
John: and your debt will be paid of faster
John: in the saving model
John: i know we are charging 35% of saving
John: so the fee might be larger that it is today
John: i am not sure

Bob: That’s a big difference though. You originally said I’d have to pay the fee monthly but if you guys are going to start collecting the fee after you actually settle the debt that’s a better deal for me.

John: its not finalized
John: i guess so
John: its better for the cunsomer
John: consumer
John: in a way

Bob: I guess if you are guaranteeing you’ll settle all my debt as you said then paying it up front is cheaper.

John: again i am not guaranteeing i am going of our previous results
John: and we dont enroll any cards that we have previously not settled

Bob: You already said you’ve settled my creditors.

John: what i can guarantee is excellent serivce sir
John: we have settled those cards
John: and we are enrolling them as of today
John: you have 30 day notice of cancellation with us
John: if you are nto happy
John: *not

Bob: So I can sign up now and pay the fee when you settle without having to pay anything now? That’s a good deal.
Bob: Can you help me with bankruptcy if I decide to do that?

John: as of today we only have one model, fees are taken out thought half of the program
John: on the 27 we will the saving model and fees will only be taken out when we settle
John: yes we can
John: if you would like
John: the choice is yours sir

Bob: As I said before, I live in Texas. I just checked with the state site and it says Premier Debt Solvers is not authorized or licensed to do business in Texas. Why not?
Bob: Business Name premier debt solvers was not found.

John: we can refer to an attorney in texas for bankruptcy
John: as of today the state of Texas does not require debt settlement companies to have an attorney in that state of Texas, to practice debt settlement
John: some states do
John: not texas

Bob: But the state requires companies doing business in the state to be licensed in that state even if they are not located there.

John: their are 2 models in debt settlement , red and green
John: Red states require an attorney to negotiate on the debt
John: green states dont require
John: texas is a green state

Bob:
“Transacting Business in Texas: A foreign entity that is transacting business in Texas must file an application for registration with the Texas Secretary of State.”
Bob: http://www.sos.state.tx.us/corp/foreign_outofstate.shtml

John: maybe they mean foreign as out of the country
John: we are in compliance with the industry sit
John: sir
John: i hope i answered all your questions

Bob:
Seriously? Out of the country? Actually that’s not what they mean.

John: i am in the enrollment department sir

Bob: I am in the potential client department

John: i gave the number to our office, you can speak to the attorney to go into this deep details
John: i dont know all of these deep details
John: i am being very up front with you sir

Bob: Why would I want to do that when you are representing the company to me and selling me a $12,000 service you’d think you’d be up on this stuff. Otherwise, are you a doctor or a quack?

John: sir i am sorry but i answered as much as i can
John: if you want you can provide with your contact info
John: and i can have our senior manager call you
John: he knows these details better than me

Bob: That’s OK, I think I’ve had all I can take. – Source

Lets Play Do They Comply With Premier Debt Solvers
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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.
  • LOL

    Hi.
    I don’t want to say  it’s a scam(yet) , but I will find out very soon.
    One of  our creditors is suing us , and I was thinking  what if  ML playing this game:
    They collecting their service fees first(I understand , it’s not possible anymore) , do nothing to settle the debts , but let the clients to go to court and deal with the creditors by themself , then just pay back some of the money they have collected on the settlement account , and trala , the end of the story!
    Not a  bad profit , right?

    • DJ

      Just wondering what hapened in this issue?

  • Guest

    I note their websites are all down and they seem to have changed names, again, a sure sign of a scam.

  • Steve Rhode

    David,

    You’d need specific legal advice regarding a specific situation. I
    would suggest that you contact the debt industry lawyers at href=”http://getoutofdebt.org/21955/venable-presents-overview-of-the-new-consumer-financial-protection-act”>Venable
    or Loeb
    & Loeb
    before you made ANY reliance on that exemption.

    The smart play is NOT to rely on that as an exemption. Too many gotchas.

    Steve

  • David

    Thanks for all the information, I studied all of it carefully.

    Regarding the exception mentioned above of “(9) transacting business in interstate commerce;”, if that exception cannot be used by an out-of-state corporation selling debt settlement services to TX consumers, then do you have any idea in what type of situation that exception could that be used?

  • Steve Rhode

    David,

    Excellent question and on first glance someone might think the phrase ” transacting business in interstate commerce” gives them a pass. They’d be wrong.

    It’s not that simple and every business should error on the side of registration. This Texas document might help understand the complexity of the issue.

    On top of all of that, “The level of a foreign entity’s activity in Texas that subjects it to franchise taxes is lower than the level of activity that subjects it to registration requirements. An entity that is doing business in Texas for purposes of franchise taxes may not necessarily be “transacting business” in Texas for purposes of registration with the secretary of state.” They’d still need to register for franchise tax.

    Now this matter is further complicated if the company has an affiliates or agents that live in or have offices in Texas. If they do it could be make the matter murkier. Here is the link to the Texas Nexus questionnaire.

    States have different standards as to when a business is transacting business within that state but every state requires registration for foreign entities doing business in their state.

    So what happens if a foreign entity that was required to register under the Texas Business Organizations Code? There are several consequences that could affect a business’s relationship with both the State and any relationships it has with domestic entities.

    First, the Attorney General is empowered to enjoin the foreign entity from transacting business in the State if the entity is not registrered or the registration was obtained through false or misleading information.

    Second, and perhaps the most important consequence, a foreign entity that fails to register may not maintain an action, suit, or proceeding in a Texas court on a cause of action that arises out of the transaction of business in Texas. While this sounds quite punitive, the failure to register does NOT: affect the validity of any contract; prevent the entity from defending an action, suit , or proceeding; or cause any owner, member, or manager to be come personally liable for the debts, obligations, or liabilities.

    Third, there is a civil penalty for failing to register. The penalty is the amount of all fees and taxes that should have been imposed from the time the entity first should have registered plus penalties and interest imposed by law. – Source

    I recognize the surprise in your comment that certainly a national company would not have to register in all 50 states. Actually, they need to register in those states they do business in. This is why companies use the services of a national registered agent like CSC. They are the ones I used when I was registered in a large number of states. There is also CT Corporation or Unisearch.

    Steve

  • David

    Hi Steve,
    I completely agree with you that this salesrep was awful in explaining the program. But there is just one point in what you said I am wondering about if it was fair. Its the one sentence about that they need to file an application for registration with the Texas Secretary of State. Are you sure about that? For a national company that would be 50 secretary of state registrations. I reviewed the statute at http://www.statutes.legis.stat… “Sec. 9.251. ACTIVITIES NOT CONSTITUTING TRANSACTING BUSINESS IN THIS STATE.”, and it gives a list of exceptions: “(9) transacting business in interstate commerce;”. I think they are engaged in interstate commerce, so was is correct to say that they need to register with the Secretary of State?

  • David

    Hi Steve,
    I completely agree with you that this salesrep was awful in explaining the program. But there is just one point in what you said I am wondering about if it was fair. Its the one sentence about that they need to file an application for registration with the Texas Secretary of State. Are you sure about that? For a national company that would be 50 secretary of state registrations. I reviewed the statute at http://www.statutes.legis.state.tx.us/Docs/BO/htm/BO.9.htm#9.251 “Sec. 9.251. ACTIVITIES NOT CONSTITUTING TRANSACTING BUSINESS IN THIS STATE.”, and it gives a list of exceptions: “(9) transacting business in interstate commerce;”. I think they are engaged in interstate commerce, so was is correct to say that they need to register with the Secretary of State?

    • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

      David,

      Excellent question and on first glance someone might think the phrase ” transacting business in interstate commerce” gives them a pass. They’d be wrong.

      It’s not that simple and every business should error on the side of registration. This Texas document might help understand the complexity of the issue.

      On top of all of that, “The level of a foreign entity’s activity in Texas that subjects it to franchise taxes is lower than the level of activity that subjects it to registration requirements. An entity that is doing business in Texas for purposes of franchise taxes may not necessarily be “transacting business” in Texas for purposes of registration with the secretary of state.” They’d still need to register for franchise tax.

      Now this matter is further complicated if the company has an affiliates or agents that live in or have offices in Texas. If they do it could be make the matter murkier. Here is the link to the Texas Nexus questionnaire.

      States have different standards as to when a business is transacting business within that state but every state requires registration for foreign entities doing business in their state.

      So what happens if a foreign entity that was required to register under the Texas Business Organizations Code? There are several consequences that could affect a business’s relationship with both the State and any relationships it has with domestic entities.

      First, the Attorney General is empowered to enjoin the foreign entity from transacting business in the State if the entity is not registrered or the registration was obtained through false or misleading information.

      Second, and perhaps the most important consequence, a foreign entity that fails to register may not maintain an action, suit, or proceeding in a Texas court on a cause of action that arises out of the transaction of business in Texas. While this sounds quite punitive, the failure to register does NOT: affect the validity of any contract; prevent the entity from defending an action, suit , or proceeding; or cause any owner, member, or manager to be come personally liable for the debts, obligations, or liabilities.

      Third, there is a civil penalty for failing to register. The penalty is the amount of all fees and taxes that should have been imposed from the time the entity first should have registered plus penalties and interest imposed by law. – Source

      I recognize the surprise in your comment that certainly a national company would not have to register in all 50 states. Actually, they need to register in those states they do business in. This is why companies use the services of a national registered agent like CSC. They are the ones I used when I was registered in a large number of states. There is also CT Corporation or Unisearch.

      Steve

      • David

        Thanks for all the information, I studied all of it carefully.

        Regarding the exception mentioned above of “(9) transacting business in interstate commerce;”, if that exception cannot be used by an out-of-state corporation selling debt settlement services to TX consumers, then do you have any idea in what type of situation that exception could that be used?

      • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

        David,

        You’d need specific legal advice regarding a specific situation. I
        would suggest that you contact the debt industry lawyers at Venable
        or Loeb
        & Loeb
        before you made ANY reliance on that exemption.

        The smart play is NOT to rely on that as an exemption. Too many gotchas.

        Steve

  • Guest

    Dear Jimhandler61,
    Do you have any relation to EDS Management?

  • Guest

    Dear Jimhandler61,
    Do you have any relation to EDS Management?

  • ComplianceSlave

    Id be shocked if they called them retainer fees. Further shocked if your friend was in a 16 year program- Probably a 4 year but with a model that charges fees usually over 18 months, IF they ever negotiate his debts, it will take (on a graded fee scale) 18-24 months to have any significant savings to settle debt. Steve has advice on the homepage for getting out of a program, but it’s unlikely. Your friend should have scrutinized the contract & if you ever feel a “hard sell” on the phone- RUN

  • Altezahun

    a family friend had been lied to, when signing the service agreement he was told that premier debt solvers with begin working with creditors in 2 months. premier debt services collected payments for 4 months but did begin any negotiations with the creditors. after 4 months my friend had been told that the company will not start any negotiations until they collect 25% of the total amount he owns, which will be in approx 4 years. my friend cancelled the agreement but then was informed that only 300 of 4000 he paid will be returned to him. the rest are retainer fees that company now earned and will not return to him. what can he do to collect the money?

  • Altezahun

    a family friend had been lied to, when signing the service agreement he was told that premier debt solvers with begin working with creditors in 2 months. premier debt services collected payments for 4 months but did begin any negotiations with the creditors. after 4 months my friend had been told that the company will not start any negotiations until they collect 25% of the total amount he owns, which will be in approx 4 years. my friend cancelled the agreement but then was informed that only 300 of 4000 he paid will be returned to him. the rest are retainer fees that company now earned and will not return to him. what can he do to collect the money?

    • http://www.ftc.gov ComplianceSlave

      Id be shocked if they called them retainer fees. Further shocked if your friend was in a 16 year program- Probably a 4 year but with a model that charges fees usually over 18 months, IF they ever negotiate his debts, it will take (on a graded fee scale) 18-24 months to have any significant savings to settle debt. Steve has advice on the homepage for getting out of a program, but it’s unlikely. Your friend should have scrutinized the contract & if you ever feel a “hard sell” on the phone- RUN

  • Steve Rhode

    Sean,

    I’m always open to new ideas.

    Steve

  • ComplianceSlave

    There it is! Thank you Andy. BTW, I am speaking to a few people @ rev share leads for a limited # of states we are looking at. I suggested I know someone else who runs a honest shop- Be happy to pass you his info & details of what I am trying to do (if you like).

    Steve- I have some suggestions for the mystery shopper!! Let me know if i can help!

  • Steve Rhode

    Sean,

    We’ll be playing “Do They Comply” again next week and I’ll pick another company at random or by suggestion. I already have a guest judge lined up for it.

    The bottom line is these real world examples and discussions help people to spot what to change, if they give a damn.

    Steve

  • Andy Faria

    Hey Sean,

    From pg 145 of the TSR document (Timing of Disclosures):

    Under the Final Rule, the disclosures must be made before any act or communication that signifies the consumer’s consent to pay, such as sending full or partial payment; providing credit card, bank account or other billing information, stating agreement to a transaction, or invoking an electronic process used to electronically sign an agreement. This change applies to all disclosures required by the TSR

    It may not need to explained every time on the initial call, but we prefer to do it that way. As long is its disclosed “before a customer consents to pay” it looks as if it would fly.

  • ComplianceSlave

    By the way, I didnt vote- I see SO much worse every day- I hear the crap our prospective clients are told by law firms, sales companies and others & although it may fall short of pure compliance (and sucked as a sales pitch or even an honest assessment of possible solutions for Steve), its 80% better than my usual competition! It’s a start.

  • ComplianceSlave

    Andy-
    Are you reading the TSR that the time frame for a “bona fide offer” should explained before? We added it to our contract but does it need to explained in an initial call? I didn’t read it that way (not picking, I really would like your opinion here!). I appreciate full disclosure aspect and we would need more info to offer an idea of when we might begin to negotiate.

    I agree with the balance of your statements, except that John ONLY brought up the “savings model” when prompted. He then really was hard pressed to admit that that model might be more consumer friendly. If, within 2 weeks, a company’s model will be changing to the success based model we both have always used, And, if that model offers the ability to force the representative company to earn their $, & offers the ability to begin settling debt year(s) earlier… I find that to be deceptive- the fact that they would NOT say “You should wait 2 weeks!”

    Further, under the attorneys Model Rules of Professional Conduct some issues may arise: What does the fact that an attorney is the owner of the company “Also premier debt solvers is owned and operated by an attorney” have to do with anything? By representing this immaterial fact, it is NOT a stretch to say that it could be looked at as unlicensed soliciting or practice of law. Then he mentions he can refer Steve to a Bankruptcy lawyer. Are they a lawyer referral service? If the refer to an attorney i assume (say what you want) that a fee is collected!- can only be shared with a LRS or an attorney…

    Michael- I appreciate your response, however, and I am not questioning your ethics- But I have my finger on the button in the South Florida area of this business and believe me, if you aren’t LILLY WHITE the AG’s in 41 states are preparing for a field day. That applies to State Judiciary compliance people as well. Wrong or right, they have been directed to challenge EVERYTHING. AND I’ve seen some of the complaints… They are even reaching in my opinion but they do not seem to care- They’ve been informed that debt settlement is “an evil placed upon society” (I wish that was not in one of the grievances I’ve come across)…

    Once your model changes, and your people are better versed on “deceptive trade” and requirements of the TSR… keep on eye on them (sales)! Commissioned sales people have been taught to lie from the beginning! It usually is what separates successful PHONE sales people from the rest. My hope is that once no one can lie, the liars all go away. Best of luck.

  • Steve Rhode

    Now that’s the type of quality response and action that people will appreciate.

  • Andy Faria

    I’ll play. I voted no, and I did so mostly because of what was left out.

    John never mentioned the time frame until a “bonafide offer” will be made. Let’s be real here, if Bob is paying $1000/mo in fees over the next 18 months, it’s going to be quite some time before he has the available funds to settle anything. This is important information that Bob needs to know and will will certainly influence his decision to enroll in the program.

    There was no mention about the potential for lawsuits. If Bob stops paying on $120k in debt it is likely that he will be sued at some point by at least one of his creditors, especially if he owns a home, vehicles, or remains current on his secured debts. This was left out and is also very important info that Bob needs to know.

    There was no discussion about Bob’s income or hardship. None at all. This may not actually be a mandatory FTC disclosure, but for any reputable dsc, this is one of the first and most important questions to ask. In the real world Bob needs to be able to set aside about 60k over the next 1-3 years in order for debt settlement to be an effective option for him, and yes he needs to know this too.

    John did mention that they will be switching to the “saving model” on 10/27, which is a good thing, but he has a lot of work to do on his script before then though. He is going to lose his company a lot of money, unless he gets better at explaining debt settlement. To just robotically read through disclosures as if they are a chore will lead to signing up the wrong people, and signing up the wrong people costs lots of time and money to a company operating under the “saving model”.

  • http://northeast-properties.com Andy Faria

    I’ll play. I voted no, and I did so mostly because of what was left out.

    John never mentioned the time frame until a “bonafide offer” will be made. Let’s be real here, if Bob is paying $1000/mo in fees over the next 18 months, it’s going to be quite some time before he has the available funds to settle anything. This is important information that Bob needs to know and will will certainly influence his decision to enroll in the program.

    There was no mention about the potential for lawsuits. If Bob stops paying on $120k in debt it is likely that he will be sued at some point by at least one of his creditors, especially if he owns a home, vehicles, or remains current on his secured debts. This was left out and is also very important info that Bob needs to know.

    There was no discussion about Bob’s income or hardship. None at all. This may not actually be a mandatory FTC disclosure, but for any reputable dsc, this is one of the first and most important questions to ask. In the real world Bob needs to be able to set aside about 60k over the next 1-3 years in order for debt settlement to be an effective option for him, and yes he needs to know this too.

    John did mention that they will be switching to the “saving model” on 10/27, which is a good thing, but he has a lot of work to do on his script before then though. He is going to lose his company a lot of money, unless he gets better at explaining debt settlement. To just robotically read through disclosures as if they are a chore will lead to signing up the wrong people, and signing up the wrong people costs lots of time and money to a company operating under the “saving model”.

    • http://www.ftc.gov ComplianceSlave

      Andy-
      Are you reading the TSR that the time frame for a “bona fide offer” should explained before? We added it to our contract but does it need to explained in an initial call? I didn’t read it that way (not picking, I really would like your opinion here!). I appreciate full disclosure aspect and we would need more info to offer an idea of when we might begin to negotiate.

      I agree with the balance of your statements, except that John ONLY brought up the “savings model” when prompted. He then really was hard pressed to admit that that model might be more consumer friendly. If, within 2 weeks, a company’s model will be changing to the success based model we both have always used, And, if that model offers the ability to force the representative company to earn their $, & offers the ability to begin settling debt year(s) earlier… I find that to be deceptive- the fact that they would NOT say “You should wait 2 weeks!”

      Further, under the attorneys Model Rules of Professional Conduct some issues may arise: What does the fact that an attorney is the owner of the company “Also premier debt solvers is owned and operated by an attorney” have to do with anything? By representing this immaterial fact, it is NOT a stretch to say that it could be looked at as unlicensed soliciting or practice of law. Then he mentions he can refer Steve to a Bankruptcy lawyer. Are they a lawyer referral service? If the refer to an attorney i assume (say what you want) that a fee is collected!- can only be shared with a LRS or an attorney…

      Michael- I appreciate your response, however, and I am not questioning your ethics- But I have my finger on the button in the South Florida area of this business and believe me, if you aren’t LILLY WHITE the AG’s in 41 states are preparing for a field day. That applies to State Judiciary compliance people as well. Wrong or right, they have been directed to challenge EVERYTHING. AND I’ve seen some of the complaints… They are even reaching in my opinion but they do not seem to care- They’ve been informed that debt settlement is “an evil placed upon society” (I wish that was not in one of the grievances I’ve come across)…

      Once your model changes, and your people are better versed on “deceptive trade” and requirements of the TSR… keep on eye on them (sales)! Commissioned sales people have been taught to lie from the beginning! It usually is what separates successful PHONE sales people from the rest. My hope is that once no one can lie, the liars all go away. Best of luck.

      • http://www.ftc.gov ComplianceSlave

        By the way, I didnt vote- I see SO much worse every day- I hear the crap our prospective clients are told by law firms, sales companies and others & although it may fall short of pure compliance (and sucked as a sales pitch or even an honest assessment of possible solutions for Steve), its 80% better than my usual competition! It’s a start.

      • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

        Sean,

        We’ll be playing “Do They Comply” again next week and I’ll pick another company at random or by suggestion. I already have a guest judge lined up for it.

        The bottom line is these real world examples and discussions help people to spot what to change, if they give a damn.

        Steve

      • http://northeast-properties.com Andy Faria

        Hey Sean,

        From pg 145 of the TSR document (Timing of Disclosures):

        Under the Final Rule, the disclosures must be made before any act or communication that signifies the consumer’s consent to pay, such as sending full or partial payment; providing credit card, bank account or other billing information, stating agreement to a transaction, or invoking an electronic process used to electronically sign an agreement. This change applies to all disclosures required by the TSR

        It may not need to explained every time on the initial call, but we prefer to do it that way. As long is its disclosed “before a customer consents to pay” it looks as if it would fly.

      • http://www.ftc.gov ComplianceSlave

        There it is! Thank you Andy. BTW, I am speaking to a few people @ rev share leads for a limited # of states we are looking at. I suggested I know someone else who runs a honest shop- Be happy to pass you his info & details of what I am trying to do (if you like).

        Steve- I have some suggestions for the mystery shopper!! Let me know if i can help!

      • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

        Sean,

        I’m always open to new ideas.

        Steve

  • Michael Lupolover

    I would like to reply to the article, as well as the comments above. I am Michael Lupolover, the owner of the company, Premier Debt Solvers. First and foremost, you should know that nor I or anyone within my organization has made or endorsed the comments mentioned above. As to the article and the transcript of the chat. I agree with the fact that many of the statements made by the representative were incorrect and the representative should have been more informed. What should be understood is when you have numerous enrollment agents it is nearly impossible to vet them completely. However, if you were to read our agreement, listen to our recorded third party verification and Compliance/Welcome call you would see that by the time a customer enrolls into the program they SHOULD be fully informed of all that and more of what you saw as
    a concern. This is not to say that the enrollment agent shouldn’t be advising the clients of the same. So to clear the air I also vote that, NO, this was not a compliant chat. Steps will be taken to reenforce training on the agents.

    Lastly, I should mention that we are juggling to comply with the new TSR by not looking into what are thought by many to be loopholes of the new rule but to implement the new rule within our business practices by vetting all lead vendors, enrollment officers and the greatest challenge of not charging advance fees. I welcome any questions or comments to be emailed directly to me [email protected] as I am not a common visitor to this website.

  • Michael Lupolover

    I would like to reply to the article, as well as the comments above. I am Michael Lupolover, the owner of the company, Premier Debt Solvers. First and foremost, you should know that nor I or anyone within my organization has made or endorsed the comments mentioned above. As to the article and the transcript of the chat. I agree with the fact that many of the statements made by the representative were incorrect and the representative should have been more informed. What should be understood is when you have numerous enrollment agents it is nearly impossible to vet them completely. However, if you were to read our agreement, listen to our recorded third party verification and Compliance/Welcome call you would see that by the time a customer enrolls into the program they SHOULD be fully informed of all that and more of what you saw as
    a concern. This is not to say that the enrollment agent shouldn’t be advising the clients of the same. So to clear the air I also vote that, NO, this was not a compliant chat. Steps will be taken to reenforce training on the agents.

    Lastly, I should mention that we are juggling to comply with the new TSR by not looking into what are thought by many to be loopholes of the new rule but to implement the new rule within our business practices by vetting all lead vendors, enrollment officers and the greatest challenge of not charging advance fees. I welcome any questions or comments to be emailed directly to me [email protected] as I am not a common visitor to this website.

    • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

      Now that’s the type of quality response and action that people will appreciate.

  • Joe_debt_jr

    let’s requote this from the chat made by John: “so what president obama did was pass various stimulous acts”. John on that chat i think broke everything on this TSR comment: Consumer Protection Concerns
    Debt settlement plans, as they are often marketed and implemented, raise several
    consumer protection concerns. First, many providers’ advertisements and ensuing telemarketing
    pitches include false, misleading, or unsubstantiated representations, including claims that
    • the provider will or is highly likely to obtain large debt reductions for enrollees, e.g., a
    50% reduction of what the consumer owes;68
    • the provider will or is highly likely to eliminate the consumer’s debt entirely in a specific
    time frame, e.g., 12 to 36 months;69
    • harassing calls from debt collectors and collection lawsuits will cease;70
    • the provider has special relationships with creditors and expert knowledge about available techniques to induce settlement;71 and
    • the provider’s service is part of a government program, through the use of such terms as
    “credit relief act,” “government bailout,” or “stimulus money”

  • Joe_debt_jr

    you are right, alot of talks about these debt settlement folks jumping into tax and that is going to be just as bad as debt settlement. these people need to understand the true concept of placing consumer first before themselves. there is plenty of honest money to be made out there and there is tons of consumers in need of honest help and having difficulties now searching for them. I wonder when will this all end when people realizes, that what they are doing is wrong, deceptive and unfair to consumers? I think when you operate in a financial world, dealing with people that is distress and confused is no different than taking advantage of a highly medicated depress individual. How can you sleep at night knowing you had just walked up to a highly medicated individual and take all their money?

  • Joe_debt_jr

    as for the chat that linked to that misleading landing page, i like how it is linked back to a debt settlement company owned by an attorney michael lopulover who is also willing to risk everything to break the new TSR ruling already. and its funny how John stated on the chat: “ok basically the creditors are an unregulated business. they can raise rates on you, close your acct. at anytime.” I take it he didnt see the big white house press meeting back in March 2009 when Obama signed the new Credit Card Reform Act and he didnt read the news update when the law went full affect Feb 28th of 2010. So much for educating the consumer and giving proper advise and guidance. My vote hell hell no on this company.

  • Steve Rhode

    Thank you Joe Debt, Jr.

    People just don’t seem to understand it’s just been the season of debt settlement but the tax relief companies are budding and will soon become more in the news.

    And that you for noticing I have praised companies when I can and I have called others out when necessary. I do always try to be fair.

  • Joe_debt_jr

    lol.. i really love how you can always address people accusation, they should step back and start researching your site to see if there is any wrong doings before they just lash out at you Steve. Example, getting paid to advertise, your in favor of this or that etc… For all the reader sake, I went thru this whole site to see how genuine Mr.Rhode is when he writes these articles and to my suprising, he just dont focus on debt settlement or debt industry, he pretty covers anything that is consumer related issues. Praise to you Steve!!!

  • Steve Rhode

    Jim,

    Apologies for not responding sooner, it was night, I was asleep.

    I see a few hours latter in this thread you responded to a comment from Damon Day with what appears a more level headed approach so I’m going to let most of your threats and accusations slide off my back here.

    For the sake of my response I will assume that when you calmed down you did notice the link under the ad block at the top on every page that says, “Why we have ads and information about them.” Hopefully you clicked on that link and read my full disclosure about ads.

    The one statement you made that I do want to specifically address is when you said: “Looking at the convo that you had with the debt settlement specialist you obviously are trying to catch him on his correct statements…”

    Actually I would love to secret shop companies and find them to be doing a great job. So I guess you could say I was obviously trying to catch him in correct statements.

    I published the entire chat session so readers would not accuse me of taking observations out of context and make them look better or worse than they actually were.

    I even showed the ad that led me to connect with what I am assuming is a company you are connected with. I’m making that assumption from your response to a Damon Day comment.

    You may also notice that I did not make any public vote if I felt the conversation was or was not in compliance. I had left that up to readers and the public to vote.

    I have no axe to grind with your company, Premier Debt Solvers. The reason I picked Premier Debt Solvers was because a tipster sent me an email saying “This is compliance???” and sent me the following links:

    http://thecreditcardbailout.com/?_kk=debt%20relief&_kt=b9caa87e-dda4-4f23-890c-20744b2bb650&gclid=CNzOn_eg0KQCFQK87QodOTKSQg

    http://www.bbb.org/new-jersey/business-reviews/real-estate-consultants/premier-consultant-group-in-englewood-cliffs-nj-90065691

    So I clicked on the credit card bailout link and thought the company was Debt Relief America and didn’t get the connection to Premier Debt Solvers until the sales rep told me the company I was having the conversation with was PDS. At that point the link to the BBB made sense.

    As I write this the voting is 18 to 4 that the sales pitch given does not comply with the TSR. Of the four votes that it does, three of the four come from the New York City area, near where your offices are. The other came from an AT&T wireless phone. If I toss out those votes and look at the rest that comes from all over the country, the voting then become 18 to 0.

    From the valid votes cast, most people feel the sales pitch does not comply with the FTC TSR and this then becomes an opportunity for you to put a solution in place. Intentionally violating the TSR can be very costly to you, $16,000 per incidence, and the chat session above could cost your company $16,000+ depending on if the FTC would view all of the violations as one incident.

    The person I feel badly for is that sales rep who was clearly way in over his head. He either needs to be pulled offline and retrained or you may even want to consider taking your entire operation offline for a few days and focus on retraining them. The first wave of TSR regulations went into effect on September 27, 2010 and the issues that appear most problematic apply to that sent of regulations.

    If you need a good law firm to advise you on compliance issues so you don’t run afoul of marketing rules then I’d suggest Loeb & Loeb or Venable (contact info is in those articles). Both of those firms have legal experts in debt relief compliance.

  • Mike Reilly

    Jim, here are just a few thoughts on this secret shop:

    a.The TRS clearly states you cannot turn a deaf ear or a blind eye to your vendors knowing they are utilizing misleading and deceptive advertisement.

    John: because we buy leads from diff vendors
    John: that site is not ours

    b.Help me make sense of this: He is implying that when we settle your debt your score will improve….true or false?

    John: the only way the program help to restore your credit is in the end when we settle with your creditors, it’s not the program that helps restore your credit it’s the natural effect of fico. When you settle your debt your debt to income ratio goes down so that improves your credit
    John: credit goes does down because of couple of factors
    John: owing more than 50% of your limit
    John: even without being late your score will go down
    John: if your over 505 of your limit
    John: 50%

    c.This is the best one, did he use the Presidents name and imply that his actions make it easier for people to join debt relief services?

    John: ok basically the creditors are an unregulated business. they can raise rates on you, close your acct. at anytime. so what president obama did was pass various stimulous acts that makes it easier for clients going through a financial hardship to be approved for debt relief program
    John: And thats exactly what this is a debt settlement

    Jim, if I were a regulator conducting this secret shop, this firm would have big trouble. What happen to the basic questions…hardship, or in this case the potential hardship, assets, with a 720 score there could be other options, employment, spouse, children, budget etc…. It’s clear to me that the individual conducting the chat is very inexperienced and should not be in that position. Debt settlement is not for everyone who inquires, it takes an in-depth analysis to determine the situation.

    Just my opinion

    Michael Reilly, CDS
    Emerge America

  • Mike Reilly

    Jim, here are just a few thoughts on this secret shop:

    a. The TRS clearly states you cannot turn a deaf ear or a blind eye to your vendors knowing they are utilizing misleading and deceptive advertisement.

    John: because we buy leads from diff vendors
    John: that site is not ours

    b. Help me make sense of this: He is implying that when we settle your debt your score will improve….true or false?

    John: the only way the program help to restore your credit is in the end when we settle with your creditors, it’s not the program that helps restore your credit it’s the natural effect of fico. When you settle your debt your debt to income ratio goes down so that improves your credit
    John: credit goes does down because of couple of factors
    John: owing more than 50% of your limit
    John: even without being late your score will go down
    John: if your over 505 of your limit
    John: 50%

    c. This is the best one, did he use the Presidents name and imply that his actions make it easier for people to join debt relief services?

    John: ok basically the creditors are an unregulated business. they can raise rates on you, close your acct. at anytime. so what president obama did was pass various stimulous acts that makes it easier for clients going through a financial hardship to be approved for debt relief program
    John: And thats exactly what this is a debt settlement

    Jim, if I were a regulator conducting this secret shop, this firm would have big trouble. What happen to the basic questions…hardship, or in this case the potential hardship, assets, with a 720 score there could be other options, employment, spouse, children, budget etc…. It’s clear to me that the individual conducting the chat is very inexperienced and should not be in that position. Debt settlement is not for everyone who inquires, it takes an in-depth analysis to determine the situation.

    Just my opinion

    Michael Reilly, CDS
    Emerge America

    • Anonymous

      let’s requote this from the chat made by John: “so what president obama did was pass various stimulous acts”. John on that chat i think broke everything on this TSR comment: Consumer Protection Concerns
      Debt settlement plans, as they are often marketed and implemented, raise several
      consumer protection concerns. First, many providers’ advertisements and ensuing telemarketing
      pitches include false, misleading, or unsubstantiated representations, including claims that
      • the provider will or is highly likely to obtain large debt reductions for enrollees, e.g., a
      50% reduction of what the consumer owes;68
      • the provider will or is highly likely to eliminate the consumer’s debt entirely in a specific
      time frame, e.g., 12 to 36 months;69
      • harassing calls from debt collectors and collection lawsuits will cease;70
      • the provider has special relationships with creditors and expert knowledge about available techniques to induce settlement;71 and
      • the provider’s service is part of a government program, through the use of such terms as
      “credit relief act,” “government bailout,” or “stimulus money”

  • Jimhandler61

    but it cant be done over night

  • Jimhandler61

    damon . i totally agree with you. We are in the process of doing everything that you just mentioned

  • Damon Day

    Jim, perhaps the problem is that your operation has a huge marketing expense and requires sales people to try and sell it to everyone who contacts them. You sell a product that by its very nature should not be sold to a majority of people who call in, and the only way to meet your numbers, whether you would admit it or not, is to have unqualified sales reps pitching a program that is a bad solution for most of the leads that call in. However you have to cover your huge overhead that all these companies keep mentioning and therefore the consumer suffers by getting pitched an over priced program that is not a tailored and specific solution to the client. Perhaps the real answer is that you need to scale everything back cut way down on all of your ads, and only have qualified financial experts conduct actual consultations to screen clients for financial appropriateness in your program. Debt settlement is way over sold as a magic solution to everyones debt problems. The numbers don’t lie.

  • Jimhandler61

    Mike i do have a clue. I manage a company in New York, I dont want to mention the name i dont need Steve to make a post about us. Since he sees only negatives not positives. You have to understand that companies that are staying in business with the saving model are adjusting to the ftc ruling.And they need time. If a company is staying in business and is going to offer the saving model.They are legit. This operation has a huge marketing expense and is a lot to sustain.Clearly the individual was on the right path. He explained that the program had many negative effects.
    a) they are not offering any guarantees
    b)the program does not restore your credit score
    c)He also admitted that they will be offering the saving model on the 27th and gave you a choice to pick either one
    d) he told you that legally he cant tell you not to pay your creditors
    e) he also told you that the attorney will not represent you
    f) he explained to you that the site is not theirs, you have to understand this just came to law in the last 2 weeks, it is very hard to handle everything at once. A lot of the vendors (affiliates) that send traffic are not in compliance and it is very hard to control them. Also I checked out their site and it is complaint, premier.
    g) the questions that he couldn’t answer , he offered you a phone number to call their upper management
    e) he told you about their fees and broke them down and explained about the amortization

    Yes couple of things he was not up to date, but he has the right path. I am sure he answered your questions better than 80% of the enrollment counselors today. I am sorry for my previous vulgar comments i was just very mad how you approached this article i been reading this site for about a year. Give the guy a break he did a good job in my opinion.

  • Mike Reilly

    Clearly John has no clue. It’s amazing the firm is or could be owned by an attorney.

    They won’t last long.

    Michael Reilly, CDS
    Emerge America

  • Mike Reilly

    Clearly John has no clue. It’s amazing the firm is or could be owned by an attorney.

    They won’t last long.

    Michael Reilly, CDS
    Emerge America

    • Jimhandler61

      Mike i do have a clue. I manage a company in New York, I dont want to mention the name i dont need Steve to make a post about us. Since he sees only negatives not positives. You have to understand that companies that are staying in business with the saving model are adjusting to the ftc ruling.And they need time. If a company is staying in business and is going to offer the saving model.They are legit. This operation has a huge marketing expense and is a lot to sustain.Clearly the individual was on the right path. He explained that the program had many negative effects.
      a) they are not offering any guarantees
      b)the program does not restore your credit score
      c)He also admitted that they will be offering the saving model on the 27th and gave you a choice to pick either one
      d) he told you that legally he cant tell you not to pay your creditors
      e) he also told you that the attorney will not represent you
      f) he explained to you that the site is not theirs, you have to understand this just came to law in the last 2 weeks, it is very hard to handle everything at once. A lot of the vendors (affiliates) that send traffic are not in compliance and it is very hard to control them. Also I checked out their site and it is complaint, premier.
      g) the questions that he couldn’t answer , he offered you a phone number to call their upper management
      e) he told you about their fees and broke them down and explained about the amortization

      Yes couple of things he was not up to date, but he has the right path. I am sure he answered your questions better than 80% of the enrollment counselors today. I am sorry for my previous vulgar comments i was just very mad how you approached this article i been reading this site for about a year. Give the guy a break he did a good job in my opinion.

      • http://DamonDay.com Damon Day

        Jim, perhaps the problem is that your operation has a huge marketing expense and requires sales people to try and sell it to everyone who contacts them. You sell a product that by its very nature should not be sold to a majority of people who call in, and the only way to meet your numbers, whether you would admit it or not, is to have unqualified sales reps pitching a program that is a bad solution for most of the leads that call in. However you have to cover your huge overhead that all these companies keep mentioning and therefore the consumer suffers by getting pitched an over priced program that is not a tailored and specific solution to the client. Perhaps the real answer is that you need to scale everything back cut way down on all of your ads, and only have qualified financial experts conduct actual consultations to screen clients for financial appropriateness in your program. Debt settlement is way over sold as a magic solution to everyones debt problems. The numbers don’t lie.

      • Jimhandler61

        damon . i totally agree with you. We are in the process of doing everything that you just mentioned

      • Jimhandler61

        but it cant be done over night

  • Jimhandler61

    I am just looking for an honest answer, not a war. In a war nobody wins.Why do you allow these deceptive ads on your home page i want an honest answer.

  • Jimhandler61

    *google adwords

  • Jimhandler61

    *google adwords

  • Jimhandler61

    and if you erase my post without a legit answer, i will personally spend a lot of funds and hire a an seo team to demolish your name and your site.I will be posting my self everyday on rippoff report and compalaintsboard Be carefull with your answer. Again my question is why are you calling these companies scam artists when you are making money though good adwords and posting their adds on your site??????????????????????????????????????????

  • Jimhandler61

    and if you erase my post without a legit answer, i will personally spend a lot of funds and hire a an seo team to demolish your name and your site.I will be posting my self everyday on rippoff report and compalaintsboard Be carefull with your answer. Again my question is why are you calling these companies scam artists when you are making money though good adwords and posting their adds on your site??????????????????????????????????????????

  • Jimhandler61

    Steve, I been following your posts for a while since your such a nice guy and are so concerned with this industry. Why are allowing debt settlement companies advertise on your site though google adwords. You are making a living on scam companies with their scam add on your site that you get paid for. Looking at the convo that you had with the debt settlement specialist you obviously are trying to catch him on his correct statements, not cool. If you are an honest guy you should be 100% honest not 80%. Please stop playing both sides of the field like dirty whore

  • Jimhandler61

    Steve, I been following your posts for a while since your such a nice guy and are so concerned with this industry. Why are allowing debt settlement companies advertise on your site though google adwords. You are making a living on scam companies with their scam add on your site that you get paid for. Looking at the convo that you had with the debt settlement specialist you obviously are trying to catch him on his correct statements, not cool. If you are an honest guy you should be 100% honest not 80%. Please stop playing both sides of the field like dirty whore

    • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

      Jim,Apologies for not responding sooner, it was night, I was asleep.I see a few hours latter in this thread you responded to a comment from Damon Day with what appears a more level headed approach so I’m going to let most of your threats and accusations slide off my back here.For the sake of my response I will assume that when you calmed down you did notice the link under the ad block at the top on every page that says, “Why we have ads and information about them.” Hopefully you clicked on that link and read my full disclosure about ads.The one statement you made that I do want to specifically address is when you said: “Looking at the convo that you had with the debt settlement specialist you obviously are trying to catch him on his correct statements…”Actually I would love to secret shop companies and find them to be doing a great job. So I guess you could say I was obviously trying to catch him in correct statements.I published the entire chat session so readers would not accuse me of taking observations out of context and make them look better or worse than they actually were. I even showed the ad that led me to connect with what I am assuming is a company you are connected with. I’m making that assumption from your response to a Damon Day comment. You may also notice that I did not make any public vote if I felt the conversation was or was not in compliance. I had left that up to readers and the public to vote.I have no axe to grind with your company, Premier Debt Solvers. The reason I picked Premier Debt Solvers was because a tipster sent me an email saying “This is compliance???” and sent me the following links:http://thecreditcardbailout.com/?_kk=debt%20relief&_kt=b9caa87e-dda4-4f23-890c-20744b2bb650&gclid=CNzOn_eg0KQCFQK87QodOTKSQghttp://www.bbb.org/new-jersey/business-reviews/real-estate-consultants/premier-consultant-group-in-englewood-cliffs-nj-90065691So I clicked on the credit card bailout link and thought the company was Debt Relief America and didn’t get the connection to Premier Debt Solvers until the sales rep told me the company I was having the conversation with was PDS. At that point the link to the BBB made sense.As I write this the voting is 18 to 4 that the sales pitch given does not comply with the TSR. Of the four votes that it does, three of the four come from the New York City area, near where your offices are. The other came from an AT&T wireless phone. If I toss out those votes and look at the rest that comes from all over the country, the voting then become 18 to 0.From the valid votes cast, most people feel the sales pitch does not comply with the FTC TSR and this then becomes an opportunity for you to put a solution in place. Intentionally violating the TSR can be very costly to you, $16,000 per incidence, and the chat session above could cost your company $16,000+ depending on if the FTC would view all of the violations as one incident.The person I feel badly for is that sales rep who was clearly way in over his head. He either needs to be pulled offline and retrained or you may even want to consider taking your entire operation offline for a few days and focus on retraining them. The first wave of TSR regulations went into effect on September 27, 2010 and the issues that appear most problematic apply to that sent of regulations.If you need a good law firm to advise you on compliance issues so you don’t run afoul of marketing rules then I’d suggest Loeb & Loeb or Venable (contact info is in those articles). Both of those firms have legal experts in debt relief compliance.

      • Anonymous

        lol.. i really love how you can always address people accusation, they should step back and start researching your site to see if there is any wrong doings before they just lash out at you Steve. Example, getting paid to advertise, your in favor of this or that etc… For all the reader sake, I went thru this whole site to see how genuine Mr.Rhode is when he writes these articles and to my suprising, he just dont focus on debt settlement or debt industry, he pretty covers anything that is consumer related issues. Praise to you Steve!!!

      • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

        Thank you Joe Debt, Jr.

        People just don’t seem to understand it’s just been the season of debt settlement but the tax relief companies are budding and will soon become more in the news.

        And that you for noticing I have praised companies when I can and I have called others out when necessary. I do always try to be fair.

      • Anonymous

        you are right, alot of talks about these debt settlement folks jumping into tax and that is going to be just as bad as debt settlement. these people need to understand the true concept of placing consumer first before themselves. there is plenty of honest money to be made out there and there is tons of consumers in need of honest help and having difficulties now searching for them. I wonder when will this all end when people realizes, that what they are doing is wrong, deceptive and unfair to consumers? I think when you operate in a financial world, dealing with people that is distress and confused is no different than taking advantage of a highly medicated depress individual. How can you sleep at night knowing you had just walked up to a highly medicated individual and take all their money?

      • Anonymous

        as for the chat that linked to that misleading landing page, i like how it is linked back to a debt settlement company owned by an attorney michael lopulover who is also willing to risk everything to break the new TSR ruling already. and its funny how John stated on the chat: “ok basically the creditors are an unregulated business. they can raise rates on you, close your acct. at anytime.” I take it he didnt see the big white house press meeting back in March 2009 when Obama signed the new Credit Card Reform Act and he didnt read the news update when the law went full affect Feb 28th of 2010. So much for educating the consumer and giving proper advise and guidance. My vote hell hell no on this company.

  • Michael

    I voted NO. You should add an option for “Hell No”.

    I wonder though, because it was internet chat, whether it is actionable under the TSR’s?

  • Michael

    I voted NO. You should add an option for “Hell No”.

    I wonder though, because it was internet chat, whether it is actionable under the TSR’s?

    • Jimhandler61

      I am just looking for an honest answer, not a war. In a war nobody wins.Why do you allow these deceptive ads on your home page i want an honest answer.

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