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Debt Relief Providers to See General Slowdown Until Credit Loosens

As part of what I’m seeing out in the debt relief world, the demand for debt relief services in general is slowing for everybody in the debt relief space.

It’s been interesting to watch credit counseling blame debt settlement, and debt settlement blame bankruptcy and bankruptcy blame everyone for the lower demand for services.

I just posted an article on lower bankruptcy filings for the tail of 2010 from the year before and I expect to see filings, when compared for the same time period last year, drop.

Jay Fleishman, a bankruptcy attorney that helps other bankruptcy attorneys market their practices just told me “Lots of my consumer bankruptcy lawyer colleagues are in slowdown mode and have been for some time.” On Twitter (@JayFleishman) he said “Too many lawyers flooded the field when the recession hit. So now people are just broke and angry.”

This just reinforces what I’ve been saying.

My opinion is it’s time for good debt relief to stop sinking money into finding just those few consumers that match your niche solution and instead widen your solution base to serve all the consumers that contact you.

With a falling number of consumers that need bankruptcy, debt settlement, or credit counseling; trying to compete just for your niche client is only going to get more expensive since acquisition costs will remain steady or increase as the demand for the smaller audience of consumers who need X solution, falls.

The irony is that while many debt settlement companies are angry and blame regulation and the government for killing their industry, the fact is the shrinking demand for services was doing that already. Consumers that are stone broke don’t have money for repayment solutions. The most at risk solution to this slowdown is probably credit counseling that provides little to no monthly payment reduction.

Debt relief services will always be needed but until credit begins to loosen up and consumers start absorbing new debt, expect demand for debt relief help to only continue to trend downward.

Debt Relief Providers to See General Slowdown Until Credit Loosens
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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.
  • Mike Reilly

    One more thing, the video you have on your blog about the guy bragging about the 7k+ commission….priceless

  • Mike Reilly

    I think you didn’t post it because you are sensible, period the end. I am confident you speak with people from all walks of life and I’m also sure plenty of folks visit your site, so you were smart not to post it. Why take the chance of possibly offending someone when there’s no need to take the risk, no matter the benefit. Damon if the language was removed or bleeped over you would have never heard a word out of my mouth and that’s the truth. The video may have been spot-on in some respects but, clearly overboard.

  • Damon Day

    Yes Mike, you all know why I didn’t post it because I just told you. You have seen my blog. How many articles do I post per month?

    Let me make sure I understand what you think you understand. At first you claim that I am vulgar because I used the word bullshit. You are so offended by that, you have publicly claimed you would not do business with me (which is fine since I work directly for my clients and couldn’t give a rip about what a debt settlement company thinks about me) but now you are clinging to this idea that I did not post the video because it had bad language in it.

    So the big point you think you are making is that the video did not appeal to my level of decency so I didn’t post it? So which is it Mike? Are you trying to say that the video was so off color that I would not feel comfortable posting it, or that I am such a vulgar individual you must try and point out that you are some how a level above me? Sort of hard to argue both isn’t it?

  • Mike Reilly

    Ahh what’s the use, I think we all know why you didn’t post it and you’re just not going to admit it. I read it all and you did not answer it until now, and if thats all you got well great.

  • Damon Day

    actually it is not.

    Your questions have all been answered

  • Damon Day

    I answered it buddy. You ask me a handful of questions and then don’t take the time to read the answers. I will repeat my response again. I only post a few articles a month. I see hundreds of things that I don’t post because of time constraints. Is that what you are hinging your gotcha on? I didn’t post the video myself? Steve usually posts about 5 to 10 articles a day. I spend a majority of my time doing consultations. Are you seriously on the edge of your seat waiting for that answer? Wow Mike, again (The more you write, the more I wonder.)

    At this point I cannot tell if Emerge America is simply offended by me as they assininely claim or simply afraid of my message, but I will post the question on blog. It is interesting enough to me that I think it warrants an article. I want to find out if Mike has really got his britches all up in a bunch simply because I used the word bullshit. I have to believe he has some deeper issues with what I do. I guess I will find out soon.

    P.S. The only people that attack me are the ones that are afraid of my message. They don’t attack my message because they can’t find a way to attack it, so they try and attack me. Anyone who followed this original back and forth would clearly see you took a sideways pot shot at me for using the word “bullshit”. I responded to it and you soon found that you gave yourself no good way out.

    Now I welcome the controversy. Controversy leads to awareness and that in turn to education for consumers. However, from the beginning I was trying to tell you that you coming after me would not do you any PR favors. I don’t think you have a bad company, so I really didn’t want to defend myself at your expense, but you ignored all of my hints. So here we are. Keep swinging if you would like.

  • MIke Reilly

    In my short time on this site all I ever hear is the same old rap from you Damon, everyone attacks Damon, poor Damon how can this be, he’s so much better than everyone else?

    I knew for sure you would try and skirt the answer to the first question and you made a good attempt at hedging yourself but at the end of the day you did not answer why you didn’t post the video to your site? That’s what this is all about Damon and you know it. I made a comment about the video, stuck to my guns, period.

    So let’s look at your answers, I will do what I did earlier and post my comment after your thought.

    Damon wrote;
    This is becoming amusing for me and a train wreck all at the same time. What is it that you think you are gaining here Mike? I am just curious.

    Ans, an understanding of Damon Day

    Ok, here are the answers to your questions. For someone who isn’t attacking me you certainly seem to be throwing a lot of questions at me and insisting on an answer. That is weird right?

    Ans, what’s weird is, you do it all the time and when the shoe is on the other foot it becomes an attack.

    A few of my criteria for recommending a debt settlement company?
    1. They have been in business at least 3 years and preferably 5.
    2. They were performance based even before the FTC required them to be so.
    3. They charge a fee that is much lower than the typical settlement company.
    4. They have a track record that shows clear results, little to no complaints.

    Debt settlement isn’t rocket science. If the company puts the client first, the rest is easy, providing you only bring on the right clients. Of course any client I tell to look at settlement is the right client, or I wouldn’t tell them to look at it.

    Those are some of the main things I look for. Keep in mind. I don’t tell a client who to hire. I just give them the names of companies that I know are good and have known of them for quite a while. Then they have a list of good companies that they can chose from, or chose a completely different company and ask me for my opinion. I won’t just give my opinion. I will also give the reasons for my opinion and they can decide if I make sense or if I am just full of it. The fact that I can get them a large discount with pretty much any debt settlement company just sweetens the deal for my client don’t you think?

    Ans, yes, all good answers, like debt settlement the same holds true for debt coaching, it’s the furthest thing from rocket science.

    How involved I am with a client after the initial consultation is up to the client. Some clients only have one consultation, others might want to have me available in the future. It is up to them.

    I don’t typically just point my clients in a specific direction and that is it. I use a process whereby we look at multiple scenarios based on various possible circumstances and work through various solutions with some if/then scenarios. The difference is, that I make sure my clients don’t get into anything that their current or likely future circumstances makes it unlikely they will be able to complete. If they lose their job and possibly have to file BK, there is nothing I can do about that, but I certainly will prepare them for that.

    Ans, so what this sounds like is, most of your clients once engaged in a service you recommend (unless they reach out to you) for the most part is not going to report success or failure, therefore in many cases you do not know the results or effects of your recommendations, correct?

    If you are willing to bet your “financial analysis” that you do for free is more insightful than what I do with my clients, how much are you prepared to lose? The facts are simple, you are spending a ton of money on this SEO campaign you are talking about. You make all or a bulk of your money when you sell your debt settlement program. In contrast, I spend 0 dollars on advertising, all of my clients are referrals, and I get paid specifically for providing good, unbiased information. I make the same amount of money regardless of what the client needs. Is it logical to think that you recommend debt settlement much more often than I do? You can answer that question, but the facts are, you would go out of business if you only recommended hiring a debt settlement company as often as I do.

    Ans, Damon, I can tell you for a fact that the majority of consumers we speak with through SEO are not as good a candidate for DS as compared to DM or BK, hense the other programs we offer however, when using data from the credit bureau’s the information is filtered in such ways that better defines the consumers condition providing us with higher pre-qualified candidates for DS, at the end of the day common sense and a deep financial analysis dictate the program or the lack thereof.

    There are times when hiring a debt settlement company is the best move for the client. There are also times when the client can clearly do it themselves. There are then other times where multiple solutions are possible, but knowing which one is the best will require a much more in depth understanding of the clients overall circumstances.

    I will let the consumer decide which one of us will do a better job covering that. The one that sells one of the options, or the one that sells none of them… Hmm lets think about this for bit.

    Ans, people buy carfax’s from the dealers all day long and still purchase cars from them. I think if you had every consumers ear that was in trouble you wouldn’t be playing here.

    Would you prefer to go to a fee based financial planner and pay for non incentivized advice. Or go get a free financial analysis where the planner makes money only on the loaded mutual funds and insurance that he recommends you need?

    Ans, Track record is everything so if im paying for advice I would expect a clear record of success by the majority and if the firm providing the advice could not produce it, I would think twice.

    Sorry, “facts is facts,” whether you agree with them or not.

    Ans, I agree completely provable facts are facts

    No sales pressure? That is great, glad to hear it. There is a difference between no sales pressure and professional bias. The facts are clear. Bankruptcy attorneys tend to recommend BK as the best solution more often than not, Debt settlement recommends debt settlement, CCCS recommends what they do. Whether you realize it or not, if you did not get paid for signing someone up into debt settlement and you were really focusing on the client with a blank slate (and you knew what was best for the client) I guarantee you would refer less clients to settlement. You can disagree all day long, but your business model requires you to do that.

    Ans, thats why I carry them all…no pressure… if one really need help and they fit better in one product over another then that’s more than likely the solution, same thing you do.

    Oh, here you go with the fear again. Yup. That is what I am doing. I am just making up all of this bad stuff about debt settlement to scare people. Funny how none of my clients ever complain about me isn’t it? I think there is definitely some fear going on, but it isn’t coming from me or my clients.

    Ans, there is nothing you can tell me that would make me believe you don’t use everything that has transpired in the DS industry to your benefit, your in a for profit business Damon, give us all a break, you promote fear.

    I fool “Know” one? How specifically am I not fooling anyone? Do I say things that are untrue?

    As fun as this is for me, I am sure it is a total drag for consumers to read when the best you can do is jump up and down about answering your questions. I am sure I missed one or two of them somewhere and that will be your next bone of contention. However, instead of acting like idiots and getting out our measuring sticks, why don’t we do something constructive?

    How about consumers in debt can call you and listen to what you have to say. Then they can call me for the right information and decide whether one of us actually makes good sense or if we are both just full of crap. What do you think?

    Ans, i’m cool with that.

    I am curious. Do you really believe this stuff you write, or have you just run out of ways to try and logically discredit what it is that I do?

    Ans, that not what i’m doing at all, look in the mirror buddy.

    “Run for the hills…. Don’t talk to Damon…. He is just a fear monger… You shouldn’t listen to anything he says…. Please just sign up in my program without talking to him because he will scare you away…. He is a bad guy and said bullshit…. Stay away from him please.”

    That is about what I have cleaned from this exchange so far. Why are you so afraid of consumers talking to me Mike?

    Ans, again, I’m not at all afraid. Like you when I speak to a consumer in financial trouble, not to pat myself on the back but, when I complete my analysis their not talking with anyone else.

    So there you have it, one final answer and I feel great, don’t make us all wait, you’ve had plenty of time to think up a good one…the video, why didn’t you post that spot-on consumer warning on your site?

  • Damon Day

    This is becoming amusing for me and a train wreck all at the same time. What is it that you think you are gaining here Mike? I am just curious.

    Ok, here are the answers to your questions. For someone who isn’t attacking me you certainly seem to be throwing a lot of questions at me and insisting on an answer. That is weird right?

    A few of my criteria for recommending a debt settlement company?
    1. They have been in business at least 3 years and preferably 5.
    2. They were performance based even before the FTC required them to be so.
    3. They charge a fee that is much lower than the typical settlement company.
    4. They have a track record that shows clear results, little to no complaints.

    Debt settlement isn’t rocket science. If the company puts the client first, the rest is easy, providing you only bring on the right clients. Of course any client I tell to look at settlement is the right client, or I wouldn’t tell them to look at it.

    Those are some of the main things I look for. Keep in mind. I don’t tell a client who to hire. I just give them the names of companies that I know are good and have known of them for quite a while. Then they have a list of good companies that they can chose from, or chose a completely different company and ask me for my opinion. I won’t just give my opinion. I will also give the reasons for my opinion and they can decide if I make sense or if I am just full of it. The fact that I can get them a large discount with pretty much any debt settlement company just sweetens the deal for my client don’t you think?

    How involved I am with a client after the initial consultation is up to the client. Some clients only have one consultation, others might want to have me available in the future. It is up to them.

    I don’t typically just point my clients in a specific direction and that is it. I use a process whereby we look at multiple scenarios based on various possible circumstances and work through various solutions with some if/then scenarios. The difference is, that I make sure my clients don’t get into anything that their current or likely future circumstances makes it unlikely they will be able to complete. If they lose their job and possibly have to file BK, there is nothing I can do about that, but I certainly will prepare them for that.

    If you are willing to bet your “financial analysis” that you do for free is more insightful than what I do with my clients, how much are you prepared to lose? The facts are simple, you are spending a ton of money on this SEO campaign you are talking about. You make all or a bulk of your money when you sell your debt settlement program. In contrast, I spend 0 dollars on advertising, all of my clients are referrals, and I get paid specifically for providing good, unbiased information. I make the same amount of money regardless of what the client needs. Is it logical to think that you recommend debt settlement much more often than I do? You can answer that question, but the facts are, you would go out of business if you only recommended hiring a debt settlement company as often as I do.

    There are times when hiring a debt settlement company is the best move for the client. There are also times when the client can clearly do it themselves. There are then other times where multiple solutions are possible, but knowing which one is the best will require a much more in depth understanding of the clients overall circumstances.

    I will let the consumer decide which one of us will do a better job covering that. The one that sells one of the options, or the one that sells none of them… Hmm lets think about this for bit.

    Would you prefer to go to a fee based financial planner and pay for non incentivized advice. Or go get a free financial analysis where the planner makes money only on the loaded mutual funds and insurance that he recommends you need?

    Sorry, “facts is facts,” whether you agree with them or not.

    No sales pressure? That is great, glad to hear it. There is a difference between no sales pressure and professional bias. The facts are clear. Bankruptcy attorneys tend to recommend BK as the best solution more often than not, Debt settlement recommends debt settlement, CCCS recommends what they do. Whether you realize it or not, if you did not get paid for signing someone up into debt settlement and you were really focusing on the client with a blank slate (and you knew what was best for the client) I guarantee you would refer less clients to settlement. You can disagree all day long, but your business model requires you to do that.

    Oh, here you go with the fear again. Yup. That is what I am doing. I am just making up all of this bad stuff about debt settlement to scare people. Funny how none of my clients ever complain about me isn’t it? I think there is definitely some fear going on, but it isn’t coming from me or my clients.

    I fool “Know” one? How specifically am I not fooling anyone? Do I say things that are untrue?

    As fun as this is for me, I am sure it is a total drag for consumers to read when the best you can do is jump up and down about answering your questions. I am sure I missed one or two of them somewhere and that will be your next bone of contention. However, instead of acting like idiots and getting out our measuring sticks, why don’t we do something constructive?

    How about consumers in debt can call you and listen to what you have to say. Then they can call me for the right information and decide whether one of us actually makes good sense or if we are both just full of crap. What do you think?

    I am curious. Do you really believe this stuff you write, or have you just run out of ways to try and logically discredit what it is that I do?

    “Run for the hills…. Don’t talk to Damon…. He is just a fear monger… You shouldn’t listen to anything he says…. Please just sign up in my program without talking to him because he will scare you away…. He is a bad guy and said bullshit…. Stay away from him please.”

    That is about what I have cleaned from this exchange so far. Why are you so afraid of consumers talking to me Mike?

  • Mike Reilly

    Damon re-read the post and try to think through it…its pretty clear

    Answer the questions…..

  • Mike Reilly

    Damon you can twist this anyway you like, it’s so easy to see right through you and just for clarification your reasons above is why I believe you have a comprehension problem.

    Answer the questions….

  • Mike Reilly

    So once again you refuse to answer the real questions at hand. If you want to play then play by the rules. I don’t play by your rules Damon because they are one sided.

    ANSWER THE QUESTIONS TOUGH GUY, or go away!

  • Damon Day

    Please see my comment above. I will be happy to address all of your questions when I have time to continue the lesson.

    Real quick. Lesson number 2.

    Regarding all of your “show me where I specifically said this or that.” Mike I hope you understand, that when you write there is a difference between the specific words you use and the tone, message or meaning that you convey. Whether you realize it or not you have conveyed all of those messages. Ask any person reading this exchange if they get the impression that you don’t like me or feel threatened by my service. Did you specifically say that? Nope, but you certainly do say that, whether you realize it or not.

    Let me give you an example. In a comment I wrote “Mike, to be honest, the more you write, the more I wonder.”

    What does that mean? Well I don’t know. You have to look at the surrounding context to try and gain understanding and meaning to the message I was trying to convey.

    Anyone reading that comment would likely come away with the impression that I think your reasoning is illogical for the most part and you seem to lack an understanding of certain concepts surrounding your business and the marketing thereof.

    Now, you probably took that as a dig on you as well. And you should have called me out about that. So then what if I feigned shock and outrage and said I have no idea what you are talking about. Show me a specific post where I said those words??

    See what I mean? I gave a clear message but didn’t use any of the words. Pretty neat huh?

    So I am not going to respond to your show me this or that. If you honestly had no idea about the message you have clearly conveyed and I have responded to in kind, then for your own sake, I highly suggest you first consult with a PR firm before doing any more writing.

    I will however answer all of your questions on my blog and we can see how far you want to go with it. It will be fun.

  • Damon Day

    oh crap, you got me. My video is 3 years old. I am so busy helping clients get their money back after debt settlement companies have ripped them off, that I am afraid I have not had the time to update the video.
    As you can see I have been warning consumers about the dangers of most debt settlement programs long before it was the cool thing to do.

    Thanks for checking on it and reminding me though.

    I am sorry you were confused about the CFP thing. You are right, there is a testimony on my front page that has the word CFP in it. I guess if someone didn’t actually read the sentence they may get confused.
    Here is the testimony…

    As a holder of the Certified Financial Planner™ (CFP®) designation in two countries, I have leant on Damon for advice on debt settlement. This is a topic that is not covered in the CFP® coursework and it has been a pleasure to learn about this subject from an independent and objective professional consultant like Damon. – Tim

    Mike are you saying you read the testimony and were not able to understand that the testimony was written by a financial professional who holds a CFP designation in two countries, that was sharing the fact that he looks to me for advice on debt settlement for his clients?

    Frankly I am not sure how to respond.

  • Damon Day

    Jeez Mike,

    Not only did you not take my advice you decided to step into it further. Ok.

    I will have to respond to this later as I actually have clients that I work with. In fact, I am thinking if you want to get into a full on debate and somehow try to explain why what I do is somehow inferior to what you do, I would love to have that debate on my blog. We might as well give this debate the proper attention that it deserves. So here is what I will do. I will take the time to write the article and we can cover all these little points that you want to cover. Even though, this crap doesn’t matter to consumers. It gives me a great platform to highlight exactly why my service is so important. Once I write the article I will update this comment thread so anyone who is interested in our pissing match can take the time to go read it. See you shortly

  • Mike Reilly

    DD, the only problem with your spell check is it’s never there when I need it. The edit button I’m hearing about apparently only shows up if you’re signed in….which is not something I do so, hang around there will be plenty of opportunity to use your skills.

  • Mike Reilly

    Ok Damon,
    Now to pick this apart, my comments follow each one of yours.

    I am not sure if you recently picked up a copy of “Ass Backward Marketing Strategies That You Shouldn’t Try at Home,” but if you really want me to answer your questions and explain why a consumer in debt should always call me before calling you or one of your sales people, I will be happy to do so.

    Show me where I posted this question! No let me answer that, you can’t

    Whether you believe it or not, I really was trying to give you an “out” and for some unknown reason you chose to not take it. However, I believe that you learn more from the defeats than from the victories, so it is with sincerity, I deliver the following lesson: Focus on the things you do well. Let someone else handle the PR.

    Practice what you preach!

    If I recall, one of your questions was that you couldn’t quite seem to understand my business. What I do is simple and straight forward. Instead of calling a debt relief sales person, a consumer in debt can purchase a consultation with me and learn exactly what they need to do to resolve their situation and move forward. It is simply a matter of choice. Does the consumer want a free consultation where a specific product or service must be sold to them, or do they want to pay a reasonable fee to get an unbiased opinion and learn the information they need to resolve their situation? (game)

    Again, show me where I posted this question, that’s right…you can’t

    Often times consumers will learn that they can resolve their problem without paying a company thousands of dollars in fees. (set)

    Very insightful Damon, did you figure that out all on your own?

    However if they would like to hire a settlement company to assist them, then only after we determine whether or not that strategy will even work, I can recommend the names of some good programs for them to research. I do not accept back end referral fees for my recommendations. Instead I ask any company that I suggest to a client to pass what they would have paid out in marketing, on to the client in a form of a discount on their fees. (match)

    What does your list of qualifications consist of to refer a DS company or any other company for that matter? Do they report to you each month on the case or does the client report to you? Do you know the drop rate and completion rates of all your clients or once you point them in a direction it’s all over?

    So in sum. A consumer in debt would be wasting their time and money by calling you before they call me. Not only will they know the information that I am giving them does not effect my income one way or another, they will also be insured that they will save hundreds and in many cases thousands of dollars by first learning the right strategy from the beginning and then insuring that if need be, they are hiring a great company at a discounted price to assist them. I spend my hour long consultation understanding their overall financial situation and working out complete solutions rather than just pitching a specific product or service.

    I would be willing to bet that the financial analysis we conduct is just as if not more comprehensive than the one you perform and it’s free of charge. Little do you know Damon there’s no SALES PRESSURE placed on the consumer but, again you’re just full of assumptions and you know the old saying there right?

    So you claim that your best client is one that shops around. Well, that isn’t quite true because if a client shops around and finds my website then they aren’t very likely to hire you. Not because I am going to say anything negative about your program, just that I know great programs that offer the same service that you do at about the same or much lower cost with my discount. If given the choice do you think a consumer would like a list of good settlement companies to research before making a very important decision? Do you think that they would like to save 100′s and sometimes 1,000′s of dollars off of the fees if they do decide to hire a company? So far I have had no complaints from clients, just from people in the industry. Hmmm I wonder why that is?

    The first sentence is true, there’s not much negative to talk about and if I were ever in a position to have to rely on you for referrals I would close shop and become a debt coach, 500 business cards and I’m in!

    Judging by many of your recent comments, you seem to believe that consumers should not be given all the information because they are not capable of making informed choices. What I do is simply make sure the consumer has all of the information and that they fully understand everything so they can make the choice that they feel is best for them and their family. Perhaps the reason you are getting so bent out of shape about what Steve and I are doing is because you actually already know that.

    I now know what it is you do, you prey on fear, your goal is to scare the herd into your coral and brand as many as you can and there is nothing you or anyone can say to make me believe otherwise. You’re a businessman of sorts, I respect that. But remember you fool know one!

  • Mike Reilly

    Oh I almost forgot, and don’t take this wrong….I was on your site and a good one at that but, I think the DS video is out of date and a quick glance at the home page could lead one to believe you’re a CFP

  • Steve Rhode

    You’re right. It is a button and it appears to the lower right side but it is the left hand button.

  • Mike Reilly

    Damon if we’re going to play the game, let’s do it right..The only question you answered was the one video question and it was just you being who you are, a SA..(You’re a smart guy so I’m sure you figured that out) so I don’t really consider it an answer. Before we move on let me clear the air about a few things; I have never attempted to blast you or your service and I’m not sure why when folks ask you questions you automatically assume you’re under attack, Maybe you were picked on as a kid, who knows, what I do know is you hold yourself out as a very righteous guy.

    Let’s get into it and I’m going to help you with the answers to the following statements.

    Show me one post where I have stated that what you do for a living is not consumer friendly or not in the best interest of consumers. You can’t

    Show me one post where I state it’s all Steve’s fault or even yours for that matter. You can’t

    Show me one post where I state I provide the best service of all DS companies. You can’t

    Show me one post where I state that in my model the consumer comes last, to me it’s all about the money or the company’s bottom line. You can’t

    Show me one post where I tell anyone on this board how we qualify consumers for 1 of 3 programs. You can’t

    Show me one post where I refer to my agents or consultants and sales people. You can’t

    Provide me with another website that contains as much content as the Emerge site that clearly explains the pros and cons of all the programs we offer. If you can (and I’m sure there are plenty) I would really appreciate it.

    I’m hoping you get my point here…

    Let’s talk about the questions you choose to ignore or allow to go unanswered. I’m only going back to our last exchange and that was the video topic.

    Why did you not post the video on your website, you made it clear you felt it was spot-on and something consumers needed to see to protect them? Did it have anything to do with the language?

    You made a comment that you have a really hard job which I guess, is to expose the bad guys? How about dealing with your clients, does that come easy to you or is that also hard?

    My comments and questions (that went unanswered) after you made that comment (above) were as follows;

    I don’t know that you work hard, I don’t know that what you do is good for consumers because you sub the work out (based on the limited information I know about your business) when it requires execution. I don’t know the success rate of the folks you coach; do you post that information in detail on your site?

    How can anyone in OUR industry (see what I did there) assure anyone anything?

    Do you guarantee success in your program or just money back if they don’t like what they hear?

    My final statement was as follows; I too want the bad players to disappear, my firm and my team is as compliant as the day is long, and that’s one thing I can assure anyone of. That’s also the way it’s been from the start and under my watch the one thing that will never change.

    Damon, like you I have not one client/consumer complaint, a drop-out rate that barely exists, our fee structure is very fair, very competitive and compliant. I/we do what you do and I mean probably most everyone on this board, we do the work, we perform the detailed financial analysis and guide the consumer appropriately. Those that do not…well, as the old saying goes…live by the sword, die by the sword!

    One final note, my issue is not pointing out the bad guys it’s doing it in such a way that causes those in need to look in a different direction that could be more harmful than good.

  • Damon Day

    oh, it is a button for me. If you are logged in to “Discus” it is where the like button is. If I am looking at my own comment the like button actually says edit because you can’t like your own comment. Maybe it only looks that way if you are logged in via Discus. I can actually edit that even if someone responds to it.

  • Sorry Mike…

    RITALIN

  • Damon Day

    Oh, I almost forgot. You also asked me if I would like to see a video of a parody of me in sponge bob pajamas and laughing about telling people to file BK. Actually sure, that would be fine.

    Mike, why don’t you spend some money to produce the video. Then spend a heap ton of money to promote it. Make sure it is funny so it will go viral, and then please put my name all over it.

    You know what will happen? A lot of people will see that and wonder who the heck is this Damon Day guy. Then they will google my name and find my website. Once there they will learn how I actually help people and if they are in a financial situation they are struggling with, and they are tired of sales pitches and looking for real information, they will most likely schedule a consultation.

    So by all means, you have my permission to do that.

    http://getoutofdebt.org/Damon-

  • Damon Day

    And do you still wonder why Steve and I talk so openly about the B.S. in this industry?

  • Damon Day

    Ok Mike,

    I am not sure if you recently picked up a copy of “Ass Backward Marketing Strategies That You Shouldn’t Try at Home,” but if you really want me to answer your questions and explain why a consumer in debt should always call me before calling you or one of your sales people, I will be happy to do so.

    Whether you believe it or not, I really was trying to give you an “out” and for some unknown reason you chose to not take it. However, I believe that you learn more from the defeats than from the victories, so it is with sincerity, I deliver the following lesson: Focus on the things you do well. Let someone else handle the PR.

    If I recall, one of your questions was that you couldn’t quite seem to understand my business. What I do is simple and straight forward. Instead of calling a debt relief sales person, a consumer in debt can purchase a consultation with me and learn exactly what they need to do to resolve their situation and move forward. It is simply a matter of choice. Does the consumer want a free consultation where a specific product or service must be sold to them, or do they want to pay a reasonable fee to get an unbiased opinion and learn the information they need to resolve their situation? (game)

    Often times consumers will learn that they can resolve their problem without paying a company thousands of dollars in fees. (set)

    However if they would like to hire a settlement company to assist them, then only after we determine whether or not that strategy will even work, I can recommend the names of some good programs for them to research. I do not accept back end referral fees for my recommendations. Instead I ask any company that I suggest to a client to pass what they would have paid out in marketing, on to the client in a form of a discount on their fees. (match)

    So in sum. A consumer in debt would be wasting their time and money by calling you before they call me. Not only will they know the information that I am giving them does not effect my income one way or another, they will also be insured that they will save hundreds and in many cases thousands of dollars by first learning the right strategy from the beginning and then insuring that if need be, they are hiring a great company at a discounted price to assist them. I spend my hour long consultation understanding their overall financial situation and working out complete solutions rather than just pitching a specific product or service.

    So you claim that your best client is one that shops around. Well, that isn’t quite true because if a client shops around and finds my website then they aren’t very likely to hire you. Not because I am going to say anything negative about your program, just that I know great programs that offer the same service that you do at about the same or much lower cost with my discount. If given the choice do you think a consumer would like a list of good settlement companies to research before making a very important decision? Do you think that they would like to save 100′s and sometimes 1,000′s of dollars off of the fees if they do decide to hire a company? So far I have had no complaints from clients, just from people in the industry. Hmmm I wonder why that is?

    Judging by many of your recent comments, you seem to believe that consumers should not be given all the information because they are not capable of making informed choices. What I do is simply make sure the consumer has all of the information and that they fully understand everything so they can make the choice that they feel is best for them and their family. Perhaps the reason you are getting so bent out of shape about what Steve and I are doing is because you actually already know that.

    http://getoutofdebt.org/Damon-

  • Mike Reilly

    I love the part about the the legal pad and to have plenty of pencil’s and this was a killer too;

    Maintain an attitude of understanding and sincere desire to help them out of their current “tight spot.” Don’t let them get going on a deprecatory tangent, either. Should they start down the path, simply tell them, “These things happen to everyone, and what’s done is done; the important thing now is working out the solution to the problem.”

  • Steve Rhode

    And people said this was a tough business. What did they know. LOL

  • Mike Reilly

    This should make for a good laugh…

    How To Start Your Own Credit And Debt Counseling Service
    Here’s a business idea that meets all the aspirations of the American Dream.
    You can start small with a little or no investment, develop it in your spare time, and parlay it into a $100,000 a year income–all within the next twelve months or so.

    Really, all it takes to move one is an empathy for people, a basic understanding of money management, and about 500 business cards, some smart advertising, and you’re in business. Your greatest expense or investment, of course, will be your advertising.

    The first, and most important thing to learn is the “thought processes” in the minds of the people or firms that lend money. No one lends money with the thought of foreclosing on the loan and taking away a borrower’s collateral. Whenever the lender is forced into such a situation, everybody loses. The borrower loses his possessions, and the lender ends up with about one tenth of the money he originally loaned out.

    Therefore, the lending institution will generally do everything possible to work with the borrower as long as he continues to show good faith in attempting to repay the amount of the loan. The most important thing a borrower should do, once he finds himself in a financial bind, is get in touch with his creditors and apprise them of his situation. Usually, the lender will set up a meeting for an open discussion between himself and the borrower, in order to adjust or work out a more convenient repayment schedule.

    Most people who borrow money are having money management problems to begin with, and are actually terrified to death at the thought of people from the loan company calling them. Although they generally won’t admit it, most are aware that they’re having problems managing their money. They’re embarrassed about it, and instead of openly seeking help, they attempt to cover up the problem, and then hide from or avoid the very people who want to help them.

    Over the past three years, personal and small business bankruptcies have been soaring to record levels. At the bottom line, very few people want to file bankruptcy against their creditors, because regardless how easy it is, the thought of having “gone bankrupt” still leaves a stigma.

    And this is where you step in with your Professional Credit Debt Counseling Service. YOU SHOULD NEVER HAVE ANY TROUBLE FINDING CLIENTS.

    Remember, step one is always to notify the client’s creditors. This is the first instruction (or job) that you give to the client after you’ve heard his story. The borrower should be the one to notify the creditors, and ideally, he should call each on the phone, set up a meeting and then discuss with the lender his current financial situation as well as his plans to rectify the problems, and resume payments. The plan he’ll discuss with the lender will be the plan you assist him in setting up.

    If the borrower is over his head and with no other alternative, you should immediately advise him to file for relief under ” The Wage Earner’s Plan,” as explained in Chapter 13 of Federal Bankruptcy Act. In essence, this “plan” gives the debtor time to regroup and reorganize his financial situation without hounded by bill collectors.

    Anyone who’s capable wages, salaries or commissions, can make use of this plan. It should in no way be thought of as bankruptcy. This is simply a court supervised method for a borrower to pay off his debts. The borrower simply draws up a plan, the lenders are almost over a three-year period. If the court accepts the plan, the lenders are almost obligated to accept it. while more recent bankruptcy laws still leave room for abuse by dishonest “big business,” they fortunately have improved the outlook for the “little guy.”

    Your job as a Creditor and Debt Counselor is to meet with the over extended borrower, listen to his problems, and help him to plan a budget to live by, and set up a plan for the proper management of his income that will include money for him to live on, plus regular payments to his creditors. In the beginning, you can meet in the borrower’s home, pretty much the same way an insurance agent does. later on, you’ll probably want your own office, but a formal office for your business will never be absolutely necessary.

    Many people are reluctant to be seen walking into a Credit Counselor’s office. Again, there’s a personal embarrassment—the thought of their friends seeing them, and the worry of what other people will think of them. So if you do opt for an office, make it as unobtrusive and as confidential as possible. A sign stating “Money Management Consultant” would be appropriate. Gaining the confidence and trust of your clients will be the secrets of your success. And do not underestimate the power of “word-of-mouth” recommendations by grateful clients.

    Follow the methods of the insurance salesman, making everything as comfortable as possible for your clients. So long as you listen to your client’s problems, and then work with him to plan a budget he can live with while paying off his bills, you won’t be required to have a license in most states. You simply listen, assist the borrower in planning a budget, and he administers it himself. He makes all the contacts with his creditors, and makes all the payments directly to them. To give you the money and have you disburse it among his creditors would require a license for your business.

    Step two in your service is to find out the total amount of cash your client has coming in each month, and on what debts. Calculate according to his current obligations, how much he needs for living expenses: Rent or mortgage payments, utilities, food and clothing. The remainder of his available income is then budgeted for division among his creditors.

    One of the best (and easiest) methods of money management within a budget is via envelopes. The wage earner marks a different envelope for each of his obligations. He then makes a pre-determined amount of deposit in each of these envelopes each payday.

    Thus, if his mortgage were $500 per month, and be brought home $750 each pay day, you’d probably advise that he “deposit” $250 each payday into the mortgage envelope. And so it would be with each envelope.

    Many people find this kind of system scary in the beginning, but after they’re used it for a month, they swear by it as the only way to keep bills up to date.

    Of course, the most important thing you want to advise your clients to do is to destroy their credit cards. Best of all, have them cut them in half, and send them back with a short note explaining what they are doing and why–getting a handle on their debts according to their actual income. Basically, that’s all there is to your counseling service.

    You’ll need a first meeting to hear the problems, and to make your proposals. A second meeting will be in order to polish and endorse the planning. Perhaps a third meeting at the end of the first month to assist them in making their payments from their obligation envelopes. Finally, you’ll want to keep in touch with them and ask how they are doing from time to time. You’ll find that most of the people you serve today will need your services again at some time within the next five years–sad, but statistically true.

    It’s a “fast track” and ever changing world. People who are poor money managers today will invariably encounter money problems, again and again, regardless of how often they get everything paid off. This is, unfortunately, what keeps the lending institutions in business, and presents the opportunity for you to become wealthy as a Professional Credit and Debt Counselor.

    You’ll need a receipt book. Drop by any large stationary store and get the most impressive one available. You should charge $100, more or less, for services, Three counseling sessions, with the payments at 410 per month spread over ten months is an ideal arrangement. Explain your fee during your first contact—$100 in payments of $10 per month over 10 months. You’ll find the sound of a $100 fee affords an intangible degree of respect for your services, while the explanation of modest $10 monthly payments closes the sale for you.

    Always carry an attache case, and at each meeting, work at the kitchen or dining room table. if it’s a husband and wife, be sure that each is seated beside you. If it’s just one person, have him or her to your right if you’re righthanded; to your left if you’re lefthanded. Never have a client opposite you, across the table. Round tables are best for empathy, agreement and cooperation; this has been proven psychologically—just believe it, and be guided accordingly.

    Always carry a yellow legal pad, and have plenty of pencils with erasers available. The legal pad lends authority to your knowledge, while leaving plenty of room for alternatives. The pencils and erasers eliminate the symbolic fear of everything being “cast in stone,” and conveys the feeling of negotiation.

    You should be well dressed, a portrayal of the traditional “financing officer,” and yet warm colors to accentuate your empathy with the problems of your clients. By all means, you should be sparkling clean and well-groomed. Do not smoke during your meeting with your client, and always diplomatically refuse any alcoholic drinks that be offered. Try to “talk” with your clients. You must never show any signs of disapproval of the actions that resulted in your clients being in their present predicament, nor should you sound as if you’re lecturing or speaking to children. Remember–and you can tell your client–this has happened to many stable, conscientious people.

    Maintain an attitude of understanding and sincere desire to help them out of their current “tight spot.” Don’t let them get going on a deprecatory tangent, either. Should they start down the path, simply tell them, “These things happen to everyone, and what’s done is done; the important thing now is working out the solution to the problem.”

    As mentioned earlier, your only real investment to set yourself up in this business will be your advertising. Even that does not have to be a “saved up” cash outlay. You can start off by planning to run a two-column wide by three inch deep advertisement in your most read area newspaper. Check with the newspaper office to get the best price on a bulk space contract.

    Under this kind of agreement, you sign to pay for a certain minimum number of column inches for the next year, and as a result, your rates are considerably lower than those paid by the infrequent advertiser. Best of all, the newspaper will bill you after the ad has run, and allow you 30 days from the date of your billing.

    You should plan to run an ad in the newspaper for at least three days a week, especially in the Sunday editions, every week. You might also want to run the same ad in several of your weekly Shoppers Newspapers. Definitely have a flyer made up describing your services. About once a month, hire 7th or 8th grade school girls to hand these out for you in the busy shopping centers. Another good place to hand them out is at the entrance to your state’s employment service offices.

    Small 3 by 5 cards announcement cards or descriptive business cards on all the bulletin boards in the area will also pull in business. Finally—and most importantly—just as soon as you can afford it, an advertisement and listing in the yellow pages of your telephone directory should be bought. Telephone directories come out on a regular ( usually annually) schedule, so check ahead, and anticipate cost and date you may expect results.

    A good place to check for help in writing your advertising is your area colleges. The students will generally help in exchange for the opportunity to build a portfolio. There’s never a need to pay the “out-of-sight” high prices demanded for professional copywriting and advertising design by some agencies, even if you have the money. All finished ads are unproven, and you have no guarantee that one is better than another until you begin testing or using it.

    The important element is that your ad says what you want it to say–that it looks good and makes you feel that it will appeal to your potential customers–that it instills confidence within you that it will bring in the customers. Use the “AIDA” formula: ATTENTION, INTEREST, DESIRE, ACTION!

    An attention grabbing headline (or first line)— a line or paragraph that definitely appeals to or arouses the self-interest of your potential customer; “a hooker,” or image building description that causes the prospect to picture how much better his life will be as a result of availing himself of your services; a line that relieves the prospect’s fears of making the wrong decision (such as “Satisfaction Guaranteed”) and a demand that he take immediate action such as “Call NOW!” DON NOT APPROVE AND DO NOT RUN ANY AD that does not contain all these ingredients.

    Here’s an example of an ad that should work very well for you:

    ARE BILL COLLECTORS HOUNDING YOU? Now there’s a way to stop those dunning letters and embarrassing phone calls. Get out of debt com- pletely—without bankruptcy! Preserve your good credit rating; maintain your present lifestyle; worry no more about bill collectors! Just an hour or so of your time, and your money problems can be solved! Your satisfaction is guaranteed! Phone 123-4567 right now for an appointment.

    National Credit Counselors 123 Tenth St City, State.

    A classified ad might read:

    Solve all your money problems with this easy and completely legal solution. 100% guaranteed anywhere in the U.S. Call Consumer Credit Solutions at 123-4567.

    At the same time your newspaper ads begin to appear, be sure to get a press release about your business to the business editors and consumer advocates at all the newspaper, radio and television stations in your area. Of help to you in this area will be our report #3504, The Inside Secrets of Getting Free Publicity For Your Business.

    It’s generally not worthwhile to advertise this particular kind of business on radio and TV, unless you do os on a “per inquiry” basis. For more details on this approach, see report #3406, How To Get Free Radio Advertising For Your Company.

    After any free radio and Tv talk shows, and newspaper feature stories about your business, the next best method of spreading the word about your business will be via the guest speaker route at civic club meetings. And don’t forget the women’s clubs. Your talk to these groups should be “scripted,” simply explaining the alarming number of bankruptcies, the great losses suffered by business because of bankruptcies; the exasperatingly poor record of the American people with money management responsibilities; an urging for support to get “back to the Basics” and teach practical money management courses in the schools, and by example in the home. Such talk should bring you a big round of applause and continuing source of referrals.

    To carry this effort just a little further, set up Credit and Debt Counseling Seminars or Workshops. You can arrange to hold them in the banquet rooms of well-known restaurants in your area, meeting rooms at your local community college, fraternal club meeting halls, motels, or even churches. Generally, it’s best to charge a small fee– say 45 per couple—because of the suspicion that you’re setting up to sell something when you don’t charge an attendance fee. Most people are aware of the bottom line–that you are trying to sell them something when you invite them to a seminar or workshop. However, most feel that when you invite them to a seminar or workshop. However, most feel when there is a cover charge, the basic information you’ll be giving will be more useful that given when there’s no charge to attend. And if they have paid some kind of fee, they will be more at ease in listening and evaluating, without the pressure when they have come”for free.”

    Seminars are one of the most lucrative (and fastest) ways of getting a new business off to a running start. When you stage seminars, it’s imperative that you flood the area with advertising, being sure to promote the seminar, not the product that you’re really selling.

    Your seminar script should be basically the same that I’ve outlined for you as a guest speaker, the difference being that instead of closing with a call for more education in money management, you briefly outline the simplicity of the “envelope deposit” system. You then close with an open invitation for those with particular problems or needing special help to call your office and set up an appointment for personalized counseling service.

    Even better you officially open for business, you’ll want to have a tentative list of people you can possibly train as employees to handle the workload as your business grows. Rather than pay these people a salary, simply give them a commission for each client they handle. In other words, you can sign a client for $100 over 10 months, sell the account to a factoring company for 80% of the total, collect $80 in cash immediately, pay your commission counselor $30, and bank $50 in profit with no real work involved on your part. And if you have hired a good counselor, you can rest assured that your client has been well served.

    Basically, that’s how easy it is to put this kind of business together and make it start paying off immediately. Remember, you must be constantly soliciting new customers, and building the number of customers you or your counselors talk to each day. You should strive for an average of three counseling sessions per day, five days per week, before seriously considering additional help.

    At $10 per month from each account, this will give you $150 per week or a total account billing of $1,500 per week. By factoring your accounts at 20% for their total value, you’ll have an immediate cash income of $1,200 for the week. The factoring company will handle all the billing and bookkeeping, eliminating your need for those services.

    The way to success in this business is, however, to keep this happening EVERY week. It will depend upon your advertising, the service you give, and the reputation you build.

    The prime requisite will be work and perseverance on your part, but once you’re established, with a few commission counselors working for you, the business can easily gross $150,000 per year in even small to medium-size cities. You now have the knowledge; the rest—the action part—is up to you. Best of luck!

    ——————————————————————————–

  • Steve Rhode

    I think what Damon is referring to is the link that appears below a comment someone posts before someone responds to it. It might appear on the bottom left side. It is not a button.

  • Mike Reilly

    Steve, tell me where it is I find the edit button, as dd pointed out, because I do not see one.

  • Mike Reilly

    No, what I’m saying is this…Here’s the deal Damon, when you start answering questions then I will answer yours, until then I’m done with your thoughts, opinions, assumptions and nonsense. I really think you have a comprehension or concentration problem; you should try riddlin.

  • Damon Day

    cricket…cricket…cricket

    It just hurts so good.

  • Damon Day

    If that was true he would have blocked you genius.

  • Damon Day

    No I won’t

  • Damon Day

    Ok, so what you are saying is if I am going to bring a little logic and reason with me to the party, you don’t want to hang out anymore. I get it. I really didn’t leave you with any other option. Best of luck to you.

  • Steve Rhode

    No. That’s not true. What I said was I was going to block the IP address of one person that was posting using multiple names and being inappropriate with threats and language.

    What affiliates do I have? I don’t sell leads?

  • Genuine

    Steve is now blocking anyone who points out that he is making money by scaring consumers & then profits off it by steering them to his rip off affiliates! Steve is a manipulator!! PERIOD!!

  • Steve Rhode

    OK, I’ll bite. What half-truth are you referring to?

    If you screen good candidates for service you end up with consumers that have cash on hand to settle now. I just happened to deal with people that on average had larger debts. I have no idea what your average is.

  • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

    OK, I’ll bite. What half-truth are you referring to?

    If you screen good candidates for service you end up with consumers that have cash on hand to settle now. I just happened to deal with people that on average had larger debts. I have no idea what your average is.

  • Just a matter of time

    Anyone with half a brain knows that $20,000 as an average debt is ludicrous! I am so happy that Steve again clearly shows that he is willing to stretch the truth or lack of truth as far as he possibly can!! Steve has an agenda people!! & it’s not “looking out for the consumer!” He feeds off of spreading half truths & fear mongering tactics for his own financial gain !! PERIOD!! BTW we are in a bulding that has a gazzillion ip addresses so good luck blocking all of us!

  • Just a matter of time

    Are you going to block all of us who tell it like it is? You are a phony Steve & all of your clown buddies who are blowing you are the biggest BAD ACTORS in the industry!

  • Robert S

    don’t bother with a lot of what Damon posts. He takes someones comment and turns it into a Slippery Slope “So, if Debt Settlement can 15% total debt, than companies will charge 20% than 100%, etc, etc”…. This type of argument is used a lot.

    Also, notice a few, somewhat indirect personal attacks (Ad hominem) to destroy credibility in ADDITION to his counter argument. It adds a little spice to his point.

    —> “Mike, to be honest, the more you write, the more I wonder.”

    He will be dieing to respond to this :)

  • Mike Reilly

    Here’s the deal Damon, when you start answering questions then I will answer yours, until then I’m done with your thoughts, opinions, assumptions and nonsense. I really think you have a comprehension or concentration problem; you should try riddlin.

  • Damon Day

    Ok Mike,

    I usually never ask a question I don’t already know the answer to, but I am open to learning something. You seem to have all the answers. Please tell me what we should do?

    When a large majority of the industry does things that are harmful to consumers, and you would prefer to not have us point out that behavior because “why I haven’t figured out”, what is a better way to protect consumers?

    The FTC can’t put them all out of business. If nobody tells consumers what the signs are to look out for, and the FTC can’t go after them with much effectiveness at this point in time, what is your solution?

    I see a lot of bitching but I haven’t seen any other more effective solutions? You seem to look at this only from the perspective of how this might effect your bottom line rather than what is better for consumers.

    You act as if Steve is to blame for pointing out the actions of debt settlement companies that are harming consumers. You have attempted to explain why you think that hurts your company, but please explain to me how Steve pointing out the actions of these companies is harmful to consumers?

  • Damon Day

    you click “edit”

    Sorry, it is late and I just couldn’t resist. :-)

  • Damon Day

    Wow, Mike nailed it. The problem with debt settlement is just an image problem. It’s all Steve’s fault. Yup lets go with that.

    Mike, to be honest, the more you write, the more I wonder.

    Basically what you mean to say is you think people are not smart enough to make a decision when presented with the facts in a clear and concise way. Instead, your solution is never to point out any of the bullshit (oh the humanity) that is being pushed at them by the majority of the debt settlement industry in the hopes that people will not proceed with any degree of caution and your sales people will be able to sign them up into your program without to much trouble.

    Mike here is where your logic breaks down in my opinion. You claim your best client is someone who shops around before making a decision. Ok, let me ask you, do people tend to shop more when they are unsure and maybe a little afraid of something, or when they don’t have a care in the world and think everything is sunshine and lollipops?

    Steve telling people the truth will not make the majority run screaming, but instead proceed with more caution, ask more questions and check a lot of things out before making a decision. Do you simply not understand that concept or does the actual thought of consumers shopping around, gathering information and not making snap decisions, not fit well with your business model?

    I mean, I am just trying to rectify your reasoning as of late because you seem to get easily bent out of shape over things that would actually help you if your company happened to be as good as you tell everyone it is. So what gives?

  • Steve Rhode

    Let’s deal with the facts. Get it Right is posting from the same IP address as The Truth who said he was the owner of a debt settlement company that laid off employees. Actually some of the recent comments on the site that contain threats also come from the same IP address, that I have now blocked. I’m happy to have a conversation and discussion but when it comes to threats against me or others, I draw the line there.

    To clarify the comment about 25% settlement fees. I did say that back in the day we did charge $495 to settle an account but I never said our average account was $2,000. It was more like $20,000 which works out to about a 2% fee. Also, we would never settle an account without the full settlement amount in hand and accounts typically settled in two weeks. Finally, no settlement, no fee. We would escrow the $495 and if we were not able to settle the account with the cash on hand we gave a full refund.

  • Doug

    No one should ever pay all fees upfront. Maybe a nominal 1 to 3 percent paid over the first 3 payments giving the client the ability to save immediately and for companies to settle or get into a term settlement on at least 1 or more accounts within the first 6 months. Also we wouldn’t have these regulations if companies didn’t charge all fees up front. If you think about it, what incentive does a company have to settle your debt if you pay all the fees up front and where does the money come to settle if you are paying them in full first? Our company has always been performanced based, IF WE DON’T SETTLE YOU DON’T PAY A SETTLEMENT FEE it’s that simple. We have also always charge between 10-15 percent and that was including the 1-3 percent retainer fee. Clients actually can cut 6 months to a year off the program by the companies charging the 10 to 15 percent. Just makes sense and will lead to more referrals because they are happy. It’s also less risky for someone to know that they will only pay a settlement fee if the account is settled and that is what’s fair. The companies who took these poor peoples money and did no work for them and had no regard for them as humans should be sitting next to Bernie Madhoff cause that’s what i compare them too. ALot of elderly people who got taken advantage of can’t go and grab a shovel and dig a hole for extra money it is just sad. All of this stems my motivation to change the industry and then the world one debt at a time.

  • Steve Rhode

    Would that explain a decrease in searches for credit counseling, debt settlement and bankruptcy? See these charts. I’d love to see your data to see where it does not match the aggregated data from Google to see a different side.

  • Steve Rhode

    Here is the article I just published on this showing the trends for the major debt relief keywords.

  • Tictoc

    Tic Toc Tic Toc Tic Toc

  • Get it right

    Excellent point! If people are crazy enough to believe everything that Steve rants & raves about they will never even consider debt settlement! He bashes everyone except for his affiliates who fill his pockets! Bad actor?? Steve needs to look in the mirror!

  • Get it right

    Mike I agree with you 100%!! This site is very good @ pointing out abuses & is so eager to attack their own industry soley so they can offer services through their affiliates that advertise on this site! The video was horrible!! All it did was mislead people who really need help & cause fear which is what Steve is a master at! Steve created this site for 1 reason!! So he can make his fortune creating hits on his site! I read another post where he was arguing with another person who pointed out what Steve’s motivations are. In that post Steve was telling this guy when Steve did debt settlement that they charged $495 per account & that it was so much better than other models who charge upfront for the same service! The guy pointed out that the average debt on an account is around $2,000 & charging $495 per account is equal to charging the client 25% & Steve was jumping up & down saying how bad it was to charge between 10% to 15% upfront for the exact same service! Debt Settlement is debt settlement regardless of how someone collects fees! Me personally would much rather pay 10% to 15% upfront than 25% later. The key is what service is provided not how the fees are collected! Unless you are Steve then, say whatever it takes to scare people into using his affiliates! Steve promotes what is good for him & his affilaites, not what is good for the consumer! BTW he never commented back to the guy about gouging people @ 25% he just rambled on picking on the guy because he had to lay off all of his employees!

  • Robert S

    The data I am referring to is in Google Trends. And I used the top 10 KW’s as well, more than likely very similar to what you are referring to (Debt settlement, relief, “long-tail KW’s”).

    However, I do realize that there were a ton of people in the industry searching “debt settlement” and thus, increasing the search volume. I’m going to check some other sources because I’m not too familiar with the reliability of Google Trends, but this is what the data says.

  • Mike Reilly

    That’s very interesting but not the data I’m seeing

    Those who left the business are no longer advertising, hence fewer searches and web traffic from those initiatives.

    Not really what Steve was alluding to, but I get it. I’m not a big fan of waiting around for folks to reach out to different media advertisements. I’m working a sizable SEO initiative at the moment and have been for more than 6 months with one of the largest and most respected players in the space. All indications suggest a flat to minimal decline. I’m talking the top 10 trophy keywords/phrases on down! We have seen several changes in the search terms because of the recent changes. People are searching differently!

    Just an FYI

  • Robert S

    Mike,

    There are a lot of companies that have left, but traffic and search demand for the industry has peaked in 2009. 2010 saw a steady drop and since Nov 2010 to now it is lower than it’s been since 2008. I believe this is what Steve is referring too?

  • Mike Reilly

    spotted it but can’t for the life of me figure out how to edit my post

  • DD

    “Deer” sorry

  • Mike Reilly

    Well Steve, for the record I’m glad it got pulled. Steve I personally have conducted hundreds of secret shop calls over the last three years and I’ve gotta tell ya know one has ever talked to me the way that guy carried on in the video…ever. So when people call that spot on I simply don’t buy it.

    My comment about the site is not geared to the journalist Steve Rhodes (you’re doing what you set out to do, god bless you) but to the industry participants who in my opinion, whether or not they realize it, continue to disparage the industry they chose to participate in. To me it almost seems like they know the regulators are watching so, let’s put on the white cape so know one looks are way.

    The DS industry did police itself and the results are clear…now we live with it. I have no problem with that.

    Sure, things will quiet down soon enough…. for me yesterday would have been great.

  • Steve Rhode

    Michael,

    For the record, I didn’t pull the video from the site. The underlying producer pulled it from YouTube. Frankly I had no problem with the video since it already mirrored many of the secret shopper calls that I made and many calls consumers made to companies directly. For those consumers that called those agressive companies it was not shocking, but familiar.

    The goal of this site is not to be a cheerleader for the debt relief industry at large, but to help protect consumers, by answering questions for consumers and warn them of what to avoid.

    You will not find anywhere where I said to avoid debt settlement as a blanket statement. You will find that I have provided information based on investigative reporting and research about specific issues.

    In the case of debt settlement, If the debt settlement world had done an effective job of policing itself, there would have been nothing for me to write about.

    You will find that I’ve been writing less about debt settlement in the past quarter. My last big investigative report was on a television minister, Peter Popoff, and today I published an article about a DMP lead generator that caught the eye of a tipster.

    The audience for the site appears consumers, regulators and debt relief industry providers.

  • Mike Reilly

    With all the DS affiliates leaving the business, not to mention the actual firms themselves, I’m quite surprised to hear this. I think if you’re in the business of DS and experiencing a slow down you should look within.

    One of the biggest issues I have with this site (and this is only lately) is the affect it can have on public opinion. The fact that I had to battle to have a disparaging video put down amazes me. Where was everyone else? This site is visited by thousands of consumers seeking relief, Steve correct me if I’m wrong!

    Steve has done a wonderful job in reaching high rankings on the search engines for most of the industry keywords. With all the negatives thrown around on this site about all the bad actors, loopholer’s and scam artists in the industry, anyone reading/scanning this site that may have an interest, has to look to look in the mirror and say, hey, I have got to be out of my mind to even consider this.

    The FTC in my opinion is not responsible, it’s the industry participants and competitors that have causes the “dear in the headlight” effect.
    Work smarter people!

    Michael Reilly
    Emerge America

  • Mike Reilly

    With all the DS affiliates leaving the business, not to mention the actual firms themselves, I’m quite surprised to hear this. I think if you’re in the business of DS and experiencing a slow down you should look within.

    One of the biggest issues I have with this site (and this is only lately) is the affect it can have on public opinion. The fact that I had to battle to have a disparaging video put down amazes me. Where was everyone else? This site is visited by thousands of consumers seeking relief, Steve correct me if I’m wrong!

    Steve has done a wonderful job in reaching high rankings on the search engines for most of the industry keywords. With all the negatives thrown around on this site about all the bad actors, loopholer’s and scam artists in the industry, anyone reading/scanning this site that may have an interest, has to look to look in the mirror and say, hey, I have got to be out of my mind to even consider this.

    The FTC in my opinion is not responsible, it’s the industry participants and competitors that have causes the “dear in the headlight” effect.
    Work smarter people!

    Michael Reilly
    Emerge America

    • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

      Michael,

      For the record, I didn’t pull the video from the site. The underlying producer pulled it from YouTube. Frankly I had no problem with the video since it already mirrored many of the secret shopper calls that I made and many calls consumers made to companies directly. For those consumers that called those agressive companies it was not shocking, but familiar.

      The goal of this site is not to be a cheerleader for the debt relief industry at large, but to help protect consumers, by answering questions for consumers and warn them of what to avoid.

      You will not find anywhere where I said to avoid debt settlement as a blanket statement. You will find that I have provided information based on investigative reporting and research about specific issues.

      In the case of debt settlement, If the debt settlement world had done an effective job of policing itself, there would have been nothing for me to write about.

      You will find that I’ve been writing less about debt settlement in the past quarter. My last big investigative report was on a television minister, Peter Popoff, and today I published an article about a DMP lead generator that caught the eye of a tipster.

      The audience for the site appears consumers, regulators and debt relief industry providers.

      • Mike Reilly

        Well Steve, for the record I’m glad it got pulled. Steve I personally have conducted hundreds of secret shop calls over the last three years and I’ve gotta tell ya know one has ever talked to me the way that guy carried on in the video…ever. So when people call that spot on I simply don’t buy it.

        My comment about the site is not geared to the journalist Steve Rhodes (you’re doing what you set out to do, god bless you) but to the industry participants who in my opinion, whether or not they realize it, continue to disparage the industry they chose to participate in. To me it almost seems like they know the regulators are watching so, let’s put on the white cape so know one looks are way.

        The DS industry did police itself and the results are clear…now we live with it. I have no problem with that.

        Sure, things will quiet down soon enough…. for me yesterday would have been great.

      • http://DamonDay.com Damon Day

        Ok Mike,

        I usually never ask a question I don’t already know the answer to, but I am open to learning something. You seem to have all the answers. Please tell me what we should do?

        When a large majority of the industry does things that are harmful to consumers, and you would prefer to not have us point out that behavior because “why I haven’t figured out”, what is a better way to protect consumers?

        The FTC can’t put them all out of business. If nobody tells consumers what the signs are to look out for, and the FTC can’t go after them with much effectiveness at this point in time, what is your solution?

        I see a lot of bitching but I haven’t seen any other more effective solutions? You seem to look at this only from the perspective of how this might effect your bottom line rather than what is better for consumers.

        You act as if Steve is to blame for pointing out the actions of debt settlement companies that are harming consumers. You have attempted to explain why you think that hurts your company, but please explain to me how Steve pointing out the actions of these companies is harmful to consumers?

      • http://DamonDay.com Damon Day

        cricket…cricket…cricket

        It just hurts so good.

      • Get it right

        Mike I agree with you 100%!! This site is very good @ pointing out abuses & is so eager to attack their own industry soley so they can offer services through their affiliates that advertise on this site! The video was horrible!! All it did was mislead people who really need help & cause fear which is what Steve is a master at! Steve created this site for 1 reason!! So he can make his fortune creating hits on his site! I read another post where he was arguing with another person who pointed out what Steve’s motivations are. In that post Steve was telling this guy when Steve did debt settlement that they charged $495 per account & that it was so much better than other models who charge upfront for the same service! The guy pointed out that the average debt on an account is around $2,000 & charging $495 per account is equal to charging the client 25% & Steve was jumping up & down saying how bad it was to charge between 10% to 15% upfront for the exact same service! Debt Settlement is debt settlement regardless of how someone collects fees! Me personally would much rather pay 10% to 15% upfront than 25% later. The key is what service is provided not how the fees are collected! Unless you are Steve then, say whatever it takes to scare people into using his affiliates! Steve promotes what is good for him & his affilaites, not what is good for the consumer! BTW he never commented back to the guy about gouging people @ 25% he just rambled on picking on the guy because he had to lay off all of his employees!

      • Doug

        No one should ever pay all fees upfront. Maybe a nominal 1 to 3 percent paid over the first 3 payments giving the client the ability to save immediately and for companies to settle or get into a term settlement on at least 1 or more accounts within the first 6 months. Also we wouldn’t have these regulations if companies didn’t charge all fees up front. If you think about it, what incentive does a company have to settle your debt if you pay all the fees up front and where does the money come to settle if you are paying them in full first? Our company has always been performanced based, IF WE DON’T SETTLE YOU DON’T PAY A SETTLEMENT FEE it’s that simple. We have also always charge between 10-15 percent and that was including the 1-3 percent retainer fee. Clients actually can cut 6 months to a year off the program by the companies charging the 10 to 15 percent. Just makes sense and will lead to more referrals because they are happy. It’s also less risky for someone to know that they will only pay a settlement fee if the account is settled and that is what’s fair. The companies who took these poor peoples money and did no work for them and had no regard for them as humans should be sitting next to Bernie Madhoff cause that’s what i compare them too. ALot of elderly people who got taken advantage of can’t go and grab a shovel and dig a hole for extra money it is just sad. All of this stems my motivation to change the industry and then the world one debt at a time.

      • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

        Let’s deal with the facts. Get it Right is posting from the same IP address as The Truth who said he was the owner of a debt settlement company that laid off employees. Actually some of the recent comments on the site that contain threats also come from the same IP address, that I have now blocked. I’m happy to have a conversation and discussion but when it comes to threats against me or others, I draw the line there.

        To clarify the comment about 25% settlement fees. I did say that back in the day we did charge $495 to settle an account but I never said our average account was $2,000. It was more like $20,000 which works out to about a 2% fee. Also, we would never settle an account without the full settlement amount in hand and accounts typically settled in two weeks. Finally, no settlement, no fee. We would escrow the $495 and if we were not able to settle the account with the cash on hand we gave a full refund.

      • Genuine

        Steve is now blocking anyone who points out that he is making money by scaring consumers & then profits off it by steering them to his rip off affiliates! Steve is a manipulator!! PERIOD!!

      • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

        No. That’s not true. What I said was I was going to block the IP address of one person that was posting using multiple names and being inappropriate with threats and language.

        What affiliates do I have? I don’t sell leads?

      • Mike Reilly

        Steve, tell me where it is I find the edit button, as dd pointed out, because I do not see one.

      • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

        I think what Damon is referring to is the link that appears below a comment someone posts before someone responds to it. It might appear on the bottom left side. It is not a button.

      • http://DamonDay.com Damon Day

        oh, it is a button for me. If you are logged in to “Discus” it is where the like button is. If I am looking at my own comment the like button actually says edit because you can’t like your own comment. Maybe it only looks that way if you are logged in via Discus. I can actually edit that even if someone responds to it.

      • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

        You’re right. It is a button and it appears to the lower right side but it is the left hand button.

      • http://DamonDay.com Damon Day

        If that was true he would have blocked you genius.

    • DD

      “Deer” sorry

      • Mike Reilly

        spotted it but can’t for the life of me figure out how to edit my post

      • http://DamonDay.com Damon Day

        you click “edit”

        Sorry, it is late and I just couldn’t resist. :-)

    • Robert S

      Mike,

      There are a lot of companies that have left, but traffic and search demand for the industry has peaked in 2009. 2010 saw a steady drop and since Nov 2010 to now it is lower than it’s been since 2008. I believe this is what Steve is referring too?

      • Mike Reilly

        That’s very interesting but not the data I’m seeing

        Those who left the business are no longer advertising, hence fewer searches and web traffic from those initiatives.

        Not really what Steve was alluding to, but I get it. I’m not a big fan of waiting around for folks to reach out to different media advertisements. I’m working a sizable SEO initiative at the moment and have been for more than 6 months with one of the largest and most respected players in the space. All indications suggest a flat to minimal decline. I’m talking the top 10 trophy keywords/phrases on down! We have seen several changes in the search terms because of the recent changes. People are searching differently!

        Just an FYI

      • Robert S

        The data I am referring to is in Google Trends. And I used the top 10 KW’s as well, more than likely very similar to what you are referring to (Debt settlement, relief, “long-tail KW’s”).

        However, I do realize that there were a ton of people in the industry searching “debt settlement” and thus, increasing the search volume. I’m going to check some other sources because I’m not too familiar with the reliability of Google Trends, but this is what the data says.

      • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

        Here is the article I just published on this showing the trends for the major debt relief keywords.

      • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

        Would that explain a decrease in searches for credit counseling, debt settlement and bankruptcy? See these charts. I’d love to see your data to see where it does not match the aggregated data from Google to see a different side.

    • Get it right

      Excellent point! If people are crazy enough to believe everything that Steve rants & raves about they will never even consider debt settlement! He bashes everyone except for his affiliates who fill his pockets! Bad actor?? Steve needs to look in the mirror!

    • http://DamonDay.com Damon Day

      Wow, Mike nailed it. The problem with debt settlement is just an image problem. It’s all Steve’s fault. Yup lets go with that.

      Mike, to be honest, the more you write, the more I wonder.

      Basically what you mean to say is you think people are not smart enough to make a decision when presented with the facts in a clear and concise way. Instead, your solution is never to point out any of the bullshit (oh the humanity) that is being pushed at them by the majority of the debt settlement industry in the hopes that people will not proceed with any degree of caution and your sales people will be able to sign them up into your program without to much trouble.

      Mike here is where your logic breaks down in my opinion. You claim your best client is someone who shops around before making a decision. Ok, let me ask you, do people tend to shop more when they are unsure and maybe a little afraid of something, or when they don’t have a care in the world and think everything is sunshine and lollipops?

      Steve telling people the truth will not make the majority run screaming, but instead proceed with more caution, ask more questions and check a lot of things out before making a decision. Do you simply not understand that concept or does the actual thought of consumers shopping around, gathering information and not making snap decisions, not fit well with your business model?

      I mean, I am just trying to rectify your reasoning as of late because you seem to get easily bent out of shape over things that would actually help you if your company happened to be as good as you tell everyone it is. So what gives?

      • Mike Reilly

        Here’s the deal Damon, when you start answering questions then I will answer yours, until then I’m done with your thoughts, opinions, assumptions and nonsense. I really think you have a comprehension or concentration problem; you should try riddlin.

      • Robert S

        don’t bother with a lot of what Damon posts. He takes someones comment and turns it into a Slippery Slope “So, if Debt Settlement can 15% total debt, than companies will charge 20% than 100%, etc, etc”…. This type of argument is used a lot.

        Also, notice a few, somewhat indirect personal attacks (Ad hominem) to destroy credibility in ADDITION to his counter argument. It adds a little spice to his point.

        —> “Mike, to be honest, the more you write, the more I wonder.”

        He will be dieing to respond to this :)

      • http://DamonDay.com Damon Day

        No I won’t

      • http://DamonDay.com Damon Day

        Ok, so what you are saying is if I am going to bring a little logic and reason with me to the party, you don’t want to hang out anymore. I get it. I really didn’t leave you with any other option. Best of luck to you.

      • Mike Reilly

        No, what I’m saying is this…Here’s the deal Damon, when you start answering questions then I will answer yours, until then I’m done with your thoughts, opinions, assumptions and nonsense. I really think you have a comprehension or concentration problem; you should try riddlin.

      • Mike Reilly

        This should make for a good laugh…

        How To Start Your Own Credit And Debt Counseling Service
        Here’s a business idea that meets all the aspirations of the American Dream.
        You can start small with a little or no investment, develop it in your spare time, and parlay it into a $100,000 a year income–all within the next twelve months or so.

        Really, all it takes to move one is an empathy for people, a basic understanding of money management, and about 500 business cards, some smart advertising, and you’re in business. Your greatest expense or investment, of course, will be your advertising.

        The first, and most important thing to learn is the “thought processes” in the minds of the people or firms that lend money. No one lends money with the thought of foreclosing on the loan and taking away a borrower’s collateral. Whenever the lender is forced into such a situation, everybody loses. The borrower loses his possessions, and the lender ends up with about one tenth of the money he originally loaned out.

        Therefore, the lending institution will generally do everything possible to work with the borrower as long as he continues to show good faith in attempting to repay the amount of the loan. The most important thing a borrower should do, once he finds himself in a financial bind, is get in touch with his creditors and apprise them of his situation. Usually, the lender will set up a meeting for an open discussion between himself and the borrower, in order to adjust or work out a more convenient repayment schedule.

        Most people who borrow money are having money management problems to begin with, and are actually terrified to death at the thought of people from the loan company calling them. Although they generally won’t admit it, most are aware that they’re having problems managing their money. They’re embarrassed about it, and instead of openly seeking help, they attempt to cover up the problem, and then hide from or avoid the very people who want to help them.

        Over the past three years, personal and small business bankruptcies have been soaring to record levels. At the bottom line, very few people want to file bankruptcy against their creditors, because regardless how easy it is, the thought of having “gone bankrupt” still leaves a stigma.

        And this is where you step in with your Professional Credit Debt Counseling Service. YOU SHOULD NEVER HAVE ANY TROUBLE FINDING CLIENTS.

        Remember, step one is always to notify the client’s creditors. This is the first instruction (or job) that you give to the client after you’ve heard his story. The borrower should be the one to notify the creditors, and ideally, he should call each on the phone, set up a meeting and then discuss with the lender his current financial situation as well as his plans to rectify the problems, and resume payments. The plan he’ll discuss with the lender will be the plan you assist him in setting up.

        If the borrower is over his head and with no other alternative, you should immediately advise him to file for relief under ” The Wage Earner’s Plan,” as explained in Chapter 13 of Federal Bankruptcy Act. In essence, this “plan” gives the debtor time to regroup and reorganize his financial situation without hounded by bill collectors.

        Anyone who’s capable wages, salaries or commissions, can make use of this plan. It should in no way be thought of as bankruptcy. This is simply a court supervised method for a borrower to pay off his debts. The borrower simply draws up a plan, the lenders are almost over a three-year period. If the court accepts the plan, the lenders are almost obligated to accept it. while more recent bankruptcy laws still leave room for abuse by dishonest “big business,” they fortunately have improved the outlook for the “little guy.”

        Your job as a Creditor and Debt Counselor is to meet with the over extended borrower, listen to his problems, and help him to plan a budget to live by, and set up a plan for the proper management of his income that will include money for him to live on, plus regular payments to his creditors. In the beginning, you can meet in the borrower’s home, pretty much the same way an insurance agent does. later on, you’ll probably want your own office, but a formal office for your business will never be absolutely necessary.

        Many people are reluctant to be seen walking into a Credit Counselor’s office. Again, there’s a personal embarrassment—the thought of their friends seeing them, and the worry of what other people will think of them. So if you do opt for an office, make it as unobtrusive and as confidential as possible. A sign stating “Money Management Consultant” would be appropriate. Gaining the confidence and trust of your clients will be the secrets of your success. And do not underestimate the power of “word-of-mouth” recommendations by grateful clients.

        Follow the methods of the insurance salesman, making everything as comfortable as possible for your clients. So long as you listen to your client’s problems, and then work with him to plan a budget he can live with while paying off his bills, you won’t be required to have a license in most states. You simply listen, assist the borrower in planning a budget, and he administers it himself. He makes all the contacts with his creditors, and makes all the payments directly to them. To give you the money and have you disburse it among his creditors would require a license for your business.

        Step two in your service is to find out the total amount of cash your client has coming in each month, and on what debts. Calculate according to his current obligations, how much he needs for living expenses: Rent or mortgage payments, utilities, food and clothing. The remainder of his available income is then budgeted for division among his creditors.

        One of the best (and easiest) methods of money management within a budget is via envelopes. The wage earner marks a different envelope for each of his obligations. He then makes a pre-determined amount of deposit in each of these envelopes each payday.

        Thus, if his mortgage were $500 per month, and be brought home $750 each pay day, you’d probably advise that he “deposit” $250 each payday into the mortgage envelope. And so it would be with each envelope.

        Many people find this kind of system scary in the beginning, but after they’re used it for a month, they swear by it as the only way to keep bills up to date.

        Of course, the most important thing you want to advise your clients to do is to destroy their credit cards. Best of all, have them cut them in half, and send them back with a short note explaining what they are doing and why–getting a handle on their debts according to their actual income. Basically, that’s all there is to your counseling service.

        You’ll need a first meeting to hear the problems, and to make your proposals. A second meeting will be in order to polish and endorse the planning. Perhaps a third meeting at the end of the first month to assist them in making their payments from their obligation envelopes. Finally, you’ll want to keep in touch with them and ask how they are doing from time to time. You’ll find that most of the people you serve today will need your services again at some time within the next five years–sad, but statistically true.

        It’s a “fast track” and ever changing world. People who are poor money managers today will invariably encounter money problems, again and again, regardless of how often they get everything paid off. This is, unfortunately, what keeps the lending institutions in business, and presents the opportunity for you to become wealthy as a Professional Credit and Debt Counselor.

        You’ll need a receipt book. Drop by any large stationary store and get the most impressive one available. You should charge $100, more or less, for services, Three counseling sessions, with the payments at 410 per month spread over ten months is an ideal arrangement. Explain your fee during your first contact—$100 in payments of $10 per month over 10 months. You’ll find the sound of a $100 fee affords an intangible degree of respect for your services, while the explanation of modest $10 monthly payments closes the sale for you.

        Always carry an attache case, and at each meeting, work at the kitchen or dining room table. if it’s a husband and wife, be sure that each is seated beside you. If it’s just one person, have him or her to your right if you’re righthanded; to your left if you’re lefthanded. Never have a client opposite you, across the table. Round tables are best for empathy, agreement and cooperation; this has been proven psychologically—just believe it, and be guided accordingly.

        Always carry a yellow legal pad, and have plenty of pencils with erasers available. The legal pad lends authority to your knowledge, while leaving plenty of room for alternatives. The pencils and erasers eliminate the symbolic fear of everything being “cast in stone,” and conveys the feeling of negotiation.

        You should be well dressed, a portrayal of the traditional “financing officer,” and yet warm colors to accentuate your empathy with the problems of your clients. By all means, you should be sparkling clean and well-groomed. Do not smoke during your meeting with your client, and always diplomatically refuse any alcoholic drinks that be offered. Try to “talk” with your clients. You must never show any signs of disapproval of the actions that resulted in your clients being in their present predicament, nor should you sound as if you’re lecturing or speaking to children. Remember–and you can tell your client–this has happened to many stable, conscientious people.

        Maintain an attitude of understanding and sincere desire to help them out of their current “tight spot.” Don’t let them get going on a deprecatory tangent, either. Should they start down the path, simply tell them, “These things happen to everyone, and what’s done is done; the important thing now is working out the solution to the problem.”

        As mentioned earlier, your only real investment to set yourself up in this business will be your advertising. Even that does not have to be a “saved up” cash outlay. You can start off by planning to run a two-column wide by three inch deep advertisement in your most read area newspaper. Check with the newspaper office to get the best price on a bulk space contract.

        Under this kind of agreement, you sign to pay for a certain minimum number of column inches for the next year, and as a result, your rates are considerably lower than those paid by the infrequent advertiser. Best of all, the newspaper will bill you after the ad has run, and allow you 30 days from the date of your billing.

        You should plan to run an ad in the newspaper for at least three days a week, especially in the Sunday editions, every week. You might also want to run the same ad in several of your weekly Shoppers Newspapers. Definitely have a flyer made up describing your services. About once a month, hire 7th or 8th grade school girls to hand these out for you in the busy shopping centers. Another good place to hand them out is at the entrance to your state’s employment service offices.

        Small 3 by 5 cards announcement cards or descriptive business cards on all the bulletin boards in the area will also pull in business. Finally—and most importantly—just as soon as you can afford it, an advertisement and listing in the yellow pages of your telephone directory should be bought. Telephone directories come out on a regular ( usually annually) schedule, so check ahead, and anticipate cost and date you may expect results.

        A good place to check for help in writing your advertising is your area colleges. The students will generally help in exchange for the opportunity to build a portfolio. There’s never a need to pay the “out-of-sight” high prices demanded for professional copywriting and advertising design by some agencies, even if you have the money. All finished ads are unproven, and you have no guarantee that one is better than another until you begin testing or using it.

        The important element is that your ad says what you want it to say–that it looks good and makes you feel that it will appeal to your potential customers–that it instills confidence within you that it will bring in the customers. Use the “AIDA” formula: ATTENTION, INTEREST, DESIRE, ACTION!

        An attention grabbing headline (or first line)— a line or paragraph that definitely appeals to or arouses the self-interest of your potential customer; “a hooker,” or image building description that causes the prospect to picture how much better his life will be as a result of availing himself of your services; a line that relieves the prospect’s fears of making the wrong decision (such as “Satisfaction Guaranteed”) and a demand that he take immediate action such as “Call NOW!” DON NOT APPROVE AND DO NOT RUN ANY AD that does not contain all these ingredients.

        Here’s an example of an ad that should work very well for you:

        ARE BILL COLLECTORS HOUNDING YOU? Now there’s a way to stop those dunning letters and embarrassing phone calls. Get out of debt com- pletely—without bankruptcy! Preserve your good credit rating; maintain your present lifestyle; worry no more about bill collectors! Just an hour or so of your time, and your money problems can be solved! Your satisfaction is guaranteed! Phone 123-4567 right now for an appointment.

        National Credit Counselors 123 Tenth St City, State.

        A classified ad might read:

        Solve all your money problems with this easy and completely legal solution. 100% guaranteed anywhere in the U.S. Call Consumer Credit Solutions at 123-4567.

        At the same time your newspaper ads begin to appear, be sure to get a press release about your business to the business editors and consumer advocates at all the newspaper, radio and television stations in your area. Of help to you in this area will be our report #3504, The Inside Secrets of Getting Free Publicity For Your Business.

        It’s generally not worthwhile to advertise this particular kind of business on radio and TV, unless you do os on a “per inquiry” basis. For more details on this approach, see report #3406, How To Get Free Radio Advertising For Your Company.

        After any free radio and Tv talk shows, and newspaper feature stories about your business, the next best method of spreading the word about your business will be via the guest speaker route at civic club meetings. And don’t forget the women’s clubs. Your talk to these groups should be “scripted,” simply explaining the alarming number of bankruptcies, the great losses suffered by business because of bankruptcies; the exasperatingly poor record of the American people with money management responsibilities; an urging for support to get “back to the Basics” and teach practical money management courses in the schools, and by example in the home. Such talk should bring you a big round of applause and continuing source of referrals.

        To carry this effort just a little further, set up Credit and Debt Counseling Seminars or Workshops. You can arrange to hold them in the banquet rooms of well-known restaurants in your area, meeting rooms at your local community college, fraternal club meeting halls, motels, or even churches. Generally, it’s best to charge a small fee– say 45 per couple—because of the suspicion that you’re setting up to sell something when you don’t charge an attendance fee. Most people are aware of the bottom line–that you are trying to sell them something when you invite them to a seminar or workshop. However, most feel that when you invite them to a seminar or workshop. However, most feel when there is a cover charge, the basic information you’ll be giving will be more useful that given when there’s no charge to attend. And if they have paid some kind of fee, they will be more at ease in listening and evaluating, without the pressure when they have come”for free.”

        Seminars are one of the most lucrative (and fastest) ways of getting a new business off to a running start. When you stage seminars, it’s imperative that you flood the area with advertising, being sure to promote the seminar, not the product that you’re really selling.

        Your seminar script should be basically the same that I’ve outlined for you as a guest speaker, the difference being that instead of closing with a call for more education in money management, you briefly outline the simplicity of the “envelope deposit” system. You then close with an open invitation for those with particular problems or needing special help to call your office and set up an appointment for personalized counseling service.

        Even better you officially open for business, you’ll want to have a tentative list of people you can possibly train as employees to handle the workload as your business grows. Rather than pay these people a salary, simply give them a commission for each client they handle. In other words, you can sign a client for $100 over 10 months, sell the account to a factoring company for 80% of the total, collect $80 in cash immediately, pay your commission counselor $30, and bank $50 in profit with no real work involved on your part. And if you have hired a good counselor, you can rest assured that your client has been well served.

        Basically, that’s how easy it is to put this kind of business together and make it start paying off immediately. Remember, you must be constantly soliciting new customers, and building the number of customers you or your counselors talk to each day. You should strive for an average of three counseling sessions per day, five days per week, before seriously considering additional help.

        At $10 per month from each account, this will give you $150 per week or a total account billing of $1,500 per week. By factoring your accounts at 20% for their total value, you’ll have an immediate cash income of $1,200 for the week. The factoring company will handle all the billing and bookkeeping, eliminating your need for those services.

        The way to success in this business is, however, to keep this happening EVERY week. It will depend upon your advertising, the service you give, and the reputation you build.

        The prime requisite will be work and perseverance on your part, but once you’re established, with a few commission counselors working for you, the business can easily gross $150,000 per year in even small to medium-size cities. You now have the knowledge; the rest—the action part—is up to you. Best of luck!

        ——————————————————————————–

      • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

        And people said this was a tough business. What did they know. LOL

      • Mike Reilly

        I love the part about the the legal pad and to have plenty of pencil’s and this was a killer too;

        Maintain an attitude of understanding and sincere desire to help them out of their current “tight spot.” Don’t let them get going on a deprecatory tangent, either. Should they start down the path, simply tell them, “These things happen to everyone, and what’s done is done; the important thing now is working out the solution to the problem.”

      • http://DamonDay.com Damon Day

        And do you still wonder why Steve and I talk so openly about the B.S. in this industry?

      • http://DamonDay.com Damon Day

        Ok Mike,

        I am not sure if you recently picked up a copy of “Ass Backward Marketing Strategies That You Shouldn’t Try at Home,” but if you really want me to answer your questions and explain why a consumer in debt should always call me before calling you or one of your sales people, I will be happy to do so.

        Whether you believe it or not, I really was trying to give you an “out” and for some unknown reason you chose to not take it. However, I believe that you learn more from the defeats than from the victories, so it is with sincerity, I deliver the following lesson: Focus on the things you do well. Let someone else handle the PR.

        If I recall, one of your questions was that you couldn’t quite seem to understand my business. What I do is simple and straight forward. Instead of calling a debt relief sales person, a consumer in debt can purchase a consultation with me and learn exactly what they need to do to resolve their situation and move forward. It is simply a matter of choice. Does the consumer want a free consultation where a specific product or service must be sold to them, or do they want to pay a reasonable fee to get an unbiased opinion and learn the information they need to resolve their situation? (game)

        Often times consumers will learn that they can resolve their problem without paying a company thousands of dollars in fees. (set)

        However if they would like to hire a settlement company to assist them, then only after we determine whether or not that strategy will even work, I can recommend the names of some good programs for them to research. I do not accept back end referral fees for my recommendations. Instead I ask any company that I suggest to a client to pass what they would have paid out in marketing, on to the client in a form of a discount on their fees. (match)

        So in sum. A consumer in debt would be wasting their time and money by calling you before they call me. Not only will they know the information that I am giving them does not effect my income one way or another, they will also be insured that they will save hundreds and in many cases thousands of dollars by first learning the right strategy from the beginning and then insuring that if need be, they are hiring a great company at a discounted price to assist them. I spend my hour long consultation understanding their overall financial situation and working out complete solutions rather than just pitching a specific product or service.

        So you claim that your best client is one that shops around. Well, that isn’t quite true because if a client shops around and finds my website then they aren’t very likely to hire you. Not because I am going to say anything negative about your program, just that I know great programs that offer the same service that you do at about the same or much lower cost with my discount. If given the choice do you think a consumer would like a list of good settlement companies to research before making a very important decision? Do you think that they would like to save 100′s and sometimes 1,000′s of dollars off of the fees if they do decide to hire a company? So far I have had no complaints from clients, just from people in the industry. Hmmm I wonder why that is?

        Judging by many of your recent comments, you seem to believe that consumers should not be given all the information because they are not capable of making informed choices. What I do is simply make sure the consumer has all of the information and that they fully understand everything so they can make the choice that they feel is best for them and their family. Perhaps the reason you are getting so bent out of shape about what Steve and I are doing is because you actually already know that.

        http://getoutofdebt.org/Damon-Day

      • http://DamonDay.com Damon Day

        Oh, I almost forgot. You also asked me if I would like to see a video of a parody of me in sponge bob pajamas and laughing about telling people to file BK. Actually sure, that would be fine.

        Mike, why don’t you spend some money to produce the video. Then spend a heap ton of money to promote it. Make sure it is funny so it will go viral, and then please put my name all over it.

        You know what will happen? A lot of people will see that and wonder who the heck is this Damon Day guy. Then they will google my name and find my website. Once there they will learn how I actually help people and if they are in a financial situation they are struggling with, and they are tired of sales pitches and looking for real information, they will most likely schedule a consultation.

        So by all means, you have my permission to do that.

        http://getoutofdebt.org/Damon-Day

      • Mike Reilly

        Damon if we’re going to play the game, let’s do it right..The only question you answered was the one video question and it was just you being who you are, a SA..(You’re a smart guy so I’m sure you figured that out) so I don’t really consider it an answer. Before we move on let me clear the air about a few things; I have never attempted to blast you or your service and I’m not sure why when folks ask you questions you automatically assume you’re under attack, Maybe you were picked on as a kid, who knows, what I do know is you hold yourself out as a very righteous guy.

        Let’s get into it and I’m going to help you with the answers to the following statements.

        Show me one post where I have stated that what you do for a living is not consumer friendly or not in the best interest of consumers. You can’t

        Show me one post where I state it’s all Steve’s fault or even yours for that matter. You can’t

        Show me one post where I state I provide the best service of all DS companies. You can’t

        Show me one post where I state that in my model the consumer comes last, to me it’s all about the money or the company’s bottom line. You can’t

        Show me one post where I tell anyone on this board how we qualify consumers for 1 of 3 programs. You can’t

        Show me one post where I refer to my agents or consultants and sales people. You can’t

        Provide me with another website that contains as much content as the Emerge site that clearly explains the pros and cons of all the programs we offer. If you can (and I’m sure there are plenty) I would really appreciate it.

        I’m hoping you get my point here…

        Let’s talk about the questions you choose to ignore or allow to go unanswered. I’m only going back to our last exchange and that was the video topic.

        Why did you not post the video on your website, you made it clear you felt it was spot-on and something consumers needed to see to protect them? Did it have anything to do with the language?

        You made a comment that you have a really hard job which I guess, is to expose the bad guys? How about dealing with your clients, does that come easy to you or is that also hard?

        My comments and questions (that went unanswered) after you made that comment (above) were as follows;

        I don’t know that you work hard, I don’t know that what you do is good for consumers because you sub the work out (based on the limited information I know about your business) when it requires execution. I don’t know the success rate of the folks you coach; do you post that information in detail on your site?

        How can anyone in OUR industry (see what I did there) assure anyone anything?

        Do you guarantee success in your program or just money back if they don’t like what they hear?

        My final statement was as follows; I too want the bad players to disappear, my firm and my team is as compliant as the day is long, and that’s one thing I can assure anyone of. That’s also the way it’s been from the start and under my watch the one thing that will never change.

        Damon, like you I have not one client/consumer complaint, a drop-out rate that barely exists, our fee structure is very fair, very competitive and compliant. I/we do what you do and I mean probably most everyone on this board, we do the work, we perform the detailed financial analysis and guide the consumer appropriately. Those that do not…well, as the old saying goes…live by the sword, die by the sword!

        One final note, my issue is not pointing out the bad guys it’s doing it in such a way that causes those in need to look in a different direction that could be more harmful than good.

      • Mike Reilly

        Oh I almost forgot, and don’t take this wrong….I was on your site and a good one at that but, I think the DS video is out of date and a quick glance at the home page could lead one to believe you’re a CFP

      • http://DamonDay.com Damon Day

        oh crap, you got me. My video is 3 years old. I am so busy helping clients get their money back after debt settlement companies have ripped them off, that I am afraid I have not had the time to update the video.
        As you can see I have been warning consumers about the dangers of most debt settlement programs long before it was the cool thing to do.

        Thanks for checking on it and reminding me though.

        I am sorry you were confused about the CFP thing. You are right, there is a testimony on my front page that has the word CFP in it. I guess if someone didn’t actually read the sentence they may get confused.
        Here is the testimony…

        As a holder of the Certified Financial Planner™ (CFP®) designation in two countries, I have leant on Damon for advice on debt settlement. This is a topic that is not covered in the CFP® coursework and it has been a pleasure to learn about this subject from an independent and objective professional consultant like Damon. – Tim

        Mike are you saying you read the testimony and were not able to understand that the testimony was written by a financial professional who holds a CFP designation in two countries, that was sharing the fact that he looks to me for advice on debt settlement for his clients?

        Frankly I am not sure how to respond.

      • Mike Reilly

        Damon re-read the post and try to think through it…its pretty clear

        Answer the questions…..

      • http://DamonDay.com Damon Day

        actually it is not.

        Your questions have all been answered

      • http://DamonDay.com Damon Day

        Please see my comment above. I will be happy to address all of your questions when I have time to continue the lesson.

        Real quick. Lesson number 2.

        Regarding all of your “show me where I specifically said this or that.” Mike I hope you understand, that when you write there is a difference between the specific words you use and the tone, message or meaning that you convey. Whether you realize it or not you have conveyed all of those messages. Ask any person reading this exchange if they get the impression that you don’t like me or feel threatened by my service. Did you specifically say that? Nope, but you certainly do say that, whether you realize it or not.

        Let me give you an example. In a comment I wrote “Mike, to be honest, the more you write, the more I wonder.”

        What does that mean? Well I don’t know. You have to look at the surrounding context to try and gain understanding and meaning to the message I was trying to convey.

        Anyone reading that comment would likely come away with the impression that I think your reasoning is illogical for the most part and you seem to lack an understanding of certain concepts surrounding your business and the marketing thereof.

        Now, you probably took that as a dig on you as well. And you should have called me out about that. So then what if I feigned shock and outrage and said I have no idea what you are talking about. Show me a specific post where I said those words??

        See what I mean? I gave a clear message but didn’t use any of the words. Pretty neat huh?

        So I am not going to respond to your show me this or that. If you honestly had no idea about the message you have clearly conveyed and I have responded to in kind, then for your own sake, I highly suggest you first consult with a PR firm before doing any more writing.

        I will however answer all of your questions on my blog and we can see how far you want to go with it. It will be fun.

      • Mike Reilly

        Damon you can twist this anyway you like, it’s so easy to see right through you and just for clarification your reasons above is why I believe you have a comprehension problem.

        Answer the questions….

      • Mike Reilly

         Ok Damon,
         Now to pick this apart, my comments follow each one of yours.

        I am not sure if you recently picked up a copy of “Ass Backward Marketing Strategies That You Shouldn’t Try at Home,” but if you really want me to answer your questions and explain why a consumer in debt should always call me before calling you or one of your sales people, I will be happy to do so.

         Show me where I posted this question! No let me answer that, you can’t

        Whether you believe it or not, I really was trying to give you an “out” and for some unknown reason you chose to not take it. However, I believe that you learn more from the defeats than from the victories, so it is with sincerity, I deliver the following lesson: Focus on the things you do well. Let someone else handle the PR.

         Practice what you preach!

        If I recall, one of your questions was that you couldn’t quite seem to understand my business. What I do is simple and straight forward. Instead of calling a debt relief sales person, a consumer in debt can purchase a consultation with me and learn exactly what they need to do to resolve their situation and move forward. It is simply a matter of choice. Does the consumer want a free consultation where a specific product or service must be sold to them, or do they want to pay a reasonable fee to get an unbiased opinion and learn the information they need to resolve their situation? (game)

         Again, show me where I posted this question, that’s right…you can’t

        Often times consumers will learn that they can resolve their problem without paying a company thousands of dollars in fees. (set)

         Very insightful Damon, did you figure that out all on your own?

        However if they would like to hire a settlement company to assist them, then only after we determine whether or not that strategy will even work, I can recommend the names of some good programs for them to research. I do not accept back end referral fees for my recommendations. Instead I ask any company that I suggest to a client to pass what they would have paid out in marketing, on to the client in a form of a discount on their fees. (match)

         What does your list of qualifications consist of to refer a DS company or any other company for that matter? Do they report to you each month on the case or does the client report to you? Do you know the drop rate and completion rates of all your clients or once you point them in a direction it’s all over?

        So in sum. A consumer in debt would be wasting their time and money by calling you before they call me. Not only will they know the information that I am giving them does not effect my income one way or another, they will also be insured that they will save hundreds and in many cases thousands of dollars by first learning the right strategy from the beginning and then insuring that if need be, they are hiring a great company at a discounted price to assist them. I spend my hour long consultation understanding their overall financial situation and working out complete solutions rather than just pitching a specific product or service.

         I would be willing to bet that the financial analysis we conduct is just as if not more comprehensive than the one you perform and it’s free of charge. Little do you know Damon there’s no SALES PRESSURE placed on the consumer but, again you’re just full of assumptions and you know the old saying there right?

        So you claim that your best client is one that shops around. Well, that isn’t quite true because if a client shops around and finds my website then they aren’t very likely to hire you. Not because I am going to say anything negative about your program, just that I know great programs that offer the same service that you do at about the same or much lower cost with my discount. If given the choice do you think a consumer would like a list of good settlement companies to research before making a very important decision? Do you think that they would like to save 100′s and sometimes 1,000′s of dollars off of the fees if they do decide to hire a company? So far I have had no complaints from clients, just from people in the industry. Hmmm I wonder why that is?

         The first sentence is true, there’s not much negative to talk about and if I were ever in a position to have to rely on you for referrals I would close shop and become a debt coach, 500 business cards and I’m in!

        Judging by many of your recent comments, you seem to believe that consumers should not be given all the information because they are not capable of making informed choices. What I do is simply make sure the consumer has all of the information and that they fully understand everything so they can make the choice that they feel is best for them and their family. Perhaps the reason you are getting so bent out of shape about what Steve and I are doing is because you actually already know that.

         I now know what it is you do, you prey on fear, your goal is to scare the herd into your coral and brand as many as you can and there is nothing you or anyone can say to make me believe otherwise. You’re a businessman of sorts, I respect that. But remember you fool know one!

      • http://DamonDay.com Damon Day

        Jeez Mike,

        Not only did you not take my advice you decided to step into it further. Ok.

        I will have to respond to this later as I actually have clients that I work with. In fact, I am thinking if you want to get into a full on debate and somehow try to explain why what I do is somehow inferior to what you do, I would love to have that debate on my blog. We might as well give this debate the proper attention that it deserves. So here is what I will do. I will take the time to write the article and we can cover all these little points that you want to cover. Even though, this crap doesn’t matter to consumers. It gives me a great platform to highlight exactly why my service is so important. Once I write the article I will update this comment thread so anyone who is interested in our pissing match can take the time to go read it. See you shortly

      • Mike Reilly

        So once again you refuse to answer the real questions at hand. If you want to play then play by the rules. I don’t play by your rules Damon because they are one sided.

        ANSWER THE QUESTIONS TOUGH GUY, or go away!

      • http://DamonDay.com Damon Day

        This is becoming amusing for me and a train wreck all at the same time. What is it that you think you are gaining here Mike? I am just curious.

        Ok, here are the answers to your questions. For someone who isn’t attacking me you certainly seem to be throwing a lot of questions at me and insisting on an answer. That is weird right?

        A few of my criteria for recommending a debt settlement company?
        1. They have been in business at least 3 years and preferably 5.
        2. They were performance based even before the FTC required them to be so.
        3. They charge a fee that is much lower than the typical settlement company.
        4. They have a track record that shows clear results, little to no complaints.

        Debt settlement isn’t rocket science. If the company puts the client first, the rest is easy, providing you only bring on the right clients. Of course any client I tell to look at settlement is the right client, or I wouldn’t tell them to look at it.

        Those are some of the main things I look for. Keep in mind. I don’t tell a client who to hire. I just give them the names of companies that I know are good and have known of them for quite a while. Then they have a list of good companies that they can chose from, or chose a completely different company and ask me for my opinion. I won’t just give my opinion. I will also give the reasons for my opinion and they can decide if I make sense or if I am just full of it. The fact that I can get them a large discount with pretty much any debt settlement company just sweetens the deal for my client don’t you think?

        How involved I am with a client after the initial consultation is up to the client. Some clients only have one consultation, others might want to have me available in the future. It is up to them.

        I don’t typically just point my clients in a specific direction and that is it. I use a process whereby we look at multiple scenarios based on various possible circumstances and work through various solutions with some if/then scenarios. The difference is, that I make sure my clients don’t get into anything that their current or likely future circumstances makes it unlikely they will be able to complete. If they lose their job and possibly have to file BK, there is nothing I can do about that, but I certainly will prepare them for that.

        If you are willing to bet your “financial analysis” that you do for free is more insightful than what I do with my clients, how much are you prepared to lose? The facts are simple, you are spending a ton of money on this SEO campaign you are talking about. You make all or a bulk of your money when you sell your debt settlement program. In contrast, I spend 0 dollars on advertising, all of my clients are referrals, and I get paid specifically for providing good, unbiased information. I make the same amount of money regardless of what the client needs. Is it logical to think that you recommend debt settlement much more often than I do? You can answer that question, but the facts are, you would go out of business if you only recommended hiring a debt settlement company as often as I do.

        There are times when hiring a debt settlement company is the best move for the client. There are also times when the client can clearly do it themselves. There are then other times where multiple solutions are possible, but knowing which one is the best will require a much more in depth understanding of the clients overall circumstances.

        I will let the consumer decide which one of us will do a better job covering that. The one that sells one of the options, or the one that sells none of them… Hmm lets think about this for bit.

        Would you prefer to go to a fee based financial planner and pay for non incentivized advice. Or go get a free financial analysis where the planner makes money only on the loaded mutual funds and insurance that he recommends you need?

        Sorry, “facts is facts,” whether you agree with them or not.

        No sales pressure? That is great, glad to hear it. There is a difference between no sales pressure and professional bias. The facts are clear. Bankruptcy attorneys tend to recommend BK as the best solution more often than not, Debt settlement recommends debt settlement, CCCS recommends what they do. Whether you realize it or not, if you did not get paid for signing someone up into debt settlement and you were really focusing on the client with a blank slate (and you knew what was best for the client) I guarantee you would refer less clients to settlement. You can disagree all day long, but your business model requires you to do that.

        Oh, here you go with the fear again. Yup. That is what I am doing. I am just making up all of this bad stuff about debt settlement to scare people. Funny how none of my clients ever complain about me isn’t it? I think there is definitely some fear going on, but it isn’t coming from me or my clients.

        I fool “Know” one? How specifically am I not fooling anyone? Do I say things that are untrue?

        As fun as this is for me, I am sure it is a total drag for consumers to read when the best you can do is jump up and down about answering your questions. I am sure I missed one or two of them somewhere and that will be your next bone of contention. However, instead of acting like idiots and getting out our measuring sticks, why don’t we do something constructive?

        How about consumers in debt can call you and listen to what you have to say. Then they can call me for the right information and decide whether one of us actually makes good sense or if we are both just full of crap. What do you think?

        I am curious. Do you really believe this stuff you write, or have you just run out of ways to try and logically discredit what it is that I do?

        “Run for the hills…. Don’t talk to Damon…. He is just a fear monger… You shouldn’t listen to anything he says…. Please just sign up in my program without talking to him because he will scare you away…. He is a bad guy and said bullshit…. Stay away from him please.”

        That is about what I have cleaned from this exchange so far. Why are you so afraid of consumers talking to me Mike?

      • MIke Reilly

        In my short time on this site all I ever hear is the same old rap from you Damon, everyone attacks Damon, poor Damon how can this be, he’s so much better than everyone else?

        I knew for sure you would try and skirt the answer to the first question and you made a good attempt at hedging yourself but at the end of the day you did not answer why you didn’t post the video to your site? That’s what this is all about Damon and you know it. I made a comment about the video, stuck to my guns, period.

        So let’s look at your answers, I will do what I did earlier and post my comment after your thought.

        Damon wrote;
        This is becoming amusing for me and a train wreck all at the same time. What is it that you think you are gaining here Mike? I am just curious.

        Ans, an understanding of Damon Day

        Ok, here are the answers to your questions. For someone who isn’t attacking me you certainly seem to be throwing a lot of questions at me and insisting on an answer. That is weird right?

        Ans, what’s weird is, you do it all the time and when the shoe is on the other foot it becomes an attack.

        A few of my criteria for recommending a debt settlement company?
        1. They have been in business at least 3 years and preferably 5.
        2. They were performance based even before the FTC required them to be so.
        3. They charge a fee that is much lower than the typical settlement company.
        4. They have a track record that shows clear results, little to no complaints.

        Debt settlement isn’t rocket science. If the company puts the client first, the rest is easy, providing you only bring on the right clients. Of course any client I tell to look at settlement is the right client, or I wouldn’t tell them to look at it.

        Those are some of the main things I look for. Keep in mind. I don’t tell a client who to hire. I just give them the names of companies that I know are good and have known of them for quite a while. Then they have a list of good companies that they can chose from, or chose a completely different company and ask me for my opinion. I won’t just give my opinion. I will also give the reasons for my opinion and they can decide if I make sense or if I am just full of it. The fact that I can get them a large discount with pretty much any debt settlement company just sweetens the deal for my client don’t you think?

        Ans, yes, all good answers, like debt settlement the same holds true for debt coaching, it’s the furthest thing from rocket science.

        How involved I am with a client after the initial consultation is up to the client. Some clients only have one consultation, others might want to have me available in the future. It is up to them.

        I don’t typically just point my clients in a specific direction and that is it. I use a process whereby we look at multiple scenarios based on various possible circumstances and work through various solutions with some if/then scenarios. The difference is, that I make sure my clients don’t get into anything that their current or likely future circumstances makes it unlikely they will be able to complete. If they lose their job and possibly have to file BK, there is nothing I can do about that, but I certainly will prepare them for that.

        Ans, so what this sounds like is, most of your clients once engaged in a service you recommend (unless they reach out to you) for the most part is not going to report success or failure, therefore in many cases you do not know the results or effects of your recommendations, correct?

        If you are willing to bet your “financial analysis” that you do for free is more insightful than what I do with my clients, how much are you prepared to lose? The facts are simple, you are spending a ton of money on this SEO campaign you are talking about. You make all or a bulk of your money when you sell your debt settlement program. In contrast, I spend 0 dollars on advertising, all of my clients are referrals, and I get paid specifically for providing good, unbiased information. I make the same amount of money regardless of what the client needs. Is it logical to think that you recommend debt settlement much more often than I do? You can answer that question, but the facts are, you would go out of business if you only recommended hiring a debt settlement company as often as I do.

        Ans, Damon, I can tell you for a fact that the majority of consumers we speak with through SEO are not as good a candidate for DS as compared to DM or BK, hense the other programs we offer however, when using data from the credit bureau’s the information is filtered in such ways that better defines the consumers condition providing us with higher pre-qualified candidates for DS, at the end of the day common sense and a deep financial analysis dictate the program or the lack thereof.

        There are times when hiring a debt settlement company is the best move for the client. There are also times when the client can clearly do it themselves. There are then other times where multiple solutions are possible, but knowing which one is the best will require a much more in depth understanding of the clients overall circumstances.

        I will let the consumer decide which one of us will do a better job covering that. The one that sells one of the options, or the one that sells none of them… Hmm lets think about this for bit.

        Ans, people buy carfax’s from the dealers all day long and still purchase cars from them. I think if you had every consumers ear that was in trouble you wouldn’t be playing here.

        Would you prefer to go to a fee based financial planner and pay for non incentivized advice. Or go get a free financial analysis where the planner makes money only on the loaded mutual funds and insurance that he recommends you need?

        Ans, Track record is everything so if im paying for advice I would expect a clear record of success by the majority and if the firm providing the advice could not produce it, I would think twice.

        Sorry, “facts is facts,” whether you agree with them or not.

        Ans, I agree completely provable facts are facts

        No sales pressure? That is great, glad to hear it. There is a difference between no sales pressure and professional bias. The facts are clear. Bankruptcy attorneys tend to recommend BK as the best solution more often than not, Debt settlement recommends debt settlement, CCCS recommends what they do. Whether you realize it or not, if you did not get paid for signing someone up into debt settlement and you were really focusing on the client with a blank slate (and you knew what was best for the client) I guarantee you would refer less clients to settlement. You can disagree all day long, but your business model requires you to do that.

        Ans, thats why I carry them all…no pressure… if one really need help and they fit better in one product over another then that’s more than likely the solution, same thing you do.

        Oh, here you go with the fear again. Yup. That is what I am doing. I am just making up all of this bad stuff about debt settlement to scare people. Funny how none of my clients ever complain about me isn’t it? I think there is definitely some fear going on, but it isn’t coming from me or my clients.

        Ans, there is nothing you can tell me that would make me believe you don’t use everything that has transpired in the DS industry to your benefit, your in a for profit business Damon, give us all a break, you promote fear.

        I fool “Know” one? How specifically am I not fooling anyone? Do I say things that are untrue?

        As fun as this is for me, I am sure it is a total drag for consumers to read when the best you can do is jump up and down about answering your questions. I am sure I missed one or two of them somewhere and that will be your next bone of contention. However, instead of acting like idiots and getting out our measuring sticks, why don’t we do something constructive?

        How about consumers in debt can call you and listen to what you have to say. Then they can call me for the right information and decide whether one of us actually makes good sense or if we are both just full of crap. What do you think?

        Ans, i’m cool with that.

        I am curious. Do you really believe this stuff you write, or have you just run out of ways to try and logically discredit what it is that I do?

        Ans, that not what i’m doing at all, look in the mirror buddy.

        “Run for the hills…. Don’t talk to Damon…. He is just a fear monger… You shouldn’t listen to anything he says…. Please just sign up in my program without talking to him because he will scare you away…. He is a bad guy and said bullshit…. Stay away from him please.”

        That is about what I have cleaned from this exchange so far. Why are you so afraid of consumers talking to me Mike?

        Ans, again, I’m not at all afraid. Like you when I speak to a consumer in financial trouble, not to pat myself on the back but, when I complete my analysis their not talking with anyone else.

        So there you have it, one final answer and I feel great, don’t make us all wait, you’ve had plenty of time to think up a good one…the video, why didn’t you post that spot-on consumer warning on your site?

      • http://DamonDay.com Damon Day

        I answered it buddy. You ask me a handful of questions and then don’t take the time to read the answers. I will repeat my response again. I only post a few articles a month. I see hundreds of things that I don’t post because of time constraints. Is that what you are hinging your gotcha on? I didn’t post the video myself? Steve usually posts about 5 to 10 articles a day. I spend a majority of my time doing consultations. Are you seriously on the edge of your seat waiting for that answer? Wow Mike, again (The more you write, the more I wonder.)

        At this point I cannot tell if Emerge America is simply offended by me as they assininely claim or simply afraid of my message, but I will post the question on blog. It is interesting enough to me that I think it warrants an article. I want to find out if Mike has really got his britches all up in a bunch simply because I used the word bullshit. I have to believe he has some deeper issues with what I do. I guess I will find out soon.

        P.S. The only people that attack me are the ones that are afraid of my message. They don’t attack my message because they can’t find a way to attack it, so they try and attack me. Anyone who followed this original back and forth would clearly see you took a sideways pot shot at me for using the word “bullshit”. I responded to it and you soon found that you gave yourself no good way out.

        Now I welcome the controversy. Controversy leads to awareness and that in turn to education for consumers. However, from the beginning I was trying to tell you that you coming after me would not do you any PR favors. I don’t think you have a bad company, so I really didn’t want to defend myself at your expense, but you ignored all of my hints. So here we are. Keep swinging if you would like.

      • Mike Reilly

        Ahh what’s the use, I think we all know why you didn’t post it and you’re just not going to admit it. I read it all and you did not answer it until now, and if thats all you got well great.

      • http://DamonDay.com Damon Day

        Yes Mike, you all know why I didn’t post it because I just told you. You have seen my blog. How many articles do I post per month?

        Let me make sure I understand what you think you understand. At first you claim that I am vulgar because I used the word bullshit. You are so offended by that, you have publicly claimed you would not do business with me (which is fine since I work directly for my clients and couldn’t give a rip about what a debt settlement company thinks about me) but now you are clinging to this idea that I did not post the video because it had bad language in it.

        So the big point you think you are making is that the video did not appeal to my level of decency so I didn’t post it? So which is it Mike? Are you trying to say that the video was so off color that I would not feel comfortable posting it, or that I am such a vulgar individual you must try and point out that you are some how a level above me? Sort of hard to argue both isn’t it?

      • Mike Reilly

        I think you didn’t post it because you are sensible, period the end. I am confident you speak with people from all walks of life and I’m also sure plenty of folks visit your site, so you were smart not to post it. Why take the chance of possibly offending someone when there’s no need to take the risk, no matter the benefit. Damon if the language was removed or bleeped over you would have never heard a word out of my mouth and that’s the truth. The video may have been spot-on in some respects but, clearly overboard.

      • Mike Reilly

        One more thing, the video you have on your blog about the guy bragging about the 7k+ commission….priceless

      • Sorry Mike…

        RITALIN

      • Mike Reilly

        DD, the only problem with your spell check is it’s never there when I need it. The edit button I’m hearing about apparently only shows up if you’re signed in….which is not something I do so, hang around there will be plenty of opportunity to use your skills.

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