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Steve Rhode is a Scam and GetOutOfDebt.org Sucks

I thought it was important to have one article on this site I could point my detractors to instead of having to say the same thing over and over again to some commenters. So here is the article.

First of let me say, I am not a scam and if you feel the site sucks, that is entirely your prerogative.

What I find puzzling is some people come back repeatedly to disagree with this or that, isn’t the solution simple? If you don’t like the site, don’t read it? But if you want to enter into a levelheaded and rational discussion about an article you read, I welcome your feedback in the comments. What I don’t enjoy are the threats to harm me or my family, or the death threat(s) I’ve received.

It is interesting that detractors to this site in comments appear not to be consumers or regulators who read this site. The negative comments against this site and me appear almost entirely by people who run/ran debt relief companies that may have been involved in something I wrote about or who were carrying out a similar effort.

What some readers don’t understand is that I don’t go out and seek out a company to write about. These days nearly 100% of the stories are generated by an email from mostly from this or that anonymous tipster (send in your tips here) who sent me a concern or information they feel I need to know.

I’d say about 90% of that information I receive never gets published because I don’t print unsubstantiated explosive rumors I can’t verify with a second source.

For those that might be involved in some form of debt relief that I wrote about, and you hate that I did, I offer a simple suggestion. If you are doing something that you don’t want people to know about, don’t do it.

The other category some people that think I’m a scam get upset about is if I write about some action their company or a company they know is doing that appears to be breaking some rule or law. To that I say if you were doing something wrong, instead of having a hissy fit, own the change and fix it.

It is quite possible the reason some of these debt relief industry insiders get upset by this site is that the exposure means the jig is up. The gravy train based on harm and deception is over. Consumers have been informed or warned.

Debt relief companies that operate outside the boundaries of regulations and laws, don’t harm me per se, they harm the field of debt relief, harm good companies that do operate in accordance with regulation and laws and, most importantly, they harm a disadvantaged class of consumers at their weakest time.

The goal of this site is twofold. First, I answer reader questions that want an expert opinion about their situation. I’ve answered thousands of those questions here. Second, I write about debt relief industry issues or news consumers should be aware of.

And what makes me an expert on the debt relief industry? Good question. And to that I offer this.

To those that get upset about an article that involves or names a specific entity, you will find my article is sourced and contains supporting information or links to it. If you find that some underlying source material is incorrect I invite you to address those concerns with the source that generated the referenced material.

Another bone of contention, right before someone insults my lineage (LOL), is to complain about the ads on the site. Yes, the ads suck. No, I don’t have any control over who appears. You can read my novella on the ads and how they operate, here. The ads help fund this site. If you don’t like them or some that might be running an ad, don’t click on them. Ad underwritten revenue is the way media outlets operate. If you clicked on that link I just gave you, you’ll see that The Washington Post and New York Times run Google ads as well.

Bottom line: this site not a scam, I am not a scam and I welcome your adult participation and educated discussions in the comments for those that have information to share.

And for Your Continued Reading

Here are links to other articles I have written to address things others have attacked me about.

  1. Steve Rhode getoutofdebt.org – Myvesta.org Beware Steve Rhode and getoutofdebt.org…this company is a fraud Internet
  2. OK, I Finally Have to Answer the Debt Management Guys “Rebuttal to Steve Rhode, The Get Out of Debt Guy Dork”
  3. Debt Relief Expert With Background You Don’t Know About

Steve Rhode is a Scam and GetOutOfDebt.org Sucks
Get Out of Debt Guy – Twitter, G+, Facebook

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

Steve Rhode is a Scam and GetOutOfDebt.org Sucks by

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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.
  • Errick

    Well this seems like an appropriate time and place to wish Steve and everyone a happy and safe Thanksgiving.  And to the non-Americans, happy Thursday.  I am thankful to have a place to discuss these topics, and leave a record that I believe will someday validate my views, or perhaps not, either way, thanks.

    • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

      Thank you very much for the good wishes.

  • Dan Spelling

    Steve very interesting…a week or so ago you replied to a comment I left you on one of your blogs regarding a loan modification law firm in which you posted unsubstantiated lies that your readers posted- you told me that you did not verify every single post that is written by your readers- in fact you elaborated quite passionately about how the law even protects you from anything someone posts on your blog. This is something I just cut and pasted from this site that you wrote-

     I’d say about 90% of that information I receive never gets published
    because I don’t print unsubstantiated explosive rumors I can’t verify
    with a second source.

     Yeah Steve, these are your own words! You are a total fraud and you should think twice before hurting the reputation of good companies helping thousands of people!

    • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

      Apples and oranges.

  • Dan Spelling

    Steve very interesting…a week or so ago you replied to a comment I left you on one of your blogs regarding a loan modification law firm in which you posted unsubstantiated lies that your readers posted- you told me that you did not verify every single post that is written by your readers- in fact you elaborated quite passionately about how the law even protects you from anything someone posts on your blog. This is something I just cut and pasted from this site that you wrote-

     I’d say about 90% of that information I receive never gets published
    because I don’t print unsubstantiated explosive rumors I can’t verify
    with a second source.

     Yeah Steve, these are your own words! You are a total fraud and you should think twice before hurting the reputation of good companies helping thousands of people!

  • Steve Rhode

    You are very welcome. I appreciate your speaking up and letting people know
    it’s true. Critics try to discredit me because they can’t disprove what I
    say. If you can’t attack the message, attack the messenger.

    Steve

  • Taraleelee 310

    Clearly you are not a fraud. You have described everything I have been through in regards to debt settlement companies to a “T”. I have never contributed my story to your site and I don’t think you read minds so clearly you are reporting the fraud of the debt settlement companies as experienced by the consumer. Thank you for confirming my suspicions of what these companies do….or rather don’t do.

  • Taraleelee 310

    Clearly you are not a fraud. You have described everything I have been through in regards to debt settlement companies to a “T”. I have never contributed my story to your site and I don’t think you read minds so clearly you are reporting the fraud of the debt settlement companies as experienced by the consumer. Thank you for confirming my suspicions of what these companies do….or rather don’t do.

    • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

      You are very welcome. I appreciate your speaking up and letting people know
      it’s true. Critics try to discredit me because they can’t disprove what I
      say. If you can’t attack the message, attack the messenger.

      Steve

  • GOFUCKYOURSELF

    #wAS GOIN TAPOST BUT NOT WORTH ANY MORE LETRS

  • Steve Rhode

    I responded to an earlier comment from you and directed you to the site terms where I lay it all out there.

  • Ymsal

    your an idiot steve you make money by this website and if you dont please tell us how you make a living spending 10 to 12 hours a day on this website!!! i hate liers

  • Ymsal

    LOL MICHELLE PEOPLE LIKE YOU ARE THE ONES THAT GET’S IT IN THE BACK DOOR…. STEVE WINS OVER READERS BY TALKING BAD ABOUT COMPANYS AND THEN OFFERS HIS ADVICE…. CLICK ON THIS WEBSITE AND THE SAME SCAM IS RUN THE SAME WAY THIS WEBSIT E IS SET UP http://www.loansafe.org/ the owner of this is a bad man at that

  • Michelle G

    Oh, how I wish there were more of you, more Steve Rhodes thinkers in this world for the times we are facing and what has yet to come. What a relief to find another person whose inspiration is not one of monetary gain, but one of caring for others. Experience is the best teacher, but what you do with those learning experiences is what counts. Instead of becoming angry, bitter and dispondent, you are helping others by providing honest, sincere, effective, useful information for the price of stimulating, civilized conversation and feedback. You respect different opinions without dismissing anyone, only desire the same respect in return. What you are doing is admirable and inspirational, and those who cannot believe, realize or see that humanitarian ideals still exist and compassion is real have been driven to trust in corruption. With money, greed, power and fame as inspiration for “advancement”/survival in the corporate world we live in, it’s only natural to be skeptical of everything. Keep holding your ground, I stand by you.

    By the way, Thank You for your advice.

  • Michelle G

    Oh, how I wish there were more of you, more Steve Rhodes thinkers in this world for the times we are facing and what has yet to come. What a relief to find another person whose inspiration is not one of monetary gain, but one of caring for others. Experience is the best teacher, but what you do with those learning experiences is what counts. Instead of becoming angry, bitter and dispondent, you are helping others by providing honest, sincere, effective, useful information for the price of stimulating, civilized conversation and feedback. You respect different opinions without dismissing anyone, only desire the same respect in return. What you are doing is admirable and inspirational, and those who cannot believe, realize or see that humanitarian ideals still exist and compassion is real have been driven to trust in corruption. With money, greed, power and fame as inspiration for “advancement”/survival in the corporate world we live in, it’s only natural to be skeptical of everything. Keep holding your ground, I stand by you.

    By the way, Thank You for your advice.

    • Ymsal

      LOL MICHELLE PEOPLE LIKE YOU ARE THE ONES THAT GET’S IT IN THE BACK DOOR…. STEVE WINS OVER READERS BY TALKING BAD ABOUT COMPANYS AND THEN OFFERS HIS ADVICE…. CLICK ON THIS WEBSITE AND THE SAME SCAM IS RUN THE SAME WAY THIS WEBSIT E IS SET UP http://www.loansafe.org/ the owner of this is a bad man at that

  • SeanDSLegalPlan

    Curious, Gun, why you would ask… Since you already seem to know?

    I’ll say it one more time, we are an open book- You can call me with any questions 561-910-4832. If you are looking to see if we are violating any state or federal laws, just call me and ask.

    We had nothing to do with the new federal laws.

    I have to say, I don’t understand why anyone is wasting their time trying to pick holes in companies that have NO CONSUMER COMPLAINTS! If you’re upset that your old fee model was shut down, take a look in the mirror. We aren’t getting rich doing this, but we aren’t screwing anyone either. No regulator is going to take seriously any complaints from disgruntled former insiders- Just from harmed consumers- We don’t have any…. So, go crazy

  • SeanDSLegalPlan

    We do. Our contracts are here- http://active-debt.com/Contrac
    Our average settlement last month (based on the balance AT settlement) was 38%.
    A $10,000 debt at time of settlement-NOT AMOUNT AT ENROLLMENT (which is what we calculate off of) settles at $3,800. Our fee is $1,860. Total to settle inc our fee = $5,660.

    56.6% inc fees

    In that case our fee is 18% of the enrolled debt. We used to charge 25% of savings but calculated that off of the amount the client enrolled. As the debt ages, it becomes greater with fees, etc. We changed our fee basis when we changed our calculation basis.

  • SeanDSLegalPlan

    I’ve never heard that one- And I understand it’s not personal. but I personally know a ton of the big players that ripped consumers off for years with the old debt settlement model. And many now who have converted to the attorney model. While their sales offices grew & their wallets got fatter, our company stayed small.

    I guess I don’t understand why you would think (or group my company into that group) that Active Debt is anything like those companies. If we wanted to lie to get customers, we would have charged the 15-18% up front for the last 4 years like everyone else.

    Explain to me why in the world we have always been paid at settlement & a % of the savings if we are the same old debt settlement company.

    And I am defensive. The shots you have taken at my company so far are completely without merit. In 3 separate posts you commend us & then say “but what about this?” and you cite examples that simply don’t apply to my company.

    Again, call me & decide for yourself- today, next month, next year; 561-910-4832 Hit #1 for SALES. I don’t know who you are but record the conversation & prove, right here, that my company tried to steer you into any program- I’ll publicly admit I’m a liar, withdraw my membership in AACC & buy you dinner. But if you’re wrong. I’d just like you to say so.

    We have changed nothing in our approach. I’ll discuss your financial situation, avail you of the options I can provide ( DS, CCC, Consolidation Loan & BK referral) and allow you to decide. The difference is that when we are “paid at settlement” vs “up front no matter what”, is that if I steer you into a program that won’t work for you, I am wasting my own time because you will quit, and i wont make 10 cents.

    I’m not sure what else I can do to convince you that not everyone is bad (even if most were & some still are). Can I ask you what your experience or interest in debt relief is so I can get an understanding of where you’re coming from?

  • Gun

    Sean, do you charge a service fee equal to 30% of amount saved on behalf of a client at the time of settlement?

  • Steve Rhode

    Register with Disqus and then add a headshot to your Disqus profile.

    When you go to post a comment you will see links to several login options. One is Disqus. Create and account, login to it, add the headshot, and that’s it!

  • 2cents

    how do i get my headshot on here? do you have a link as I have not been able to find one….thanks in advance!

  • 2cents

    its nothing against you, personally, but might I say that the justification or explanation just seems like the same pitch I always here from settlement owners; i.e., “We NEVER talk people into our program. The first thing I do is try to talk them out of it. If they don’t decide that DS is the best option for them personally then we dont want them in our program.”

    I’m sure I’ll catch up with you on another thread or perhaps on this thread. I don’t make attacks, but good judgment has taught me to ask for clarification before “assuming.” in most cases I agree to disagree.

  • Steve Rhode

    That had to be in my top 10 favorite comments of all time. Thanks Jim. It showed the real world impact of my work and how it makes a positive difference.

    I do chuckle when detractors accuse me of just wanting to sell my books. I knew early on that was probably going to be a future claim so I decided long ago to give away my books, in ebook form, for free instead. I wanted people to have the information.

    And the other argument I hear is that I’m a competitor but here is the problem with that argument, I don’t sell debt relief services.

    Your observation that it wasn’t me that had your money, it was them, was priceless.

    You are embarking on a new financial life. It can be better than before. If you learn from what went wrong and use that knowledge to help others, it can be a blessing in disguise.

    Face forward. Be well.

    Steve

  • SeanDSLegalPlan

    To be clear we have NEVER put a client in a 60 month program- NEVER. The time frame is approximate and by lengthening the time, it makes the monthly payment less. I used the word “beg”- The definition of which “to ask a favor”. We dont talk clients into defaulting. Either the default has occurred or is inevitable. Once in a while the client knows that in some time they have money coming- tax refund, new job, etc. We will consider that in extending their program time frame, but only after a long discussion on the importance of making up the discount & the consequences of not doing so.

    Bankruptcy is always an option- We tell clients right up front they should discuss their situation with a BK lawyer & if they can not afford our program that they should seriously consider BK. Again, If the client receives a judgment, falls out, receives a garnishment, etc, we DONT get paid. We NEVER talk people into our program. The first thing I do is try to talk them out of it. If they don’t decide that DS is the best option for them personally then we dont want them in our program. Your past experience with the DS industry was certainly not with a company like ours (most are not) and that’s understandable, but we do exist. If you want to test me on that 866-720-7483 Sales is ext 1. Anytime.

    Regards, Sean

  • Damon Day

    Ya, what Elle said :-)

  • Damon Day

    Isn’t it funny that actual consumers have nothing but good things to say about all the work, help, and advice that Steve provides? Ya, Steve is just a competitor selling all of his books on his website. He must be really racking up big money selling all of his books that he gives away for free :-)

    Thanks for sharing your experience Jim. It is such a downer to constantly read comments from industry complainers that are pissed off at Steve because he pointed a flashlight in their direction.

  • Jim

    It’s not a huge surprise that detractors would come from the Debt Relief industry. Your help and advice regarding getting a refund by writing a letter, registered, that included what I would do if a full refund was not forthcoming, i.e., filing complaints with the state attorney general…the BBB… and eight other entities, was taken very seriously. Within two days of receipt of that letter, I received a call. During that conversation the person I talked to knew it was a letter written based on the advice of Steve and Get Out of Debt.org, even though I never mentioned Steve or this website. They claimed that Steve was just out to sell books and that he was a competitor. I stopped him there and said that nobody has taken my money except for the company he worked for and that he had two weeks to come back with a favorable reply to my letter or else I would proceed with the next step. Long story short, I agreed to a settlement, in large part due to the need to file bankruptcy. It’s likely I could have held out for more, if not all, but I needed to put that black eye behind me and move on. Seriously, Steve, your advice was the start on a road to peace of mind. We have a long way to go, but I shudder to think where we would have been if we had stayed another month or two in a program run by such leeches.

  • Jim

    It’s not a huge surprise that detractors would come from the Debt Relief industry. Your help and advice regarding getting a refund by writing a letter, registered, that included what I would do if a full refund was not forthcoming, i.e., filing complaints with the state attorney general…the BBB… and eight other entities, was taken very seriously. Within two days of receipt of that letter, I received a call. During that conversation the person I talked to knew it was a letter written based on the advice of Steve and Get Out of Debt.org, even though I never mentioned Steve or this website. They claimed that Steve was just out to sell books and that he was a competitor. I stopped him there and said that nobody has taken my money except for the company he worked for and that he had two weeks to come back with a favorable reply to my letter or else I would proceed with the next step. Long story short, I agreed to a settlement, in large part due to the need to file bankruptcy. It’s likely I could have held out for more, if not all, but I needed to put that black eye behind me and move on. Seriously, Steve, your advice was the start on a road to peace of mind. We have a long way to go, but I shudder to think where we would have been if we had stayed another month or two in a program run by such leeches.

    • http://DamonDay.com Damon Day

      Isn’t it funny that actual consumers have nothing but good things to say about all the work, help, and advice that Steve provides? Ya, Steve is just a competitor selling all of his books on his website. He must be really racking up big money selling all of his books that he gives away for free :-)

      Thanks for sharing your experience Jim. It is such a downer to constantly read comments from industry complainers that are pissed off at Steve because he pointed a flashlight in their direction.

    • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

      That had to be in my top 10 favorite comments of all time. Thanks Jim. It showed the real world impact of my work and how it makes a positive difference.

      I do chuckle when detractors accuse me of just wanting to sell my books. I knew early on that was probably going to be a future claim so I decided long ago to give away my books, in ebook form, for free instead. I wanted people to have the information.

      And the other argument I hear is that I’m a competitor but here is the problem with that argument, I don’t sell debt relief services.

      Your observation that it wasn’t me that had your money, it was them, was priceless.

      You are embarking on a new financial life. It can be better than before. If you learn from what went wrong and use that knowledge to help others, it can be a blessing in disguise.

      Face forward. Be well.

      Steve

      • Gun

        Sean, do you charge a service fee equal to 30% of amount saved on behalf of a client at the time of settlement?

      • Anonymous

        We do. Our contracts are here- http://active-debt.com/Contracts/Contracts.html
        Our average settlement last month (based on the balance AT settlement) was 38%.
        A $10,000 debt at time of settlement-NOT AMOUNT AT ENROLLMENT (which is what we calculate off of) settles at $3,800. Our fee is $1,860. Total to settle inc our fee = $5,660.

        56.6% inc fees

        In that case our fee is 18% of the enrolled debt. We used to charge 25% of savings but calculated that off of the amount the client enrolled. As the debt ages, it becomes greater with fees, etc. We changed our fee basis when we changed our calculation basis.

      • Anonymous

        Curious, Gun, why you would ask… Since you already seem to know?

        I’ll say it one more time, we are an open book- You can call me with any questions 561-910-4832. If you are looking to see if we are violating any state or federal laws, just call me and ask.

        We had nothing to do with the new federal laws.

        I have to say, I don’t understand why anyone is wasting their time trying to pick holes in companies that have NO CONSUMER COMPLAINTS! If you’re upset that your old fee model was shut down, take a look in the mirror. We aren’t getting rich doing this, but we aren’t screwing anyone either. No regulator is going to take seriously any complaints from disgruntled former insiders- Just from harmed consumers- We don’t have any…. So, go crazy

      • Ymsal

        your an idiot steve you make money by this website and if you dont please tell us how you make a living spending 10 to 12 hours a day on this website!!! i hate liers

      • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

        I responded to an earlier comment from you and directed you to the site terms where I lay it all out there.

  • Elle

    Great job Steve on tackling the complainers head on! If these debt relief companies put a fraction of the energy they use to spam and mess with bloggers into providing better services, they could be profitable and help people.

  • http://twitter.com/Elle_CM Elle

    Great job Steve on tackling the complainers head on! If these debt relief companies put a fraction of the energy they use to spam and mess with bloggers into providing better services, they could be profitable and help people.

    • http://DamonDay.com Damon Day

      Ya, what Elle said :-)

      • 2cents

        how do i get my headshot on here? do you have a link as I have not been able to find one….thanks in advance!

      • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

        Register with Disqus and then add a headshot to your Disqus profile.

        When you go to post a comment you will see links to several login options. One is Disqus. Create and account, login to it, add the headshot, and that’s it!

  • 2cents

    i think your leadership is commendable….it just seems that some clients shouldn’t dictate, because they beg, the program length….regardless if you’re taking fees “after” the debt is settled. at what point does looking out for the best interest of the client come into play? sure a client could afford your payment at say a 60 month program….but then when does BK become an option? It just seems the bar should be set higher for the clients success.

  • IRSMind

    Steve- this is a great site- and you would not believe how many regulators follow it. Keep up the great work and we will all follow your lead in selflessly helping others.

    Your friend,

    Jim

    IRSMind.com

  • IRSMind

    Steve- this is a great site- and you would not believe how many regulators follow it. Keep up the great work and we will all follow your lead in selflessly helping others.

    Your friend,

    Jim

    IRSMind.com

  • Bobl

    Your position is the correct one. Hopefully people will use this platform to carry on civil debates.

  • SeanDSLegalPlan

    Erikk wrote- “What percentage of your clients pay enough money to cover all of their fees and all of the anticipated settlements?” I read that as saying how many clients pay their monthlt on time and in full- I’m not sure that’s what he meant, but that’s what he said. My answer is @ 90% never ask for a change in their payment.

    I wrote “begs & understands that at some point they will likely need to make it up or their likelihood of receiving a summons will get greater!”. I meant it. We have less than 10 % of our clients in a longer program than 36 months- But we will do it so long as the client fully understands why we prefer not to- Again, we dont get paid if it doesnt work out for our clients so we rarely go beyond 36 months.

    Please explain HOW i sound like any other DS company that fouled up the industry. We’re the exact opposite- The others generally: charged all their fees up front, cancelled the client if they missed a payment, had NO care if they ever settled the clients debt since they were paid either way, were happy to put clients in programs as long as 5 years, etc- We are NOTHING like those companies.

    I really would like to hear what your thoughts are on how our DS model is ANYTHING like the ones that gave this industry a bad name.

  • Steve Rhode

    I’ve got a pretty extensive set of TOS as it is.

    The best thing you can do is if you see someone being inappropriate, just call them on it. Nicely.

    I appreciate the help.

  • 2cents

    I vote that you keep it open…thanks for being liberal….perhaps you should have someone create a TOS and have others help follow those guidelines. I’m always game to help when i can, which isn’t that often.

  • 2cents

    Sean wrote: “I dont know off hand- I will say at least 90%. We wont go over 36 months unless the client simply begs & understands that at some point they will likely need to make it up or their likelihood of receiving a summons will get greater!”

    Thinking back, I have never heard a debt settlement company just come right out and say “we never do the right thing for clients.” Rather, its always “we do what’s best for the client,” “we are compliant,” “we have an impeccable track record.” yada-yada-yada

    Sean, you may run a clean service, but when you write “begs & understands that at some point they will likely need to make it up or their likelihood of receiving a summons will get greater!” you sound just like any other debt settlement service that has the industry fouled up. Perhaps?

  • SeanDSLegalPlan

    I dont know off hand- I will say at least 90%. We wont go over 36 months unless the client simply begs & understands that at some point they will likely need to make it up or their likelihood of receiving a summons will get greater!

    As I said, We ONLY get paid, AT settlement & a % of savings- Im not sure exactly what you mean but I can say that since our fee structure is set that way, if the client has a hardship & does NOt put $ into their saving for a few months, it’s OK with us. We dont cancel them; We dont make any money unless they have enough $ to settle.

    We RARELY place clients into term settlements (ONLY when it’s the last option) because they fall out too often & end up where they started- If we do place a client in a term settlement, we only take the term % of our fee, if there is one.

    I don’t consider our current or past clients “marks” & I doubt they do either. And I dont mind discussing these details with you here, however if you would like to discuss anything in more detail you call me- 203-509-9859.

    Is it possible that your past experience with debt settlement companies have you doubtful? I dont blame you- I do believe that the way we operate does have our client’s best interest in mind. If we have a client with a garnishment we dont get paid either. Im not entirely sure how you think we “swindle” them. I’d like the opportunity to convince you that we don’t!

    Thanks- Sean.

  • SeanDSLegalPlan

    I think its starting to happen now- On this site i keep seeing lawyers fishing for “class members”.

  • Errick

    I very much appreciate your offer and I’m sure your books and your clients say everything you say they say. Just as I told your fellow founding AACC member Mr. Crockson, I don’t care how happy your clients are or when you take your fees. The marks are always satisfied before they find out they’ve been swindled.

    What percentage of your clients pay enough money to cover all of their fees and all of the anticipated settlements? Including the installment judgments and the garnishments, since you cannot prevent them. Almost zero. That’s what I say and someday I will clearly either be right or wrong and I’m perfectly happy to wait for that day.

  • Errick

    That’s great news, auditing results is a very important step. But I was not talking about results. I don’t begrudge anyone who tries to settle a customer’s debts but can’t after an honest effort.

    What needs to be addressed right away is the operators who take 55 cents from a client, charge 15 cents in fees, but never have and never will be able to settle the customer’s debts with the 40 cents that are left. This is much worse than the mere likelihood that the customer won’t be able to withstand the creditor assault. Selling something you don’t have is the most obvious kind of fraud.

    Someday soon a good class action attorney will link all the scammers together through TASC and USOBA and bring them all into one strict liability or RICO action. Anyone out there?

  • Guest

    Next up Steve Rhode starring in the Insider Part 2

  • Guest

    Next up Steve Rhode starring in the Insider Part 2

  • Andy Faria

    Ha! The underpants are back-ordered, but I’ll get you a pair when they come in.

    I’m just playing, I know there’s only room for one in Steve’s sidecar. Maybe someday I can get a “guest star” role on the real estate week podcast.

    Your Ceasar quote is spot on, I leave you with a quote from Balboa (not the Spanish explorer from the 1500′s, the Philly boxer from the 1980′s)…

    “I think we make a real sharp couple of coconuts – I’m dumb, you’re shy, whaddaya think,huh?”

  • Steve Rhode

    I hear you. It’s a double edge sword and really your help is more important.

    So I’m liberal in that I encourage people with differing opinions to have an opportunity to state their case. I think a civil and intelligent discussion on any point is healthy.

    The “animals” I believe you may be referring to are a problem but I alone can’t whip them into shape. It takes a village to raise a child. If I simply blocked them they would launch into conspiracy theories, I’m trying to hide something, or drive them elsewhere to spew the same issues but without any of us having a chance to respond.

    In my years on the net, since 1994, I have found the most effective way to handle them is for others, besides just myself, to say “Whoa buddy, that’s just not appropriate.”

    If we police commenters as a community it will be better in the long run.

    I’d love to say I could moderate the comments in advance but in order to be protected from legal issues surrounding what commenters may say, I can’t.

    So the options are:
    1. Not allow comments.
    2. The community helps police jerks.
    3. Jerks take over.

    I’d love to hear any alternative suggestions you may have.

  • Bobl

    Steve, my only complaint about this site, more specifically, the Debt Industry section, is that you keep it too open and don’t delete the animals that refuse to have an intelligent discussion and instead resort to vulgarities and personal attacks.

    There’s a great deal to be debated with regards to the industry and most of us will disagree on various points, but it can all be done respectively.

  • http://www.bknetmarketing.com Bobl

    Steve, my only complaint about this site, more specifically, the Debt Industry section, is that you keep it too open and don’t delete the animals that refuse to have an intelligent discussion and instead resort to vulgarities and personal attacks.

    There’s a great deal to be debated with regards to the industry and most of us will disagree on various points, but it can all be done respectively.

    • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

      I hear you. It’s a double edge sword and really your help is more important.

      So I’m liberal in that I encourage people with differing opinions to have an opportunity to state their case. I think a civil and intelligent discussion on any point is healthy.

      The “animals” I believe you may be referring to are a problem but I alone can’t whip them into shape. It takes a village to raise a child. If I simply blocked them they would launch into conspiracy theories, I’m trying to hide something, or drive them elsewhere to spew the same issues but without any of us having a chance to respond.

      In my years on the net, since 1994, I have found the most effective way to handle them is for others, besides just myself, to say “Whoa buddy, that’s just not appropriate.”

      If we police commenters as a community it will be better in the long run.

      I’d love to say I could moderate the comments in advance but in order to be protected from legal issues surrounding what commenters may say, I can’t.

      So the options are:
      1. Not allow comments.
      2. The community helps police jerks.
      3. Jerks take over.

      I’d love to hear any alternative suggestions you may have.

      • 2cents

        I vote that you keep it open…thanks for being liberal….perhaps you should have someone create a TOS and have others help follow those guidelines. I’m always game to help when i can, which isn’t that often.

      • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

        I’ve got a pretty extensive set of TOS as it is.

        The best thing you can do is if you see someone being inappropriate, just call them on it. Nicely.

        I appreciate the help.

      • http://www.bknetmarketing.com Bobl

        Your position is the correct one. Hopefully people will use this platform to carry on civil debates.

  • Damon Day

    Et Tu, Brute…

    are you saying that I wear “Andy” underpants? :-)

  • SeanDSLegalPlan

    We are. Proud of it. Were an open book. Our contracts are on our website- I get it Errik- Ive shopped a lot of my competition and it’s funny how NONE of them will give you a sample contract without your banking info! Im certain that your experience is with similar companies! How in the world would anyone trust a company that wont show you a contract until you show them the money?!! It’s no wonder the industry suffers a poor reputation. It is possible to earn a living in debt settlement while actually providing a service! Just isnt common yet- But were working on it!

  • Andy Faria

    .. and to think I was overlooked for the sidekick part on the podcast is still shocking to me. I mean, come on .. Damon’s got nothing on me…

  • Steve Rhode

    FYI, Sean is part of the AACC, the group Errick mentioned, and committed to putting consumers first.

  • SeanDSLegalPlan

    Errik- Our books are open- You can come to my office & Ill welcome you to examine our files. We have always charged a % of savings- 4 years now.
    There is a huge difference when a DS company is run this way- We know that if DS isnt a good solution for the client, they wont stay, so we dont press. Its a waste of our time.
    Ill offer you this, as well- You can randomly pick 5 of our clients & call & ask their opinion of the program we provide. Do that & you can report your findings here.
    Were in S Florida & the weather is great so it will be worth the trip!

  • Steve Rhode

    We are already working towards establishing independent audits of companies that provide debt relief services to verify success, but revolutionary change takes a bit of time. Thank you for your suggestion.

  • Errick

    This is a great site and you’re not a scam artist. But I think you (through your newly formed AACC) are working to legitimize the very dangerous and deceptive practice of putting people in debt settlement plans that can’t possibly be completed. They are planned failure. I think if you really want to help people you would call for an independent audit of the plans.

  • Errick

    This is a great site and you’re not a scam artist. But I think you (through your newly formed AACC) are working to legitimize the very dangerous and deceptive practice of putting people in debt settlement plans that can’t possibly be completed. They are planned failure. I think if you really want to help people you would call for an independent audit of the plans.

    • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

      We are already working towards establishing independent audits of companies that provide debt relief services to verify success, but revolutionary change takes a bit of time. Thank you for your suggestion.

      • Errick

        That’s great news, auditing results is a very important step. But I was not talking about results. I don’t begrudge anyone who tries to settle a customer’s debts but can’t after an honest effort.

        What needs to be addressed right away is the operators who take 55 cents from a client, charge 15 cents in fees, but never have and never will be able to settle the customer’s debts with the 40 cents that are left. This is much worse than the mere likelihood that the customer won’t be able to withstand the creditor assault. Selling something you don’t have is the most obvious kind of fraud.

        Someday soon a good class action attorney will link all the scammers together through TASC and USOBA and bring them all into one strict liability or RICO action. Anyone out there?

      • Anonymous

        I think its starting to happen now- On this site i keep seeing lawyers fishing for “class members”.

    • Anonymous

      Errik- Our books are open- You can come to my office & Ill welcome you to examine our files. We have always charged a % of savings- 4 years now.
      There is a huge difference when a DS company is run this way- We know that if DS isnt a good solution for the client, they wont stay, so we dont press. Its a waste of our time.
      Ill offer you this, as well- You can randomly pick 5 of our clients & call & ask their opinion of the program we provide. Do that & you can report your findings here.
      Were in S Florida & the weather is great so it will be worth the trip!

      • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

        FYI, Sean is part of the AACC, the group Errick mentioned, and committed to putting consumers first.

      • Anonymous

        We are. Proud of it. Were an open book. Our contracts are on our website- I get it Errik- Ive shopped a lot of my competition and it’s funny how NONE of them will give you a sample contract without your banking info! Im certain that your experience is with similar companies! How in the world would anyone trust a company that wont show you a contract until you show them the money?!! It’s no wonder the industry suffers a poor reputation. It is possible to earn a living in debt settlement while actually providing a service! Just isnt common yet- But were working on it!

      • Errick

        I very much appreciate your offer and I’m sure your books and your clients say everything you say they say. Just as I told your fellow founding AACC member Mr. Crockson, I don’t care how happy your clients are or when you take your fees. The marks are always satisfied before they find out they’ve been swindled.

        What percentage of your clients pay enough money to cover all of their fees and all of the anticipated settlements? Including the installment judgments and the garnishments, since you cannot prevent them. Almost zero. That’s what I say and someday I will clearly either be right or wrong and I’m perfectly happy to wait for that day.

      • Anonymous

        I dont know off hand- I will say at least 90%. We wont go over 36 months unless the client simply begs & understands that at some point they will likely need to make it up or their likelihood of receiving a summons will get greater!

        As I said, We ONLY get paid, AT settlement & a % of savings- Im not sure exactly what you mean but I can say that since our fee structure is set that way, if the client has a hardship & does NOt put $ into their saving for a few months, it’s OK with us. We dont cancel them; We dont make any money unless they have enough $ to settle.

        We RARELY place clients into term settlements (ONLY when it’s the last option) because they fall out too often & end up where they started- If we do place a client in a term settlement, we only take the term % of our fee, if there is one.

        I don’t consider our current or past clients “marks” & I doubt they do either. And I dont mind discussing these details with you here, however if you would like to discuss anything in more detail you call me- 203-509-9859.

        Is it possible that your past experience with debt settlement companies have you doubtful? I dont blame you- I do believe that the way we operate does have our client’s best interest in mind. If we have a client with a garnishment we dont get paid either. Im not entirely sure how you think we “swindle” them. I’d like the opportunity to convince you that we don’t!

        Thanks- Sean.

      • 2cents

        Sean wrote: “I dont know off hand- I will say at least 90%. We wont go over 36 months unless the client simply begs & understands that at some point they will likely need to make it up or their likelihood of receiving a summons will get greater!”

        Thinking back, I have never heard a debt settlement company just come right out and say “we never do the right thing for clients.” Rather, its always “we do what’s best for the client,” “we are compliant,” “we have an impeccable track record.” yada-yada-yada

        Sean, you may run a clean service, but when you write “begs & understands that at some point they will likely need to make it up or their likelihood of receiving a summons will get greater!” you sound just like any other debt settlement service that has the industry fouled up. Perhaps?

      • Anonymous

        Erikk wrote- “What percentage of your clients pay enough money to cover all of their fees and all of the anticipated settlements?” I read that as saying how many clients pay their monthlt on time and in full- I’m not sure that’s what he meant, but that’s what he said. My answer is @ 90% never ask for a change in their payment.

        I wrote “begs & understands that at some point they will likely need to make it up or their likelihood of receiving a summons will get greater!”. I meant it. We have less than 10 % of our clients in a longer program than 36 months- But we will do it so long as the client fully understands why we prefer not to- Again, we dont get paid if it doesnt work out for our clients so we rarely go beyond 36 months.

        Please explain HOW i sound like any other DS company that fouled up the industry. We’re the exact opposite- The others generally: charged all their fees up front, cancelled the client if they missed a payment, had NO care if they ever settled the clients debt since they were paid either way, were happy to put clients in programs as long as 5 years, etc- We are NOTHING like those companies.

        I really would like to hear what your thoughts are on how our DS model is ANYTHING like the ones that gave this industry a bad name.

      • 2cents

        i think your leadership is commendable….it just seems that some clients shouldn’t dictate, because they beg, the program length….regardless if you’re taking fees “after” the debt is settled. at what point does looking out for the best interest of the client come into play? sure a client could afford your payment at say a 60 month program….but then when does BK become an option? It just seems the bar should be set higher for the clients success.

      • Anonymous

        To be clear we have NEVER put a client in a 60 month program- NEVER. The time frame is approximate and by lengthening the time, it makes the monthly payment less. I used the word “beg”- The definition of which “to ask a favor”. We dont talk clients into defaulting. Either the default has occurred or is inevitable. Once in a while the client knows that in some time they have money coming- tax refund, new job, etc. We will consider that in extending their program time frame, but only after a long discussion on the importance of making up the discount & the consequences of not doing so.

        Bankruptcy is always an option- We tell clients right up front they should discuss their situation with a BK lawyer & if they can not afford our program that they should seriously consider BK. Again, If the client receives a judgment, falls out, receives a garnishment, etc, we DONT get paid. We NEVER talk people into our program. The first thing I do is try to talk them out of it. If they don’t decide that DS is the best option for them personally then we dont want them in our program. Your past experience with the DS industry was certainly not with a company like ours (most are not) and that’s understandable, but we do exist. If you want to test me on that 866-720-7483 Sales is ext 1. Anytime.

        Regards, Sean

      • 2cents

        its nothing against you, personally, but might I say that the justification or explanation just seems like the same pitch I always here from settlement owners; i.e., “We NEVER talk people into our program. The first thing I do is try to talk them out of it. If they don’t decide that DS is the best option for them personally then we dont want them in our program.”

        I’m sure I’ll catch up with you on another thread or perhaps on this thread. I don’t make attacks, but good judgment has taught me to ask for clarification before “assuming.” in most cases I agree to disagree.

      • Anonymous

        I’ve never heard that one- And I understand it’s not personal. but I personally know a ton of the big players that ripped consumers off for years with the old debt settlement model. And many now who have converted to the attorney model. While their sales offices grew & their wallets got fatter, our company stayed small.

        I guess I don’t understand why you would think (or group my company into that group) that Active Debt is anything like those companies. If we wanted to lie to get customers, we would have charged the 15-18% up front for the last 4 years like everyone else.

        Explain to me why in the world we have always been paid at settlement & a % of the savings if we are the same old debt settlement company.

        And I am defensive. The shots you have taken at my company so far are completely without merit. In 3 separate posts you commend us & then say “but what about this?” and you cite examples that simply don’t apply to my company.

        Again, call me & decide for yourself- today, next month, next year; 561-910-4832 Hit #1 for SALES. I don’t know who you are but record the conversation & prove, right here, that my company tried to steer you into any program- I’ll publicly admit I’m a liar, withdraw my membership in AACC & buy you dinner. But if you’re wrong. I’d just like you to say so.

        We have changed nothing in our approach. I’ll discuss your financial situation, avail you of the options I can provide ( DS, CCC, Consolidation Loan & BK referral) and allow you to decide. The difference is that when we are “paid at settlement” vs “up front no matter what”, is that if I steer you into a program that won’t work for you, I am wasting my own time because you will quit, and i wont make 10 cents.

        I’m not sure what else I can do to convince you that not everyone is bad (even if most were & some still are). Can I ask you what your experience or interest in debt relief is so I can get an understanding of where you’re coming from?

  • Steve Rhode

    I just got tired of running around the same patch of words to answer so I created one post to say, “read this.”

    BTW, I was rolling with laughter with the potato chip comment you made the other day. You are one witty dude.

  • Andy Faria

    Steve Rhode is a scam? Oh No! How do I get my money back?

    Oh wait, he doesn’t provide any services, never mind.

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

    Steve Rhode is a scam? Oh No! How do I get my money back?

    Oh wait, he doesn’t provide any services, never mind.

    • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

      I just got tired of running around the same patch of words to answer so I created one post to say, “read this.”

      BTW, I was rolling with laughter with the potato chip comment you made the other day. You are one witty dude.

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

        .. and to think I was overlooked for the sidekick part on the podcast is still shocking to me. I mean, come on .. Damon’s got nothing on me…

      • http://DamonDay.com Damon Day

        Et Tu, Brute…

        are you saying that I wear “Andy” underpants? :-)

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

        Ha! The underpants are back-ordered, but I’ll get you a pair when they come in.

        I’m just playing, I know there’s only room for one in Steve’s sidecar. Maybe someday I can get a “guest star” role on the real estate week podcast.

        Your Ceasar quote is spot on, I leave you with a quote from Balboa (not the Spanish explorer from the 1500′s, the Philly boxer from the 1980′s)…

        “I think we make a real sharp couple of coconuts – I’m dumb, you’re shy, whaddaya think,huh?”

    • GOFUCKYOURSELF

      #wAS GOIN TAPOST BUT NOT WORTH ANY MORE LETRS

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