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Why the Debt Relief Industry Needs GetOutOfDebt.org

Why the Debt Relief Industry Needs GetOutOfDebt.orgphoto © 2008 Dan Perry | more info (via: Wylio)In the early 2000s I received a call from a regulator friend that changed my life and eventually led to the work I do here reporting on the debt relief industry.

This was back in my Myvesta days and the regulator friend said, “Steve, I’m planning to go after Ameridebt by working to pass new regulations that will impact credit counseling. You run a good shop and do good things for people but the regulations I’m proposing will impact the work you do. I’m willing to listen to any suggestions you may have about how I protect consumers by painting regulations with a broad brush and not impact you.”

To this day, nearly a decade later, I still remember the view out the window overlooking the golf course while I was sitting at my desk when I had this conversation. It was one of those moments in life that stays with you. I recognized it for what it was, a turning point in the credit counseling world that would change everything. And it did.

I quickly also recognized that there were no suggestions I could put forward at that point that would protect credit counseling and consumers at the same time. Ameridebt had simply become too big to be batted back with a regulator letter. They had resources to fight little issues so it would take national legislation to curb their abuses and prevent others from following the same path. And that’s exactly what happened. In 2003 the FTC sued Ameridebt which eventually led to jail time for its founder.

If I simply worked to protect the industry and not consumers I would have voided my mission to help people. That’s not who I am. There needed to be a win-win solution and by that time there was not.

The advent of regulations to deal with a bad actor in the credit counseling world fundamentally changed many things. One side-effect was the regulations made the creditors focus more on who they were working with in such a way that it gave them more excuses and greater power to begin to drive down fairshare contributions and funding to the credit counseling groups. It also led to an IRS investigation of credit counseling that resulted in groups losing their non-profit tax status and many of those audits that originated then are still dragging on today.

The moment I hung up the phone with my regulator friend I realized that the credit counseling industry, which included me, had really screwed up. You see in our sideline silence, our internal bitching was noted, but we had done nothing to protect the industry or consumers from abusive practices. The credit counseling world collectively had allowed Ameridebt to grow large and implode and the blast shrapnel fell on us all.

You see those of us in the credit counseling world at the time could see the bad stuff Ameridebt was doing but none of us spoke up about it. Everyone was afraid about speaking up or naming names.

Because of our unwillingness to police our own industry it left that role only to governmental regulators and those actions led to sweeping changes.

But That’s Not All

The credit counseling industry blew it again when creditors started to take over more control of the services they wanted credit counseling groups to engage in at the same time as the creditors were tightening the funding of the very same groups.

At the time I spoke out about the creditor actions the rest of the credit counseling world remained silent. Frankly they were scared that speaking out against the very groups that funded them would have hurt their funding.

Just before I started getting more vocal about the creditor control over credit counseling, Chase bank had even become so bold as to send out a letter to credit counseling groups about their new “Pay for Performance” plan. It was clear that funding was now tied to collection performance rather than what was best for the consumer. That was wrong for the consumer and wrong for the integrity of credit counseling.

Why the Debt Relief Industry Needs GetOutOfDebt.org
Why the Debt Relief Industry Needs GetOutOfDebt.org

While the letter is difficult to read it does lay out that credit counseling agency funding was seemingly now most dependent on how much money they collected from consumers and agencies were ranked and rewarded by their level of collection performance and consumers completing the DMP. The reward to the credit counseling agency was for consumers that “successfully complete the program.” – Source

By not standing up as a group of voices against the creditors, the credit counseling industry allowed and participated in driving down their impact to a point of lowest funding and a fundamental problem, the breakage of the solutions they offer. The lack of action of the credit counseling industry as a whole has made the debt management plan less effective for more people. The blame for that rests on credit counseling for remaining silent when they should have been fighting to protect consumer options.

A Decade Later

Now if you compare my experience above to what has just happened a decade later to the debt settlement industry, you will see the results are nearly identical. The debt settlement industry has just been impacted by sweeping state and federal regulations which will significantly impact them.

Before I began working on this site to report on the debt relief industry, the debt settlement folks had been approached by regulators years before and asked to clean up their peers and work with regulators to pass consumer protection legislation, specifically to back the Uniform Debt Management Services Act. The big players said “no”.

Major forces in the debt settlement world did not want to participate in cleaning up abuses in the debt settlement world to leave room for good guys doing good things. The reason; the big players were simply making loads of money and did not want to alter that path. All you have to do is look at the reporting I did at the tail end of the debt settlement regulation process and read all the dispatches by trade groups and major companies trying to persuade the FTC to turn away from regulation. At that point it was too late.

And trying to slow down legislation once it begins to pick up speed and focus is like trying to stop a cruise ship steaming at full speed. It takes time. Right now California is talking about implementing legislation to cap fees at 15% of savings in a debt settlement program. That would never had happened if the debt settlement industry had participated in cleaning out the abusers, four years ago and the Debt Settlement Consumer Protection Act was never written.

Here is the bottom line. If those inside the industry don’t help this site to report on bad actors then more parts of the debt relief world will be regulated out of business. And while that hurts business it most importantly hurts consumers. The more debt relief options that are taken away from consumers, the fewer options they have in difficult times. Ultimately my goal is not to protect the debt relief businesses but to protect options for consumers.

Protesters of this site are typically entities that are carrying out a course of conduct that is altered or impacted by the reporting on this site. While you might find commenters who are upset or negative posts elsewhere on the web they are almost nearly attacks against me created or stimulated by those impacted by the reporting of this site.

But course is clear, if the debt relief industry does not participate in cleaning up the bad actors, more regulations will come, especially with the advent of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Protect Your Own Debt Relief industry

If you want to make a difference and you play a role in protecting the debt relief industry from abusers and those that harm consumers then I ask you to do three active things.

  1. Subscribe to the debt relief industry site feed.
  2. Participate in comments on debt relief industry articles and speak up against the bad acts of others. You can do it anonymously. It is much better for a regulator to take action against one company than to sit by till they act against a whole industry. By that point you have become part of the problem and not part of the solution.
  3. Help me and this site by becoming a tipster (send in your tips here) to this site and alerting me to trouble spots before they get out of hand.

If we don’t police things, who will? Do you really want the regulators to do it?

Why the Debt Relief Industry Needs GetOutOfDebt.org
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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.

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.
  • SEMV

    seems a bit odd to me there’s a bit of breaking into song that starts off by a deficit in “positive stuff” re: a broken industry. To Steve, when criticisms are way of course, I don’t have time to sub to help myself. I have seen people who dare to speak get forced off line, in fact one adviser was forced to pretty much disappear. Thanks for your site, and the focus on consumers. You’re right. The industry did not watch out for it self.

    The above dehumanizing comments sink that point clearly.

  • Steve Rhode

    I openly talk about the California incident here. I invite you to read the entire story. A link and answer I’ve give you before.

    My “old link” response was to your statement that LesbianCredit.com was still linking to an old Myvesta publication.

    And yes, that is my resume. But thanks, I apparently need to update it. Myvesta UK only has one employee and I’m no longer the chairman.

  • Huh?

    reading comprehension not be your forte duran duran?

    the comment flow goes like this:

    you reveal you are a bigot by posting pasted content where this site and its owners reveal they help people in a non exclusive way which pointedly includes alternative lifestyle couples (gasp… gay and lesbian couples) then reveal your incredulous to it.

    i call you a bigot. you call me defensive. i say i would defend even you, and your right to be you, no matter what color you paint your nails.

    you come back and post nonsense that has been covered on this site ad nausea.

    i ask you what the your beef is. you come back with you cannot believe the organization is held up as involved in consumer advocacy.

    the organization was and is. this site is a wealth of information for consumers to avoid scams. get tips for handling personal money issues for free (good tips too). donates to worthy consumer causes around the globe and more.

    what to you do duran duran? what can you publicly show us that puts you in any position to say you are an advocate for consumers?

    you and other posters are just a bunch of weeny whiners who post complaints but do not show anyone in the process what you do for consumers thats better, who with, what you get paid and all that.

    until you can show otherwise you are a whining bigot.

  • Sduran165

    Huh- What does Franky goes to Hollywood, Boy George, and painting toe nails have to do with the topic at hand?? You are acting like a girly-boy who needs to go suck on his passage fire…hahaha

    As far as the quote, all you have to do is google, “Steve Rhode Myvesta,” and pages of negative things come up about the shady past.

    On 04/21/2011 08:38 PM, I asked Steve Rhode the following about Myvesta: “So, did you get shut down in California and then restarted Myvesta in a different state?”

    Steve Rhode’s response was, “No. Sounds like an old link.”

    Here is the “Cease and Refrain Order” from the STATE OF CALIFORNIA!
    http://www.corp.ca.gov/ENF/pdf

    In the Order, it states the following about Steve Rhode’s “non-profit” illegal operation:

    8. Based upon the foregoing findings, the California Corporations Commissioner is of the opinion that MYVESTA engaged in the business of check selling, bill paying and prorating as defined in the Check Sellers, Bill Payers and Proraters Law without a license from the California Corporations Commissioner. Pursuant to Financial Code section 12103, the California Corporations Commissioner hereby orders MYVESTA.ORG, INC., doing business as
    MYVESTA.ORG and MYVESTA, (formerly known as Debt Counselors of America, Inc.)
    and others acting in concert or participation with it, to DESIST and REFRAIN from engaging
    in the business as a check seller, bill payer or prorater unless and until it is licensed or
    exempt.

    Steve Rhodes and Myvesta got shut down for illegal activities in the State of California, but apparently they are still operating! I found his resume on linkedin and his resume says the following:

    Steve Rhode’s Experience

    Founder
    GetOutOfDebt.org
    Banking industry
    October 2007 – Present (3 years 7 months)

    Through the GetOutOfDebt.org site I answer free questions submitted by people that are worried about money, credit, debt and other money troubles.

    The goal is to give people a free and anonymous place to come and get direct and honest advice about how to best cope with consumer debt problems.
    President
    Myvesta Foundation
    Privately Held; Investment Management industry
    April 2006 – Present (5 years 1 month)

    The Myvesta Foundation is a global social enterprise that helps groups in various countries around the world to design and implement good, fair, and balanced solutions for consumers in trouble with money, credit and debt.

    Are you part of the current or past Myvesta family? Join the Myvesta Alumni Group at http://www.linkedin.com/e/gis/
    Chairman
    Myvesta UK
    Privately Held; 11-50 employees; Nonprofit Organization Management industry
    April 2006 – Present (5 years 1 month)

    Myvesta UK is located in England and is part of the Myvesta global social enterprise that helps people to deal with and overcome difficult financial and consumer debt problems.

    http://myvesta.org.uk

    I just can’t believe this organization is still operating under the guise of Consumer Advocacy!!

  • Huh?

    defend what? life liberty and the pursuit of happiness? I will defend your right to listen to franky goes to hollywood dressed up like boy george while painting your toe nails duran duran. may i suggest the teal to go with your blue eye shadow?

    you must enlighten us all with your deep knowledge and understanding of tax exempt business structure, compliance and tax dollar funding for same, where how and to whom those dollars would be put to better use.

    what you did by singling out the quotes you selected is to show that you are a bigot. there is no other way to interpret your selection in effort to make a point. you only succeeded in making the point that you are a bigot by doing so. you leave readers with the impression that only some people deserve help. the people you think worthy.

    what is your beef duran duran? spell it out.

  • Sduran165

    “Huh,” I bet you believe in using our tax dollars to pass out Viagra to rapists and child molesters…Are you a Liberal?

  • Sduran165

    Don’t get so defensive…lol I just think that if a non-profit is getting money and tax breaks on the backs of working Americans, that there are better ways to use the money. You probably support passing out condoms to 2nd graders….

  • Steve Rhode

    No.

    Sounds like an old link.

  • Huh?

    wuz up there duran duran!!

    homophobe much? ya friggin bigot!

    when and how did you jump the shark to wind up with the belief that your or anyone’s tax dollars fund this?

    friggin bigot

  • Sduran165

    “I started and ran a non-profit credit counseling organization called Myvesta and this happened back in those old Myvesta days.”—by Steve Rhode

    Isn’t http://www.getoutofdebt.org under the “non-profit” Myvesta umbrella? If the State of California forced you to shut down your Credit Counseling business for not following the rules, how is it that Myvesta seems to be around? Apparently, the Gay and Lesbian website http://www.lesbiancredit.com/ is endorsing your organization. So, did you get shut down in California and then restarted Myvesta in a different state?

    “One simple thing that all same-sex couples should do is prepare a durable power of attorney for finances,” Rhode said. “Otherwise, if you get sick it’s up to a court to decide who is in control of your finances. And quite often it’s not someone you would have picked.” To assist GLBT couples in handling their finances, Myvesta has produced a series of gay and lesbian themed publications. Source:
    http://www.lesbiancredit.com/

    So, this is where our tax dollars go to fund your “non-profit” organization?

  • Steve Rhode

    No. I think what you are referring to is this.

  • Sduran165

    “Steve, I’m planning to go after Ameridebt by working to pass new regulations that will impact credit counseling. You run a good shop and do good things for people but the regulations I’m proposing will impact the work you do. I’m willing to listen to any suggestions you may have about how I protect consumers by painting regulations with a broad brush and not impact you.”

    Wasn’t your shop in California shut down by the Feds??

  • Sduran165

    “Steve, I’m planning to go after Ameridebt by working to pass new regulations that will impact credit counseling. You run a good shop and do good things for people but the regulations I’m proposing will impact the work you do. I’m willing to listen to any suggestions you may have about how I protect consumers by painting regulations with a broad brush and not impact you.”

    Wasn’t your shop in California shut down by the Feds??

    • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

      No. I think what you are referring to is this.

      • Sduran165

        “I started and ran a non-profit credit counseling organization called Myvesta and this happened back in those old Myvesta days.”—by Steve Rhode

        Isn’t http://www.getoutofdebt.org under the “non-profit” Myvesta umbrella? If the State of California forced you to shut down your Credit Counseling business for not following the rules, how is it that Myvesta seems to be around? Apparently, the Gay and Lesbian website http://www.lesbiancredit.com/ is endorsing your organization. So, did you get shut down in California and then restarted Myvesta in a different state?

        “One simple thing that all same-sex couples should do is prepare a durable power of attorney for finances,” Rhode said. “Otherwise, if you get sick it’s up to a court to decide who is in control of your finances. And quite often it’s not someone you would have picked.” To assist GLBT couples in handling their finances, Myvesta has produced a series of gay and lesbian themed publications. Source:
        http://www.lesbiancredit.com/

        So, this is where our tax dollars go to fund your “non-profit” organization?

      • Huh?

        wuz up there duran duran!!

        homophobe much? ya friggin bigot!

        when and how did you jump the shark to wind up with the belief that your or anyone’s tax dollars fund this?

        friggin bigot

      • Sduran165

        Don’t get so defensive…lol I just think that if a non-profit is getting money and tax breaks on the backs of working Americans, that there are better ways to use the money. You probably support passing out condoms to 2nd graders….

      • Sduran165

        “Huh,” I bet you believe in using our tax dollars to pass out Viagra to rapists and child molesters…Are you a Liberal?

      • Anonymous

        seems a bit odd to me there’s a bit of breaking into song that starts off by a deficit in “positive stuff” re: a broken industry. To Steve, when criticisms are way of course, I don’t have time to sub to help myself. I have seen people who dare to speak get forced off line, in fact one adviser was forced to pretty much disappear. Thanks for your site, and the focus on consumers. You’re right. The industry did not watch out for it self.

        The above dehumanizing comments sink that point clearly.

      • Huh?

        defend what? life liberty and the pursuit of happiness? I will defend your right to listen to franky goes to hollywood dressed up like boy george while painting your toe nails duran duran. may i suggest the teal to go with your blue eye shadow?

        you must enlighten us all with your deep knowledge and understanding of tax exempt business structure, compliance and tax dollar funding for same, where how and to whom those dollars would be put to better use.

        what you did by singling out the quotes you selected is to show that you are a bigot. there is no other way to interpret your selection in effort to make a point. you only succeeded in making the point that you are a bigot by doing so. you leave readers with the impression that only some people deserve help. the people you think worthy.

        what is your beef duran duran? spell it out.

      • Sduran165

        Huh- What does Franky goes to Hollywood, Boy George, and painting toe nails have to do with the topic at hand?? You are acting like a girly-boy who needs to go suck on his passage fire…hahaha

        As far as the quote, all you have to do is google, “Steve Rhode Myvesta,” and pages of negative things come up about the shady past.

        On 04/21/2011 08:38 PM, I asked Steve Rhode the following about Myvesta: “So, did you get shut down in California and then restarted Myvesta in a different state?”

        Steve Rhode’s response was, “No. Sounds like an old link.”

        Here is the “Cease and Refrain Order” from the STATE OF CALIFORNIA!
        http://www.corp.ca.gov/ENF/pdf/2002/myvesta.pdf

        In the Order, it states the following about Steve Rhode’s “non-profit” illegal operation:

        8. Based upon the foregoing findings, the California Corporations Commissioner is of the opinion that MYVESTA engaged in the business of check selling, bill paying and prorating as defined in the Check Sellers, Bill Payers and Proraters Law without a license from the California Corporations Commissioner. Pursuant to Financial Code section 12103, the California Corporations Commissioner hereby orders MYVESTA.ORG, INC., doing business as
        MYVESTA.ORG and MYVESTA, (formerly known as Debt Counselors of America, Inc.)
        and others acting in concert or participation with it, to DESIST and REFRAIN from engaging
        in the business as a check seller, bill payer or prorater unless and until it is licensed or
        exempt.

        Steve Rhodes and Myvesta got shut down for illegal activities in the State of California, but apparently they are still operating! I found his resume on linkedin and his resume says the following:

        Steve Rhode’s Experience

        Founder
        GetOutOfDebt.org
        Banking industry
        October 2007 – Present (3 years 7 months)

        Through the GetOutOfDebt.org site I answer free questions submitted by people that are worried about money, credit, debt and other money troubles.

        The goal is to give people a free and anonymous place to come and get direct and honest advice about how to best cope with consumer debt problems.
        President
        Myvesta Foundation
        Privately Held; Investment Management industry
        April 2006 – Present (5 years 1 month)

        The Myvesta Foundation is a global social enterprise that helps groups in various countries around the world to design and implement good, fair, and balanced solutions for consumers in trouble with money, credit and debt.

        Are you part of the current or past Myvesta family? Join the Myvesta Alumni Group at http://www.linkedin.com/e/gis/35688/674CDC4CCF7E
        Chairman
        Myvesta UK
        Privately Held; 11-50 employees; Nonprofit Organization Management industry
        April 2006 – Present (5 years 1 month)

        Myvesta UK is located in England and is part of the Myvesta global social enterprise that helps people to deal with and overcome difficult financial and consumer debt problems.

        http://myvesta.org.uk

        I just can’t believe this organization is still operating under the guise of Consumer Advocacy!!

      • Huh?

        reading comprehension not be your forte duran duran?

        the comment flow goes like this:

        you reveal you are a bigot by posting pasted content where this site and its owners reveal they help people in a non exclusive way which pointedly includes alternative lifestyle couples (gasp… gay and lesbian couples) then reveal your incredulous to it.

        i call you a bigot. you call me defensive. i say i would defend even you, and your right to be you, no matter what color you paint your nails.

        you come back and post nonsense that has been covered on this site ad nausea.

        i ask you what the your beef is. you come back with you cannot believe the organization is held up as involved in consumer advocacy.

        the organization was and is. this site is a wealth of information for consumers to avoid scams. get tips for handling personal money issues for free (good tips too). donates to worthy consumer causes around the globe and more.

        what to you do duran duran? what can you publicly show us that puts you in any position to say you are an advocate for consumers?

        you and other posters are just a bunch of weeny whiners who post complaints but do not show anyone in the process what you do for consumers thats better, who with, what you get paid and all that.

        until you can show otherwise you are a whining bigot.

      • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

        I openly talk about the California incident here. I invite you to read the entire story. A link and answer I’ve give you before.

        My “old link” response was to your statement that LesbianCredit.com was still linking to an old Myvesta publication.

        And yes, that is my resume. But thanks, I apparently need to update it. Myvesta UK only has one employee and I’m no longer the chairman.

      • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

        No.

        Sounds like an old link.

  • Steve Rhode

    Hi Sleepless,

    For positive stories and consumer assistance stuff I’ve written I think all you need to do is visit the reader question part of the site. All of that advice is positive help to assist the consumer to not fall into a pit and/or find help.

    I think it’s interesting that debt relief companies almost never elect to post helpful information in response to a reader’s question unless it is a pitch for their program. Debt relief individuals are always welcome to comment to assist readers. Again, another positive opportunity.

    If you are looking for general budgeting advice or how to save money by packing your lunch, you came to the wrong site. That’s not me and those articles can be found all over. Because of that it is a waste of my time. I don’t need to spend time writing the same stuff over for the 100,000 time. If anyone wants to find that kind of stuff they may want to try this list. There are a lot of good resources on there.

    Do I want companies to wake up scared to see themselves on this site. Not at all. I would prefer if debt relief companies operated in such a way that I never had anything to write about any company. If a company did appear, there is nothing to fear. in fact it is an opportunity for them to shine for consumers. Let’s say company X appears on the site. Their best course of action is to own the mistake, step up and take responsibility for it and fix it. SilverLead Debt Solutions is a great example of a company that does that. Consumer’s have respect and praise for companies that do that.

    I’m sure there are many more articles of concern than flowery articles. Articles on this site are almost exclusively generated by the tips readers send in. I don’t even have time to deal with all of those and the bulk go unpublished.

    I have done positive pieces and I do speak fondly of some companies.

    As far as option articles, the one that lays out the most data on options is this one. I revisit it from time-to-time to update it.

    This one is also a good nuts and bolts article on what to look for.

    As far as recent articles in the past two weeks that contained research or information not related towards a bad act or practice try here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.

    If you have a guest post you’d like to submit on the topics you listed above I’d be happy to consider it for publication. Just fill out the tips form and submit the piece that way by uploading it.

    Oh yes, don’t forget to help by answering reader questions or forum questions. There are so many people looking for answers and I can’t get to them all.

  • SleeplessinSeattle

    I enjoy your site. I visit it daily. I think I understand your efforts. I appreciate them for the most part. My only recommendation is to not seem so bitter and personal. I know you have prevented thousands of consumers from using bad companies. However, my question is, how many positive articles do you have in ratio to negative articles? How many consumers have been swayed into not trying various avenues for getting out of debt?

    Don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of bad players. But there are a lot of Debt Settlement Companies playing by the FTC rules and wishing the legal model would go away. I know fear increases traffic and everyone loves a train wreck. But I think positive releases would also increase traffic and let the consumer know there are companies out there that are working for their needs
    If you only focus on the negative, there’s a chance that eventually this site could become the boy who called wolf one too many times. I guess instead of just outing bad individuals and bad companies, you allow an open forum with companies to help them convey their themes to get out of debt.

    Most companies are scared to wake up and see themselves on this site. But maybe that’s all you want. This site has nothing to do about getting out of debt, more or less how to avoid scams and generate traffic, which keeps this site relevant and relevancy has multiple benefits. Avoiding scams is only one part of getting out of debt.

    Where are the tips, or resources for getting out of debt? Where is the unbiased research? I know you can pull up a 2008 USOBA thing but so what? Getting out of Debt isn’t just Debt Settlement. The Rally in North Carolina was good. What debt options works, what options don’t?

    I am just saying more positive stuff, positive meetings, trends, charts, interviews with companies trying to help people would be a fresh breath of air on this site. I know you can sit back and be more clever than anyone when responding to posts, so I dare not upset the man with the microphone. Just hope you are open to my thoughts.

    Sleepless in Seattle

  • SleeplessinSeattle

    I enjoy your site. I visit it daily. I think I understand your efforts. I appreciate them for the most part. My only recommendation is to not seem so bitter and personal. I know you have prevented thousands of consumers from using bad companies. However, my question is, how many positive articles do you have in ratio to negative articles? How many consumers have been swayed into not trying various avenues for getting out of debt?

    Don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of bad players. But there are a lot of Debt Settlement Companies playing by the FTC rules and wishing the legal model would go away. I know fear increases traffic and everyone loves a train wreck. But I think positive releases would also increase traffic and let the consumer know there are companies out there that are working for their needs
    If you only focus on the negative, there’s a chance that eventually this site could become the boy who called wolf one too many times. I guess instead of just outing bad individuals and bad companies, you allow an open forum with companies to help them convey their themes to get out of debt.

    Most companies are scared to wake up and see themselves on this site. But maybe that’s all you want. This site has nothing to do about getting out of debt, more or less how to avoid scams and generate traffic, which keeps this site relevant and relevancy has multiple benefits. Avoiding scams is only one part of getting out of debt.

    Where are the tips, or resources for getting out of debt? Where is the unbiased research? I know you can pull up a 2008 USOBA thing but so what? Getting out of Debt isn’t just Debt Settlement. The Rally in North Carolina was good. What debt options works, what options don’t?

    I am just saying more positive stuff, positive meetings, trends, charts, interviews with companies trying to help people would be a fresh breath of air on this site. I know you can sit back and be more clever than anyone when responding to posts, so I dare not upset the man with the microphone. Just hope you are open to my thoughts.

    Sleepless in Seattle

    • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

      Hi Sleepless,For positive stories and consumer assistance stuff I’ve written I think all you need to do is visit the reader question part of the site. All of that advice is positive help to assist the consumer to not fall into a pit and/or find help.I think it’s interesting that debt relief companies almost never elect to post helpful information in response to a reader’s question unless it is a pitch for their program. Debt relief individuals are always welcome to comment to assist readers. Again, another positive opportunity.If you are looking for general budgeting advice or how to save money by packing your lunch, you came to the wrong site. That’s not me and those articles can be found all over. Because of that it is a waste of my time. I don’t need to spend time writing the same stuff over for the 100,000 time. If anyone wants to find that kind of stuff they may want to try this list. There are a lot of good resources on there.Do I want companies to wake up scared to see themselves on this site. Not at all. I would prefer if debt relief companies operated in such a way that I never had anything to write about any company. If a company did appear, there is nothing to fear. in fact it is an opportunity for them to shine for consumers. Let’s say company X appears on the site. Their best course of action is to own the mistake, step up and take responsibility for it and fix it. SilverLead Debt Solutions is a great example of a company that does that. Consumer’s have respect and praise for companies that do that.I’m sure there are many more articles of concern than flowery articles. Articles on this site are almost exclusively generated by the tips readers send in. I don’t even have time to deal with all of those and the bulk go unpublished.I have done positive pieces and I do speak fondly of some companies.As far as option articles, the one that lays out the most data on options is this one. I revisit it from time-to-time to update it.This one is also a good nuts and bolts article on what to look for. As far as recent articles in the past two weeks that contained research or information not related towards a bad act or practice try here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.If you have a guest post you’d like to submit on the topics you listed above I’d be happy to consider it for publication. Just fill out the tips form and submit the piece that way by uploading it.Oh yes, don’t forget to help by answering reader questions or forum questions. There are so many people looking for answers and I can’t get to them all.

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