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Latest Search Data Still Shows Falling Demand for Debt Relief Services

A look at updated search trend data still is showing an across the board decrease in consumer generated searches for debt relief services.

This post will show both historical and twelve months charts.

Debt Settlement

Latest Search Data Still Shows Falling Demand for Debt Relief Services
Latest Search Data Still Shows Falling Demand for Debt Relief Services

Credit Counseling

Latest Search Data Still Shows Falling Demand for Debt Relief Services
Latest Search Data Still Shows Falling Demand for Debt Relief Services

Debt Consolidation

Latest Search Data Still Shows Falling Demand for Debt Relief Services
Latest Search Data Still Shows Falling Demand for Debt Relief Services

Unfortunately the consumer demand for debt relief services, as gauged by proactive consumer searching continues to reflect a continued downward trend.

As projected previously, until creditors begin to issue new credit there will be a continued decline in the demand for debt relief services as the pipeline of over-indebted consumers has been cleaned out over the past 24-36 months.

Debt relief providers should anticipate marketing and acquisition costs to remain steady or increase as competition increases for the shrinking pool of consumer eligible for debt relief services.

For companies that are struggling with client acquisition this is probably a very important time to focus on cutting operating cots as much as possible to ride through this valley that I anticipate will last for at least 18 months before consumer demand increases.

The most important marker to watch will be a steady uptick in the Federal Reserve G-19 report. Currently the amount of outstanding revolving consumer debt continues to fall.

Latest Search Data Still Shows Falling Demand for Debt Relief Services

A reduction in revolving consumer debt is due to creditors writing off bad debt and the elimination of debt by consumers. The lower the level of consumer debt the less demand there is for debt relief services.

Latest Search Data Still Shows Falling Demand for Debt Relief Services
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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.
  • Really??

    Your 89 year old mother would be ashamed if she knew that you were defending a broken model designed to take the last dollar of people who are struggling to begin with. You have some pair commenting on user names knowing you were the one assisting in the scam. You’re so blinded by your greed that you missed the sarcasm in the names…hey dumbass, the names were directed at you and your husband…how do you guys sleep at night?

  • Errick

    I’m no expert, but I think perhaps the millions of American families who are disqualified from filing bankruptcy right now because of the waiting period in the reform act, are pulling the numbers down. Further, because these people do not have the threat of bankruptcy to hold over their creditors, they have no real leverage in debt settlement. Where do they go? The cash economy, and the ranks of the “unbanked” maybe?

  • Concern

    How would you define fear?

  • Steve Rhode

    Nothing. I blocked two people for not being civil in their comments. Why are you using a fake email address?

  • Concern

    User that you keep blocking people who question your questionable past. Why? What are you hiding?

  • Steve Rhode

    And now you are blocked, I gave you every chance to be civil.

  • KSW’s wife

    They praise you like Jesus, should we call them your paritioners?

  • KSW’s wife

    Anyone who knows business & read these posts knows there is fraud all over it! All of us can see it Steve, your blind denial proves all of our points! If it looks like a fraud & it walks like a fraud it’s probably a fraud. You left California with your tail between your legs. “An ISSUE with California” you got ran out of California on a RAIL! & now you have reapperaed & wonder why we call you a Fraud?

  • Steve Rhode

    I don’t know them. They are not my friends.

  • Steve Rhode

    You are adding nothing new to the previous rants and false accusations that your husband let loose. I’ve given you fair warning about your tone.

    I’ll give you one last chance to have a proper cordial conversation.

    What have I been spreading fear about? It seems to me that in fact you are the one spreading fear in your falsehoods and mistruths about me.

    Point to a specific example of something that I have been raving “like a wild man” about. Give me a specific article URL and point and I’m happy to discuss it with you.

    And what are you claiming I am biased about?

    Again, keep your response civil and respectful or I’m blocking you.

  • Steve Rhode

    They are not my friends.

  • KSW’s wife

    Hey Steve,

    Al Capone & Scam think you are a hero Steve. Very funny! My wonderful 89 year old mother would be horrified if I had friends named Al Capone & Scam.

  • KSW’s wife

    It’s our opinion that your type of journalism is extremely destructive because it is based on spreading fear. The fact that you get paid for blind viscious attacks on an entire industry will obviously rub a lot of people the wrong way & they should be allowed to voice their opinion. That’s what you do isn’t it? Except we’re not making millions, we just want people to know the truth about Steve Rhodes. There are soooo many worthy causes that you could use your tallent to promote or defend, but you choose to make your riches feeding off of FEAR! Why? Debt Settlement is DS no matter how a fee is collected, that’s not why you rave like a wild man. You rave like a wild man because it makes you money! It has nothing to do with how business is done. You found a way to be biased & viscious & you have a very questionable past Steve. We have the right to question your motivations, especially when you are making soooo much money on all of this.

  • KSW’s wife

    I am his wife & we have 4 children to feed. I worked for good people that have been business owners for over 30 years. Inherently ripping off Americans? I am going back to work for them in September, they have started a metal fabrication company, does that make them RIPPOFF PEOPLE? Some of the reasons 40% completed successfuly had to to with additional job loss while they were in the program. A lot of the clients who enrolled have struggled throughout their lifetime to pay their monthly payments so they failed to pay their program payments just like they failed to pay their credit card companies. Either way they failed to pay their payment, a lot of them had drug problems, going through divorce ect…the same reasons that they couldn’t pay their creditors applied to why a lot of clients didn’t finish their program. That is the same in any business. Since you call yourself scam I’m sure that you are an upstanding tax payer. The banks created this mess with their abuses & you all want to do is blame anyone & everyone who tried to help clean up the mess! If you want to rant & rave blindly then rant & rave about the banks abuses & leave hard working tax payers alone! We have families to support & we don’t support our families by spreading fear!

  • Steve Rhode

    Well first we’d have to start with getting the facts right. They did not shut us down in California. Technically we were operating legally and eligible for the exemption as a non-profit organization. We had a disagreement with California over their incorrect assertions, which I cover here.

    The reason we elected to leave California had nothing to do with being found guilty. It was a simple business decision that after trying to deal with the issue, as I openly describe, it was more cost effective to leave California than look at a bottomless pit of expenses to fight.

    So how is that fraudulent?

  • Steve Rhode

    Logic would dictate that the answer is YES.

    I informed him that if his lack of civility continued that I would block him. It did. I did.

    I disclose I filed bankruptcy and had an issue with California that was resolved so it’s not like it’s a secret.

    As far as your issues with SCAM, that is not me so you are welcome to take up your issues with them.

    What fraud do I have in my past?

    Keep it civl and you are welcome to stay around. But if you get as accusatory, vile, and inflammatory as your husband did I will block you as well. This is your only warning.

  • KSW’s wife

    Sir why did you block my husband? He asked you a YES or NO question…Has anyone ever completed an upfront DS Program? Like he stated, this is a YES or NO question! Do you block everyone who searches the web & discloses that you have filed BK & have been under state investigations? It is public knowledge after all. I think it’s a fair question to ask you how much money you make out of all of you fear spreading. Scam called my husband a clown & an idiot because he is hard working & does not like people who spreads fear? Sir I personally successfully negotiated clients debts every day for 2 years does that make me a clown? I have 4 wonderful children & I had an honest job does that make me a bad person? Why do you feel the need for such vicious attacks when you have fraud in your past? Based on your past your future is easy for us to see. Only your buddies praise you becasue all of you proffit from fear! You should be ashamed of yourself! How much money did you make off of all of this last year! Are you that embarrassed to tell the truth?

  • Sduran165

    “So who specifically how am I a fraud?”—by Steve Rhode

    Steve, why don’t you ask the State of California who shut your Consumer Credit Counseling company down for operating illegally!!

  • Steve Rhode

    It is not a nonprofit entity. That’s always been laid out openly and transparently in the site terms.

  • Guest

    Steve,

    I get the impression that you consider yourself a journalist and this website a journalistic endeavor. Journalism is all about ethics where accuracy and transparency are key.

    From my vantage point it would seem to be incumbent upon the organization and the person in charge to take all necessary measures to ensure accuracy and transparency including updating the information published about the organization by others. Alexa.com indicates that getoutofdebt.org is an educational organization.

    My question is straight forward.

    Is the getoutofdebt.org that is operating today (April 27, 2011) organized as a journalistic entity and is it operating as a non-profit or for profit entity?

  • Scam

    He just offered you free help for your wife you idiot- Go away

  • Scam

    The BEST front fee model debt settlement company had a total success rate of less than 40%- Your wife should have chosen a business that was not inherently ripping off Americans with financial troubles-

    Look in the mirror you clown.

  • Steve Rhode

    And now you’ve just simply gone off the deep end. The help offered was free so how would I have made money off of you?

  • KSW

    Has anyone ever successfully completed an upfront DS program? YES or NO? May I stress that this is a YES or NO question Steve? That means YES or NO!! No other comments! I would love to see the strain in your face to answer yes or no without adding your FEAR MONGERING JOURNALISM as you call it. YES or NO?

  • KSW

    No comment about your motivations I see!! No comment about how much you make out of all this, but you offered a DS opportunity to me?? You help destroy DS!! Someone would have to be insane to invest their hard earned money in DS now!! I forgot you don’t know what hard earned money is, can you spell “FRAUD”??!! Did you not notice that we are currently in a low income bracket & we have 4 kids? You want to make money off of us?? YOU ARE A FRAUD WHO WILL MAKE MONEY IF IT MEANT SELLING YOUR SOUL TO THE DEVIL!! LOOK AT YOUR PAST!! FRAUD AFTER FRAUD AFTER FRAUD AFTER FRAUD!! I give you credit you are an expert at fraud! How much did you make on all of us this last year Steve? How much do make off of all of your advice & “OBJECTIVENESS”??!! BK, state investigations ect…you have a rapsheet longer than a mobster & you promote communism with your “only 1 model business model insanity!” I will keep my job thank you!! & my wife has an honest job & would never be associated with the likes of you, thank you very much! We work hard & are honest tax paying citizens!! What does your past show? How much money do you get paid for your objectiveness?? Care to answer a direct question or rant on with your FEAR MONGERING JOURNALISM?? I see you won’t disclose your income because your frauding the IRS as well?? If not I recant my statement in your honor!

  • Steve Rhode

    Well why didn’t you just say so from the beginning.

    If the issue is that you would like help to develop a business model that your wife can use to start her own debt settlement business then you should have asked earlier. There are a lot of people that would love to help you do that.

    In fact just today we added Scott Johnson as a debt settlement business expert to assist companies to develop successful business models.

    You can post your questions for Scott here.

  • KSW

    I manage a small auto service shop & my wife was laid of about 4 months ago. She was a processor for a DS company who collected upfront fees. I know for a fact that the clients that she helped process were having their debt reduced in some cases as much as 80%. We have 4 children & she is working for less than half of the income that she made @ her prior company. There was a time that she & I talked about starting our own DS company so I have followed the industry for about 2 years. Why everyone here keeps acusing me of working for a company who sells “ripoff products” just becuase I have an ax to grind with people that blindly helped run hard working people like my wife to the unemployment line proves MY ONLY POINT, you are all BIASED ONLY BECAUSE YOU PROFFIT FROM IT!! LET ME REPEAT MYSELF AGAIN!! MY ONLY ARGUEMENT IS THAT YOU SPREAD FEAR FOR PROFFIT! Nothing more nothing less! I don’t want to argue with you about DS this & DS that! We all know there were abuses, but not all companies were con artists! You & your buddies who ALSO PROFFIT FROM SPREADING FEAR have to know that it just might be possible that there have been countless folks successfully complete DS programs where they paid upront fees? Are you that possessed with the greed of spreading fear for proffit to acknowledge that there were thousands of people in this industry who worked to support their families, paid taxes & provided a service that they deserved to get paid for? Free enterprise? It’s virtually insane to say that only 1 model is acceptable!! You sound like commies or the gestapo! HITLER DIED YEARS AGO!! Again my only point, my only arguement is that you & your buddies “SPREAD FEAR FOR PROFFIT” & you do so hiding behind FRAUD!! Steve you have already admitted in other threads that you have been involved in state investigations BK & other things that PEOPLE NEED TO TAKE HEED OF BEFORE THEY TAKE ADVICE FROM YOU!! You took a year hiatas to spend time with your family?? Really?? They are people who know Steve Rhodes & he is not what he portrays himself to be on this site!! AGAIN MY ONLY POINT IS THAT YOU ARE A FRAUD PROFFITING FROM FEAR MONGERING JOURNALISM!! You keep bringing up that I should tell you who I work for & give examples about DS because you are a MASTER of ripping an entire industry!! You have Zero interest in being objective!! You can pick me apart with your legal jargon because I was never in DS!! Why can’t tell us how much you made last year Steve? Are you that embarrassed by the exorbiant amount of money that you make off of FEAR??!! My kids are hungry if you want to donate some of your riches to a good cause! Elighten us Steve, what do you make off of all of this? I would rather feed my kids hamburger helper than make a living like you do!! I DESPIZE PEOPLE WHO PRAY ON FEAR!! Last time I checked I am entitled to my own opinion, right Steve? God forbid that I not be civil in my expression of disliking you & everything you stand for! All anyone has to do is look @ your past & they will know EXACTLY WHO YOU ARE!! YOU ARE A FRAUD PORTRAYING YOURSELF AS A JOURNALIST MAKING MILLIONS PRAYING ON FEAR!! PERIOD!!

  • Steve Rhode

    I get the fact that you don’t like me and your demand to know my income is irrelevant. Especially in light of the fact that you won’t even bother to identify yourself, your company, or come out in the light.

    Your attacks against me are simply a bully effort of misdirection to attack the messenger.

    You’ve yet to provide any evidence, data, examples, or proof to support your position that consumers benefit from advanced fee debt settlement. I would love to have a civil conversation with you about that but you refuse to. Is it because you can’t?

    I’ve asked you to point out specific examples of my alleged bias which you have been unable to do. I’ve asked you to point to a specific article that you felt I got wrong, which you have been unable to do.

    I’ve given you a wide amount of latitude in spewing your rage and accusations at me. If I was truly biased and operating with a secret hidden agenda wouldn’t have I just deleted your comments? But I allowed you to have a voice in hopes that you might add something to an intelligent conversation.

    I was hoping that eventually you would have a cogent example or position we could discuss but your rants have all become hissy fits so unfortunately all I’m left with, “I’m rubber, you’re glue, whatever you say bounces off me and sticks to you.”

  • KSW

    MY ONLY POINT IS THAT STEVE MAKES PILES OF MONEY FROM THIS SITE BLASTING ALL UPFRONT DS COMPANIES! PERIOD! Myself and many others could care less about all the legal jargon that you guys use to rip an entire industry. Everyone agrees that there were abuses. The industry needed to be cleaned up, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure that out! AGAIN MY ONLY POINT IS THAT STEVE IS TOTALLY BIASED (by the way, all of us outside your little circle jerk agree, not just myself). Steve & the rest of you have zero credibility because you are making hundreds of thousands if not millions of dollars on SPREADING FEAR! I have the right to despise fear mongering journalism don’t I? LHDR this, attorney model that, I could care less! The fact that Steve refuses to disclose how much he made on this site (btw is his right) shows that he is hiding behind journalism spreading fear making more money that the worst bad actor in DS! PERIOD! You guys can rant & rave all you want about DS, but you only do it for 1 reason “PROFFIT”!! No do you get it???? My ONLY arguement is that Steve Rhode is a fraud!! Just look into his past & it will tell you his future! So why can’t you tell us just how much you made off of being the saint of DS last year? What’s the big deal? We all know your motovations, be proud of it! He won’t because he is a fraud & his associates are bottom feeders. I don’t sell DS, I don’t sell auto warranties. Because Myself like many others has issues with the pure biase of this site we are losers selling bad products to consumers? Really??? You guys have been spewing venom like a broken record so much that you blindly acuse anyone who disagrees as con artist?? That proves in & of itself that you don’t care what or who you bash as long as it fills your pockets!

  • Steve Rhode

    The number of Americans filing for bankruptcy dropped 6% in the first quarter of 2011 compared to the previous year, two industry groups said Monday.

    The number of filings in the first three months of 2011 dropped to 340,012, down from 363,215 filings recorded in the first quarter of 2010, according to data from the American Bankruptcy Institute and the National Bankruptcy Research Center.

    Looks like the consumer bankruptcy data is following a similar trend.

  • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

    The number of Americans filing for bankruptcy dropped 6% in the first quarter of 2011 compared to the previous year, two industry groups said Monday.

    The number of filings in the first three months of 2011 dropped to 340,012, down from 363,215 filings recorded in the first quarter of 2010, according to data from the American Bankruptcy Institute and the National Bankruptcy Research Center.

    Looks like the consumer bankruptcy data is following a similar trend.

    • Errick

      I’m no expert, but I think perhaps the millions of American families who are disqualified from filing bankruptcy right now because of the waiting period in the reform act, are pulling the numbers down. Further, because these people do not have the threat of bankruptcy to hold over their creditors, they have no real leverage in debt settlement. Where do they go? The cash economy, and the ranks of the “unbanked” maybe?

  • Damon Day

    Wow, this is your best response? I guess I am not surprised considering the facts. Do you happen to have a logical response to what LHDR is doing to their clients? Can you try to creatively defend it at least? Can anyone from LHDR please provide a logical response?

    Bias? Yes, if I see a company ripping off consumers, I will treat that company differently then a company that is putting consumers first, and providing a good service. I will point out why I think what they are doing is bad for consumers. Then consumers can decide if what I am saying makes sense.

  • AlCapone

    KSW= S. J. = Jason Snow

    When the attorney model scam runs out, Go sell your auto warranties… Then go sell auto loan mods & back into Time Shares.

    You have NO credibility. Keep up the great work Steve- of HELPING consumers in debt & helping them recognize pathetic scam artists like this Shyster.

  • Bobby Zangrilli

    I think debt relief will never be viral in the same way as a Youtube video is because people don’t like talking about their debt. A better comparison for our purposes would be something like Viagra. Studies have proven it works, there is obviously demand for it, and yet Pfizer still has to market it a lot.

  • Steve Rhode

    I’ve let you comment here on the edge of civility but your comments have wandered way over the line with this one. Fair warning, keep it civl or I’ll have to block you.

    Who is MLG?

    I’ve asked you to point to a specific example where you felt I was biased so we could discuss it but you seem resistant. What is the URL of the article you felt I was biased in and how?

  • KSW

    look up MLG’s minimum performance! it’s based on a reduction of 60%, just like many others! you guys are nothing but bottom feeders blasting anyone who doesn’t do things your way. I saw somewhere on here where someone said you guys are all blowing each other while raping clients! My only point is that Seve is making money on being biased! Period! Let me guess, he promotes your company? Right? I thought so!

  • Steve Rhode

    Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, LHDR performance based guarantee. Ok, now there is something we can talk about.

    If we are to compare New Era and LHDR the New Era fee is based on the balance of the debt enrolled and the performance guarantee is if the debt is not settled to the satisfaction of the client, there is no fee.

    The LHDR minimum performance guarantee is based on a settlement of at least a 35% reduction on the balance at the time of settlement that will include additional interest, penalties and fees accrued from the date of enrollment to the date a settlement is attempted. There is nothing I read in the contracted that said a settlement would only be attempted when sufficient funds were available and ready to complete the settlement. In fact the performance guarantee in the contract says the guarantee is only in force if there is never a default of any service cost payment, if for any reason the client is unable to accept a 35% reduction on current balance, the minimum provision does not apply to any account that had a balance transfer, cash advance, an initial balance of less than $1,000 or on an account where the client was sued, no account subject to a garnishment is included either.

    It seems like the performance guarantee you appear to be holding your hat on creating a better outcome and product, instead creates a circular pothole that potentially leaves the consumer poised for termination. Later in the contract it says that if LHDR negotiates a settlement that LHDR believes is reasonable that unless the client agrees to it the agreement can be terminated and no refunds given.

    If it is possible for you, can you provide an coherent response regarding how the LHDR guarantee is more beneficial for the consumer than a performance based company that charges only when it actually settles and the consumer accepts it.

    And for your reference the link to the contract and breakdown of parts of it are are here.

  • Steve Rhode

    It’s right above. I just moved it to my answer on the other comment.

    So who specifically how am I a fraud?

  • Damon Day

    You might want to reread that minimum performance standard you are hanging your hat on. It is nothing more than a marketing gimmick. It is not a 60% settlement as you claim. It is only a 65% settlement of the full amount of the debt at the time of the settlement. So because LHDR is going to spend the first 18 months or so collecting all of their fees, the actual balance of the debt is going to increase by at least 20%. Then when many of their clients are served with a lawsuit, which is to be expected according to a recent LHDR press release I saw, the attorneys for the creditor are going to tack on additional fees.

    So when it is all said and done, the only thing LHDR has to do is get an offer for about a 10% reduction if even that much of the original debt at the time of enrollment. If a client cannot afford this super high settlement, as is often the case because most of their money for the first 18 months was stolen in un-earned fees, then LHDR is now also off the hook to have to provide any of this special legal representation they are always bragging about.

    The reality is that the performance guarantee that you and every LHDR sales affiliate uses to mislead consumers, is really more about them getting out of their promised obligation than it is about any sort of success guarantee for their unfortunate client.

    They only have to get the offer, if the client can’t pay, then there is no guarantee. So it is a good thing they charge all of their fees upfront so it makes it likely the client will never be able to fund the settlement and trigger the guarantee. Otherwise they would actually have to give quite a bit of money back to their clients who are getting sued and don’t have enough money to fund the settlements yet.

    Now, you can unfortunately get away with misleading consumers during a sales call, but seriously, you are going to come into a public forum and misrepresent what LHDR is doing to clients, knowing that other people who read this forum have a copy of their contract? Really?

    “It is better to keep your mouth closed and be thought a fool, than to open it and remove all doubt”

  • Sduran165

    Can you post the thread Steve Rhode? I personally think Steve Rhode is a fraud and people should BEWARE!! I’m just curious to see the thousands of people who bought into Steve’s propaganda, used one of his partner companies who gives him kickbacks, and regrets it…I’m sure there must be thousands of people who took Steve’s advice and eventually lost everything!!

  • KSW

    I would quickly like to point out a blatant lie from the saint Steve Rhodes! In your response you said, quote “According to a recent contract review that you can read here, LHDR charges a $900 retainer, 15% of the debt, and these fees are front-loaded and not dependent on if the debt is settled or not.”……..That could not be any further from the truth! “not dependent on whether the debt is settled” really Steve? What is there minimum performance standard all about then Steve? Please explain why you chose to LIE? If they don’t reduce the debt down to a minimum of 40% the client gets refunded on any fee they paid on that account & they still settle that account for as low as they can! THAT’s PERFORMANCE! Most (I didn’t say all)attorney model DS companies have similar guarentees! Tell another LIE! You lie to the point that it creates anger & anomosity in thousands of people! You will now be exposed!

  • KSW

    Like I said you are more slippery than a slimey frog! My attacks as you call them revolve around you spreading fear for proffit! Nothing more, I am out of DS, but I have watched you blindly rip an entire industry so you can make money! If you weren’t so negative & biased I would have nothing to say would I? If you were objective I would respect your opinion even if I didn’t agree with it, but to everyone who reads your BS it is very clear that you are anything but objective! & because of that you have hundreds if not thousands of people who feel the same way I do about the consumer advocate imposter who calls himself Steve Rhodes! You are evil! DS, however you collect fees is DS. Your main argument is that upfront DS clients pay for a service that they don’t receive. LHDR as do most attorney model DS companies that are still doing business have something called a Minimum Performance Standard which clearly states that if they don’t reduce the clients debt by @ least 60% they are refunded any fees charged on that account & they will still negotiate it to as low as they can. If New Era Debt reduces the debt by only 20% they still get paid 15% correct? LHDR only gets paid for performance, yes they collect it upfront, but if they are unsuccessful @ reducing the debt by a minimum of 60% they don’t make a dime on that account. You tell me who gets paid on performance? I’m sure New Era settles for less than 80% the majority of the time, my point is that they get paid no matter what as long as they settle the account therefore providing an inferior service in some instances. You ignore valid points & jump on us for making emotional statements. How much you make on all of this is very material to proving that you make your rants soley because you proffit from it period! Very simple, “YOU RANT & RAVE YOU GET PAID!” Everything you rant & rave about is suspect, you have zero credability because your “BIASED!” Not objective! You spew percentages about upfront DS, but offer no percentages to performance model DS! Why? BECAUSE THEY PAY YOU! What is so hard in being transparent about just how much you make Steve? I personally dispise anyone who prays on fear! You want to do something good, STOP BEING A SPINELESS FEAR MONGERING MANIAC HIDING BEHIND JOURNALISM & CREATE SOMETHING TANGIBLE THAT PEOPLE CAN TRULY BENNEFIT FROM! How much did you make last year Steve? The fact that you won’t be transparent about your proffit from this tells any reader your true motivations! I have read thread after thread of people expressing similar concerns as I have! You never address the big picture of the questions we raise, you simply pick apart a specific claim or sentence like a con artist selling tonic! Our BIG PICTURE CONCERN is that you have ZERO CREDABILITY because you are making piles of money spreading fear, not truth! You do make truthful statements, but you do not make objective truthful statements! Simply put, “YOU SPREAD FEAR FOR PROFFIT”! It truly is that simple! Many of us want to see you disapear Steve because we are all sick & tired of your BIASED PROFFIT BASED JOURNALISM! If you were even partially objective I would not feel so passionate about exposing you! My guess is that you have created so many enemies while living in a glass house, your glass house will soon crumble! It’s called Karma! How much did you make last year? Inquiring minds want to know!

  • Steve Rhode

    I agree that advertising breads awareness but so does success. If consumers had been receiving a massive benefit from a majority of companies before that natural word of mouth would have boosted awareness and demand like a viral video. I don’t see any evidence of this, do you?

  • Steve Rhode

    Journalists don’t get paid? Okay so let’s look at who pays journalists that appear in your local paper or local television station, advertising. It’s the same thing here and just as I say in the site terms.

    There has been no proof presented by the debt settlement trade industry that shows that advanced fee debt settlement provides a better outcome. TASC supplied data to the FTC of member agencies said that only 34% or so of accounts were settled. What is the advantage of a consumer paying fees in advance when only 34% are settled? Other investigations by Attorneys General said the overall results were much worse, as little as 10% of the advanced fee debt was settled.

    You rant on and on about me yet you don’t even identify who you are, what company you work for or point to the performance statistics of your company. Why not?

    Show me some proof you can provide better results for advanced fee debt settlement than consumers paying for performance for settlement and I’m willing to listen.

    Since you used the LHDR / New Era example let’s look at the total fees. And this is not advertisement for either, just comparing the fees of the companies you brought up.

    New Era charges 15% of enrolled debt but only payable at the time the debt is actually settled. I’m sure the escrow company New Era works with charges a monthly fee for their services as well. You can see their performance statistics here so consumers are informed what results to expect.

    According to a recent contract review that you can read here, LHDR charges a $900 retainer, 15% of the debt, and these fees are front-loaded and not dependent on if the debt is settled or not. The contract showed LHDR was charging an additional $50 administrative fee per month. I have been unable to locate an public statements about their performance. If you have a link to it, please let me know.

    So how is the consumer not paying less for the performance based model and how is a consumer charged twice as much by New Era? I can’t see the data to backup your assertions. How do you arrive at that conclusion?

    I do not have a “hatred” against up-front fee companies but I’ve yet to see any evidence from the industry that consumers received 100% of the services they paid for.

    Are you suggesting consumers should pay for services they don’t receive? I’m not sure what the argument is? It appears to be you want to continue the old way of charging consumers for services not delivered.

    Your other comment:

    You have skirted all of our questions. I think it’s a fair question to ask how much you are making on all of this? Especially since you have been spearheading attacks on upfront fee charging DS companies. We are just guessing of course so it’s easy for you to deny what we are guessing. You speak of transperency & so forth, why don’t you just end the back & forth rhetoric & tell us what you make? Seems simple to me. Do you get paid upfront or do you charge for your service like the rest of us did? I forgot that makes us bad people, but you are a saint? What are you hiding? Since you always point to specific examples, please give us an example of a DS company that charged upfront fees that praised your fear mongering journalism. From everything that I have read on this site over the past year or so all I have seen is Upfront fees DS companies & their employees rip you with venom & hatred! To my knowledge not even the best of the upfront DS companies has ever praised your venom on here. Why is that Steve? You say DS is good for the right client so why does every DS upfront company rip you for spreading fear. You have admitted that there were good companies, but there were too may bad companies that tarnished the entire industry. Then why do only perfomance model companies praise you? I just asked you several questions, but I’m only interested in hearing you answering 1 of them, how much did you make last year? The other questions we all know the answers to!

    My answer:

    “We are just guessing of course so it’s easy for you to deny what we are guessing.” – Does that even make sense?

    “Do you get paid upfront or do you charge for your service like the rest of us did?” – I get paid only if people click on an advertisement so I guess you could say my income is performance based. I sell no services.

    “…your fear mongering journalism…” – Please point to something that I wrote that was “fear mongering” and let’s talk about it. Let’s talk specifics. You brought it up, I’d love to talk about a specific example.

    “Upfront fees DS companies & their employees rip you with venom & hatred!” – And apparently you are one of them. So what is wrong with charging consumers for services actually received? Why is that frightening? Are you suggesting that there should be some other relationship between the client and the DS company other than a equitable value for money?

    “…not even the best of the upfront DS companies has ever praised your venom on here.” – Who is the best of the upfront DS companies?

    “Then why do only perfomance model companies praise you?” – You’d have to ask them.

    “…how much did you make last year?” – That is immaterial to your arguments and attacks.
    Your attacks seem to revolve around advanced fee debt settlement companies are a better model and deliver a higher value for consumers so what does my income have to do with that. I think you just perceive that as an issue to poke me with but it’s clearly not relevant.

  • Steve Rhode

    To keep this in one spot I’m answering this on your other thread.

  • Bobby Zangrilli

    Hey Sean, I think most of us expected before the FTC rule that a lot of companies would close down (which happened) and as a result lower lead costs substantially (didn’t happen).

    In my opinion what we’re seeing is a reduction in need caused by the factors Steve and Charles pointed out – banks not extending as much credit and credit card reform – but another thing I think is self-evident is that a good portion of internet search traffic was being generated by television, radio, and direct mail campaigns from companies that moved on to other things following the FTC rule.

    Basically I’m not sure having fewer companies will lower the costs of leads because the price is determined by supply and demand, and while the demand may go down with fewer companies the supply may too. I think there’s a negative feedback cycle that occurs where fewer companies = less marketing = less consumer interest = fewer leads

  • KSW

    You have skirted all of our questions. I think it’s a fair question to ask how much you are making on all of this? Especially since you have been spearheading attacks on upfront fee charging DS companies. We are just guessing of course so it’s easy for you to deny what we are guessing. You speak of transperency & so forth, why don’t you just end the back & forth rhetoric & tell us what you make? Seems simple to me. Do you get paid upfront or do you charge for your service like the rest of us did? I forgot that makes us bad people, but you are a saint? What are you hiding? Since you always point to specific examples, please give us an example of a DS company that charged upfront fees that praised your fear mongering journalism. From everything that I have read on this site over the past year or so all I have seen is Upfront fees DS companies & their employees rip you with venom & hatred! To my knowledge not even the best of the upfront DS companies has ever praised your venom on here. Why is that Steve? You say DS is good for the right client so why does every DS upfront company rip you for spreading fear. You have admitted that there were good companies, but there were too may bad companies that tarnished the entire industry. Then why do only perfomance model companies praise you? I just asked you several questions, but I’m only interested in hearing you answering 1 of them, how much did you make last year? The other questions we all know the answers to!

  • KSW

    Stevie you are the KING of speeking in generalizations! That is exactly how you spread fear so well! You say a lot to create fear without ever really saying anything @ all. You point the finger @ companies like LHDR & others while promoting New Era Debt & others. They both are in the same exact business, the only difference being that one company collects upfront fees & the other collects even higher fees @ the time of settlement. The end result is the exact same except the LHDR client walks away paying out less in fees in the end. Who cares if New Era can settle ONE more debt sooner because they do not get paid upfront. They simply charge twice as much for an inferior service & you praise them. I’m not a LHDR fan, I have no association with LHDR because they were 1 of our competitors, but you spread hatred toward any company who collected upfront fees. There are bad Mcdonalds out there & I don’t see you shouting from the rooftops to close all Mcdonald’s. The simple answer is because you wouldn’t proffit from that! You do proffit from this tremendously. To be honest Steve that is the only point I am interested in making! You make a lot of money out of all of this for your own personal gain period! Will you please just admit to that instead of hiding behind journalism? I will ask you again, how much money did you make in 2010?

  • Steve Rhode

    I think we agree that as long as the number of active companies paying for leads is at the current level that declining demand leads to a higher cost per lead as companies compete for a small potential pool of customers.

  • Steve Rhode

    Robert, can you please stop posting as Steve R.

  • Steve Rhode

    Let’s talk about one of those threads. Give me the URL and I’m happy to have a conversation about it but we need an example rather than a generalization.

    Who have I attacked unfairly, please point to a specific example.

  • Steve Rhode

    You might want to look at these falsehoods that have made the rounds.

    Politicians and banks greasing my palms? Really? Seriously?

    Your rant seems to be pro-debt settlement but I’ve said all along that for the right person debt settlement can be an effective tool. They key here, the right person.

    I never say to try credit counseling first. There is no order of preference for debt relief options. The key is to match the right option with the situation and goals the person has.

    If there is a specific reader question where you think my advice was not appropriate, I’m more than happy to discuss it and explain my approach and rationale.

  • Steve Rhode

    What handshaking?

  • Steve Rhode

    I would imagine that search trends across those devices would be similar. Would love to see any data you might have that would indicate otherwise. I am not aware that Google trends filters out devices or partner sites. They say, “Google Trends analyzes a portion of Google web searches to compute how many searches have been done for the terms you enter, relative to the total number of searches done on Google over time.” They make no mention of filtering searches.

    Again, this is Google’s measure of searches for the US and not global. It does appear that there has been a recent uptick but it would be hard to say it is a trend upwards or just another small peak & valley. It will take time to see where it goes.

    Readers are welcome to go to http://www.google.com/trends?q… and see the source of the data I presented.

    What is the URL of the site that says I make $800 a day. That’s funny.

  • Jbloin5

    Steve your data from google leaves out many mobile device searches and additional partner sites. The keywords you published are 0.004% of the words consumers search for when looking for debt relief services.

    In the last 90 days “debt settlement” search queries have jumped 11%.

    When you flash graphs from google and expect 90% of your readers not to go VET the info your a dummy straight up. Well your a dummy anyway.

    From several spy tracker sites Steve is making about $800.00 a day in adsense charges. You can post your last statement from Google to disqualify my comment.

    Cambridge and New Era are probably paying Steve between $4-8k per month to keep their appearances up. Shit I bet they are paying for Pamela’s new handbag and airline tickets as well.

  • Jbloin5

    Steve your data from google leaves out many mobile device searches and additional partner sites. The keywords you published are 0.004% of the words consumers search for when looking for debt relief services.

    In the last 90 days “debt settlement” search queries have jumped 11%.

    When you flash graphs from google and expect 90% of your readers not to go VET the info your a dummy straight up. Well your a dummy anyway.

    From several spy tracker sites Steve is making about $800.00 a day in adsense charges. You can post your last statement from Google to disqualify my comment.

    Cambridge and New Era are probably paying Steve between $4-8k per month to keep their appearances up. Shit I bet they are paying for Pamela’s new handbag and airline tickets as well.

    • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

      I would imagine that search trends across those devices would be similar. Would love to see any data you might have that would indicate otherwise. I am not aware that Google trends filters out devices or partner sites. They say, “Google Trends analyzes a portion of Google web searches to compute how many searches have been done for the terms you enter, relative to the total number of searches done on Google over time.” They make no mention of filtering searches.

      Again, this is Google’s measure of searches for the US and not global. It does appear that there has been a recent uptick but it would be hard to say it is a trend upwards or just another small peak & valley. It will take time to see where it goes.

      Readers are welcome to go to http://www.google.com/trends?q=%22debt+Settlement%22&ctab=0&geo=us&geor=all&date=ytd&sort=0 and see the source of the data I presented.

      What is the URL of the site that says I make $800 a day. That’s funny.

      • KSW

        You have skirted all of our questions. I think it’s a fair question to ask how much you are making on all of this? Especially since you have been spearheading attacks on upfront fee charging DS companies. We are just guessing of course so it’s easy for you to deny what we are guessing. You speak of transperency & so forth, why don’t you just end the back & forth rhetoric & tell us what you make? Seems simple to me. Do you get paid upfront or do you charge for your service like the rest of us did? I forgot that makes us bad people, but you are a saint? What are you hiding? Since you always point to specific examples, please give us an example of a DS company that charged upfront fees that praised your fear mongering journalism. From everything that I have read on this site over the past year or so all I have seen is Upfront fees DS companies & their employees rip you with venom & hatred! To my knowledge not even the best of the upfront DS companies has ever praised your venom on here. Why is that Steve? You say DS is good for the right client so why does every DS upfront company rip you for spreading fear. You have admitted that there were good companies, but there were too may bad companies that tarnished the entire industry. Then why do only perfomance model companies praise you? I just asked you several questions, but I’m only interested in hearing you answering 1 of them, how much did you make last year? The other questions we all know the answers to!

      • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

        To keep this in one spot I’m answering this on your other thread.

      • Sduran165

        Can you post the thread Steve Rhode? I personally think Steve Rhode is a fraud and people should BEWARE!! I’m just curious to see the thousands of people who bought into Steve’s propaganda, used one of his partner companies who gives him kickbacks, and regrets it…I’m sure there must be thousands of people who took Steve’s advice and eventually lost everything!!

      • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

        It’s right above. I just moved it to my answer on the other comment.

        So who specifically how am I a fraud?

      • Sduran165

        “So who specifically how am I a fraud?”—by Steve Rhode

        Steve, why don’t you ask the State of California who shut your Consumer Credit Counseling company down for operating illegally!!

      • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

        Well first we’d have to start with getting the facts right. They did not shut us down in California. Technically we were operating legally and eligible for the exemption as a non-profit organization. We had a disagreement with California over their incorrect assertions, which I cover here.

        The reason we elected to leave California had nothing to do with being found guilty. It was a simple business decision that after trying to deal with the issue, as I openly describe, it was more cost effective to leave California than look at a bottomless pit of expenses to fight.

        So how is that fraudulent?

      • KSW’s wife

        Anyone who knows business & read these posts knows there is fraud all over it! All of us can see it Steve, your blind denial proves all of our points! If it looks like a fraud & it walks like a fraud it’s probably a fraud. You left California with your tail between your legs. “An ISSUE with California” you got ran out of California on a RAIL! & now you have reapperaed & wonder why we call you a Fraud?

      • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

        And now you are blocked, I gave you every chance to be civil.

      • AlCapone

        KSW= S. J. = Jason Snow

        When the attorney model scam runs out, Go sell your auto warranties… Then go sell auto loan mods & back into Time Shares.

        You have NO credibility. Keep up the great work Steve- of HELPING consumers in debt & helping them recognize pathetic scam artists like this Shyster.

      • KSW’s wife

        Hey Steve,

        Al Capone & Scam think you are a hero Steve. Very funny! My wonderful 89 year old mother would be horrified if I had friends named Al Capone & Scam.

      • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

        They are not my friends.

      • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

        I don’t know them. They are not my friends.

      • Really??

        Your 89 year old mother would be ashamed if she knew that you were defending a broken model designed to take the last dollar of people who are struggling to begin with. You have some pair commenting on user names knowing you were the one assisting in the scam. You’re so blinded by your greed that you missed the sarcasm in the names…hey dumbass, the names were directed at you and your husband…how do you guys sleep at night?

  • Robert Stevenson

    Down with fee caps!

  • WhatsNews

    I would say Steve is 200k easy outside of any perk’s from certain handshaking he has done in the past year…

  • WhatsNews

    I would say Steve is 200k easy outside of any perk’s from certain handshaking he has done in the past year…

    • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

      What handshaking?

      • Guest

        Steve,

        I get the impression that you consider yourself a journalist and this website a journalistic endeavor. Journalism is all about ethics where accuracy and transparency are key.

        From my vantage point it would seem to be incumbent upon the organization and the person in charge to take all necessary measures to ensure accuracy and transparency including updating the information published about the organization by others. Alexa.com indicates that getoutofdebt.org is an educational organization.

        My question is straight forward.

        Is the getoutofdebt.org that is operating today (April 27, 2011) organized as a journalistic entity and is it operating as a non-profit or for profit entity?

      • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

        It is not a nonprofit entity. That’s always been laid out openly and transparently in the site terms.

  • Steve R

    Asking for Tax returns? wow… i gotta guess Steve is in the $200k range

  • Anthony D

    Sean,

    Lead cost did spiral up in the “boom markets” of 2009 and even in 2010 when people didn’t realize the market was cooling. Cost now appear lower than Pre-FTC 2010. However, I’m confident that most people are seeing costs higher than they anticipated with the FTC ruling. How much are the LHDR models keeping lead cost inflated? I don’t know really. I hardly see the legal model marketed online unless anyone else has different insights?

    Moreover, declining interest on the internet wouldn’t translate to lower cost. It would do the opposite with higher cost until the market adjusts. This would happen by companies leaving internet advertising or the industry all together.

    The Freedom companies eat up a ton of internet leads. You take those guys out of the market and then you see lead costs drop dramatically… although that seems highly unlikely

    My prediction… expect lead cost to be stable and only lower if more companies to leave the space. You may see a rise in cost if companies try to stick it through and the demand continues to decline.

  • Business101

    And it begins- the web search for dirt on Steve Rhode ladies and gents!!! This should be exciting. Anything you want to tell everyone before its uncovered and spread all over the web..? How much are you gettin greased under the table by all these politicians and banks for having their back on this site Steve, huh? How much…We will find out soon enough…If there is one person that needs to be pulled into the limelight it’s YOU Steve. Dont throw rocks in a glass house…Take that log out of your eye before pointing at the twig in mine. I am so tired of the drama you bring from this site… Constantly tooting your own horn for personal gain. You don’t give 2 cents about anyone one in debt or how they get out…You are for ever bringing fear into the lives of people daily with all you neg posts. Why don’t you start by telling all your readers who have struggled getting out of debt how much you make on this site…Then, come clean regarding all the under-the-table perks you have been handed to back up banks like Chase that screw consumers…And how CC is the only answer next to BK…But always try CC first- because thats what the banks want and they pay you to push this for them… Like the company you used to own Steve…Right?? Steve- if you care so much and your such a consumer advocate that loves the public- prove to everyone that you are here to help by actually doing something for others w/o having your hand turned up looking for cash…Prove to everyone now that you have the entire US attention- you have a master plan to separate all your traffic and direct it to the best possible service based on your expert opinion…Or is this already going on?? And you have been playing everyone from day one…All you’re about is lead gen and you have been pushing people into CC for years and getting paid royalties on the back…You have been the mastermind behind so much…I could go on and on…But it would ruin the fun yet to come…Once the web has hold of anything it will be like wild fire on you Steve…Hope your ready!! No one wants to hear any more of your BS that hurts so many. Your nonsense is so damaging full circle…You could care less about taking the good firms down with the bad…Its all about a paycheck for you…You are no different then all the bad players we wanted out the entire time. Now your the last one standing. Time for you to go Steve. You are just as guilty as all the other terrible actors in the debt relief space.

  • Business101

    And it begins- the web search for dirt on Steve Rhode ladies and gents!!! This should be exciting. Anything you want to tell everyone before its uncovered and spread all over the web..? How much are you gettin greased under the table by all these politicians and banks for having their back on this site Steve, huh? How much…We will find out soon enough…If there is one person that needs to be pulled into the limelight it’s YOU Steve. Dont throw rocks in a glass house…Take that log out of your eye before pointing at the twig in mine. I am so tired of the drama you bring from this site… Constantly tooting your own horn for personal gain. You don’t give 2 cents about anyone one in debt or how they get out…You are for ever bringing fear into the lives of people daily with all you neg posts. Why don’t you start by telling all your readers who have struggled getting out of debt how much you make on this site…Then, come clean regarding all the under-the-table perks you have been handed to back up banks like Chase that screw consumers…And how CC is the only answer next to BK…But always try CC first- because thats what the banks want and they pay you to push this for them… Like the company you used to own Steve…Right?? Steve- if you care so much and your such a consumer advocate that loves the public- prove to everyone that you are here to help by actually doing something for others w/o having your hand turned up looking for cash…Prove to everyone now that you have the entire US attention- you have a master plan to separate all your traffic and direct it to the best possible service based on your expert opinion…Or is this already going on?? And you have been playing everyone from day one…All you’re about is lead gen and you have been pushing people into CC for years and getting paid royalties on the back…You have been the mastermind behind so much…I could go on and on…But it would ruin the fun yet to come…Once the web has hold of anything it will be like wild fire on you Steve…Hope your ready!! No one wants to hear any more of your BS that hurts so many. Your nonsense is so damaging full circle…You could care less about taking the good firms down with the bad…Its all about a paycheck for you…You are no different then all the bad players we wanted out the entire time. Now your the last one standing. Time for you to go Steve. You are just as guilty as all the other terrible actors in the debt relief space.

    • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

      You might want to look at these falsehoods that have made the rounds.

      Politicians and banks greasing my palms? Really? Seriously?

      Your rant seems to be pro-debt settlement but I’ve said all along that for the right person debt settlement can be an effective tool. They key here, the right person.

      I never say to try credit counseling first. There is no order of preference for debt relief options. The key is to match the right option with the situation and goals the person has.

      If there is a specific reader question where you think my advice was not appropriate, I’m more than happy to discuss it and explain my approach and rationale.

  • KSW

    Anyone with half a brain can see that your true agenda is spreading fear for your “OWN PERSONAL GAINS!!” You are one of the biggest fear mongering people in journalism!! I’ve personally read hundreds of threads where you show that you are nothing but a two faced businessman hiding behind the persona of a journalist! On 1 face you portray yourself as a consumer advocate & on the other you promote debt companies that either claim you as a personal friend or pay you in some form or another for sending clients to them! I should add that Steve’s “FRIENDS” have some of the highest fees in the industry!! Hang on everyone, here comes another 1 of Steve’s BS eloquent responses that he is our savior & making piles of money @ our expense! Go ahead Steve hit me with your response! You are more slippery than a frog covered in slime!! Why else would you create so many enemies? Because you proffit from it!! Will you @ least admit that you make money off of this site in way or another? I’d be curious to see Steve’s IRS filing for 2010! Consumer advocate my ass! You want to be a consumer advocate then do it without being biased to business models! & do it for non-proffit!! You’re making more money out of all of this than the worst “BAD ACTORS” (as you call them) ever did!! You are nothing, but a wolf in sheeps clothing! The only people & businesses that praise you are the ones that you help rape the left over clients of DS! That is obvious on all of your threads! Tell us how much you made last year Steve! Why don’t you create an organization that will give people help & relief instead of attacking anyone in your path? Do you do anything to help anyone other than yourself? Don’t tell me you help people with this site because “YOU PROFFIT” from this site! If you didn’t proffit from this you would probably be a pimp slappin ho’s somewhere! Or better yet you would be the ho gettin slapped!

  • Steve Rhode

    Yes. I was specifically referring to the California legislation.

  • SeanDSLegalPlan

    Hey Bobby- Angelo & I were discussing the recent article on LHDR and the lawyer complaints yesterday & the effect (if those lawyer programs start to go away) it might have on lead cost. Coupled with the drop in interest on Google searches, less affiliate marketing, etc, what are your thoughts on lead costs? There was a time not so long ago, that leads were a third of the cost they are now. They seem to be dropping (a little) but with the declining interest on the searches, do you think that may translate into cheaper leads? How low do think it could go & when?

    I’m really interested in everyone’s input as well- so chime-on in.

  • Robert Stevenson

    when you say 15% success… referring to 15% of savings?

  • Robert Stevenson

    he’s reaching…

  • Steve Rhode

    What butts did I kiss last year?

    This article is not a glass half-empty or half-full piece. It’s simply a reporting of data. I’d love to hear what other observation you would draw based on the data reported. This is not data I created or generated. So let me ask you, based on the data presented in this article from the Federal Reserve and search volume, what positive results does that paint for you that you feel I missed?

    I don’t think I’ve been a naysayer about the industry. I’ve been consistent that the way forward is to embrace regulations to protect consumers and embrace performance based compensation.

    Yes, I was invited to speak at the TASC conference and had to cancel at the request of my mother who asked that I be with her during her chemo session that was rescheduled at the same time. The presentation TASC wanted me to make was this article in which I laid out a way forward for DS. I was initially invited to speak at the Evolution conference but I was told I was bumped to make room for regulators to speak.

    It appears that if we are talking about just the DS space the issue is the industry wants to constantly fight to maintain old fee structures or higher fees. Those days are over. The sooner I can get people to realize that organizational efficiency, regulatory compliance, data transparency, and preparing for the 15% success fee cap that is coming; the more successful DS companies will be. Instead the space seems to want to ride the wave downwards rather than take action for a better future.

    I’m not sure what NAF and HB are. I do support the USDMA and did offer my FTC testimony to support for-profit debt settlement companies.

    I wonder if your objection is that I don’t support the model of business as usual and therefore can’t see I have been painting a way forward.

    By the way, it has not been announced yet but I am hosting a July Master Class on how debt relief providers can survive and thrive in the new debt relief world.

    You make an interesting point about debt relief articles I’ve written so I thought I’d go back and look at the topics over the past week:

    Attorney Model Settlement: 3
    Mass Joinder: 2
    Credit Counseling: 2
    TASC Lobbying: 1
    Regulatory Actions Not DS: 2
    Regulatory Action DS: 1
    Canadian DS: 1

    I’d hardly say that’s DS 24/7. Of the 12 stories that I wrote 25% were about attorney model DS and 8% of others were about DS, not regulatory, and not U.S. focused. Of all the industry articles that had something to do with DS it was 50%. Of articles and debt industry posts it represented 30% if you count the bankruptcy update on the old Allegro Law.

    Of the debt articles that we published here this week, they are:

    Debit Cards: 1
    Frugality/Saving Money: 4
    Tax Resolution Regulatory: 1
    Financial Literacy: 1
    Mass Joinder: 2
    Update on DS Bankruptcy: 1
    Debt Collection: 1

    Even those are not DS 24/7.

    If you are most tuned into the DS space it might just be that those are the articles that catch your attention and skew your observation since the majority, 70%, of the combined posts were not about DS.

  • Guest

    All I am saying Steve- is that you are a “half-empty” cup guy and never a “half-full” advocate for anything positive in the DS space. You fatten your own pockets by reporting gossip and twisting facts to drive home your POV. When does it end..? All I am asking is that you stop being such a naysayer. Start utilizing all the traffic and do something amazing with this site…You’re beating a dead horse with all this negative-nancy reporting on DS 24/7…If you care so much then turn the corner and put down the battle ax…Start asking what you can do to help where we are today. What are your plans to help the debt relief industry outside of promoting for your old CC business? You are invited to all these DS conferences…Do you plan on promoting positive change for this space ever? Or will it be business as usual and non-stop gossip that creates fear among all. Will you support the NAF model Steve or push the HB’s that surface from time-to-time…I wonder if you are getting under-the-table perk’s from anyone with all the butts you kissed last year?

  • Guest

    All I am saying Steve- is that you are a “half-empty” cup guy and never a “half-full” advocate for anything positive in the DS space. You fatten your own pockets by reporting gossip and twisting facts to drive home your POV. When does it end..? All I am asking is that you stop being such a naysayer. Start utilizing all the traffic and do something amazing with this site…You’re beating a dead horse with all this negative-nancy reporting on DS 24/7…If you care so much then turn the corner and put down the battle ax…Start asking what you can do to help where we are today. What are your plans to help the debt relief industry outside of promoting for your old CC business? You are invited to all these DS conferences…Do you plan on promoting positive change for this space ever? Or will it be business as usual and non-stop gossip that creates fear among all. Will you support the NAF model Steve or push the HB’s that surface from time-to-time…I wonder if you are getting under-the-table perk’s from anyone with all the butts you kissed last year?

    • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

      What butts did I kiss last year?

      This article is not a glass half-empty or half-full piece. It’s simply a reporting of data. I’d love to hear what other observation you would draw based on the data reported. This is not data I created or generated. So let me ask you, based on the data presented in this article from the Federal Reserve and search volume, what positive results does that paint for you that you feel I missed?

      I don’t think I’ve been a naysayer about the industry. I’ve been consistent that the way forward is to embrace regulations to protect consumers and embrace performance based compensation.

      Yes, I was invited to speak at the TASC conference and had to cancel at the request of my mother who asked that I be with her during her chemo session that was rescheduled at the same time. The presentation TASC wanted me to make was this article in which I laid out a way forward for DS. I was initially invited to speak at the Evolution conference but I was told I was bumped to make room for regulators to speak.

      It appears that if we are talking about just the DS space the issue is the industry wants to constantly fight to maintain old fee structures or higher fees. Those days are over. The sooner I can get people to realize that organizational efficiency, regulatory compliance, data transparency, and preparing for the 15% success fee cap that is coming; the more successful DS companies will be. Instead the space seems to want to ride the wave downwards rather than take action for a better future.

      I’m not sure what NAF and HB are. I do support the USDMA and did offer my FTC testimony to support for-profit debt settlement companies.

      I wonder if your objection is that I don’t support the model of business as usual and therefore can’t see I have been painting a way forward.

      By the way, it has not been announced yet but I am hosting a July Master Class on how debt relief providers can survive and thrive in the new debt relief world.

      You make an interesting point about debt relief articles I’ve written so I thought I’d go back and look at the topics over the past week:

      Attorney Model Settlement: 3
      Mass Joinder: 2
      Credit Counseling: 2
      TASC Lobbying: 1
      Regulatory Actions Not DS: 2
      Regulatory Action DS: 1
      Canadian DS: 1

      I’d hardly say that’s DS 24/7. Of the 12 stories that I wrote 25% were about attorney model DS and 8% of others were about DS, not regulatory, and not U.S. focused. Of all the industry articles that had something to do with DS it was 50%. Of articles and debt industry posts it represented 30% if you count the bankruptcy update on the old Allegro Law.

      Of the debt articles that we published here this week, they are:

      Debit Cards: 1
      Frugality/Saving Money: 4
      Tax Resolution Regulatory: 1
      Financial Literacy: 1
      Mass Joinder: 2
      Update on DS Bankruptcy: 1
      Debt Collection: 1

      Even those are not DS 24/7.

      If you are most tuned into the DS space it might just be that those are the articles that catch your attention and skew your observation since the majority, 70%, of the combined posts were not about DS.

      • Robert Stevenson

        when you say 15% success… referring to 15% of savings?

      • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

        Yes. I was specifically referring to the California legislation.

      • KSW

        Anyone with half a brain can see that your true agenda is spreading fear for your “OWN PERSONAL GAINS!!” You are one of the biggest fear mongering people in journalism!! I’ve personally read hundreds of threads where you show that you are nothing but a two faced businessman hiding behind the persona of a journalist! On 1 face you portray yourself as a consumer advocate & on the other you promote debt companies that either claim you as a personal friend or pay you in some form or another for sending clients to them! I should add that Steve’s “FRIENDS” have some of the highest fees in the industry!! Hang on everyone, here comes another 1 of Steve’s BS eloquent responses that he is our savior & making piles of money @ our expense! Go ahead Steve hit me with your response! You are more slippery than a frog covered in slime!! Why else would you create so many enemies? Because you proffit from it!! Will you @ least admit that you make money off of this site in way or another? I’d be curious to see Steve’s IRS filing for 2010! Consumer advocate my ass! You want to be a consumer advocate then do it without being biased to business models! & do it for non-proffit!! You’re making more money out of all of this than the worst “BAD ACTORS” (as you call them) ever did!! You are nothing, but a wolf in sheeps clothing! The only people & businesses that praise you are the ones that you help rape the left over clients of DS! That is obvious on all of your threads! Tell us how much you made last year Steve! Why don’t you create an organization that will give people help & relief instead of attacking anyone in your path? Do you do anything to help anyone other than yourself? Don’t tell me you help people with this site because “YOU PROFFIT” from this site! If you didn’t proffit from this you would probably be a pimp slappin ho’s somewhere! Or better yet you would be the ho gettin slapped!

      • Steve R

        Asking for Tax returns? wow… i gotta guess Steve is in the $200k range

      • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

        Robert, can you please stop posting as Steve R.

      • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

        Let’s talk about one of those threads. Give me the URL and I’m happy to have a conversation about it but we need an example rather than a generalization.

        Who have I attacked unfairly, please point to a specific example.

      • KSW

        Stevie you are the KING of speeking in generalizations! That is exactly how you spread fear so well! You say a lot to create fear without ever really saying anything @ all. You point the finger @ companies like LHDR & others while promoting New Era Debt & others. They both are in the same exact business, the only difference being that one company collects upfront fees & the other collects even higher fees @ the time of settlement. The end result is the exact same except the LHDR client walks away paying out less in fees in the end. Who cares if New Era can settle ONE more debt sooner because they do not get paid upfront. They simply charge twice as much for an inferior service & you praise them. I’m not a LHDR fan, I have no association with LHDR because they were 1 of our competitors, but you spread hatred toward any company who collected upfront fees. There are bad Mcdonalds out there & I don’t see you shouting from the rooftops to close all Mcdonald’s. The simple answer is because you wouldn’t proffit from that! You do proffit from this tremendously. To be honest Steve that is the only point I am interested in making! You make a lot of money out of all of this for your own personal gain period! Will you please just admit to that instead of hiding behind journalism? I will ask you again, how much money did you make in 2010?

      • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

        Journalists don’t get paid? Okay so let’s look at who pays journalists that appear in your local paper or local television station, advertising. It’s the same thing here and just as I say in the site terms.

        There has been no proof presented by the debt settlement trade industry that shows that advanced fee debt settlement provides a better outcome. TASC supplied data to the FTC of member agencies said that only 34% or so of accounts were settled. What is the advantage of a consumer paying fees in advance when only 34% are settled? Other investigations by Attorneys General said the overall results were much worse, as little as 10% of the advanced fee debt was settled.

        You rant on and on about me yet you don’t even identify who you are, what company you work for or point to the performance statistics of your company. Why not?

        Show me some proof you can provide better results for advanced fee debt settlement than consumers paying for performance for settlement and I’m willing to listen.

        Since you used the LHDR / New Era example let’s look at the total fees. And this is not advertisement for either, just comparing the fees of the companies you brought up.

        New Era charges 15% of enrolled debt but only payable at the time the debt is actually settled. I’m sure the escrow company New Era works with charges a monthly fee for their services as well. You can see their performance statistics here so consumers are informed what results to expect.

        According to a recent contract review that you can read here, LHDR charges a $900 retainer, 15% of the debt, and these fees are front-loaded and not dependent on if the debt is settled or not. The contract showed LHDR was charging an additional $50 administrative fee per month. I have been unable to locate an public statements about their performance. If you have a link to it, please let me know.

        So how is the consumer not paying less for the performance based model and how is a consumer charged twice as much by New Era? I can’t see the data to backup your assertions. How do you arrive at that conclusion?

        I do not have a “hatred” against up-front fee companies but I’ve yet to see any evidence from the industry that consumers received 100% of the services they paid for.

        Are you suggesting consumers should pay for services they don’t receive? I’m not sure what the argument is? It appears to be you want to continue the old way of charging consumers for services not delivered.

        Your other comment:

        You have skirted all of our questions. I think it’s a fair question to ask how much you are making on all of this? Especially since you have been spearheading attacks on upfront fee charging DS companies. We are just guessing of course so it’s easy for you to deny what we are guessing. You speak of transperency & so forth, why don’t you just end the back & forth rhetoric & tell us what you make? Seems simple to me. Do you get paid upfront or do you charge for your service like the rest of us did? I forgot that makes us bad people, but you are a saint? What are you hiding? Since you always point to specific examples, please give us an example of a DS company that charged upfront fees that praised your fear mongering journalism. From everything that I have read on this site over the past year or so all I have seen is Upfront fees DS companies & their employees rip you with venom & hatred! To my knowledge not even the best of the upfront DS companies has ever praised your venom on here. Why is that Steve? You say DS is good for the right client so why does every DS upfront company rip you for spreading fear. You have admitted that there were good companies, but there were too may bad companies that tarnished the entire industry. Then why do only perfomance model companies praise you? I just asked you several questions, but I’m only interested in hearing you answering 1 of them, how much did you make last year? The other questions we all know the answers to!

        My answer:

        “We are just guessing of course so it’s easy for you to deny what we are guessing.” – Does that even make sense?

        “Do you get paid upfront or do you charge for your service like the rest of us did?” – I get paid only if people click on an advertisement so I guess you could say my income is performance based. I sell no services.

        “…your fear mongering journalism…” – Please point to something that I wrote that was “fear mongering” and let’s talk about it. Let’s talk specifics. You brought it up, I’d love to talk about a specific example.

        “Upfront fees DS companies & their employees rip you with venom & hatred!” – And apparently you are one of them. So what is wrong with charging consumers for services actually received? Why is that frightening? Are you suggesting that there should be some other relationship between the client and the DS company other than a equitable value for money?

        “…not even the best of the upfront DS companies has ever praised your venom on here.” – Who is the best of the upfront DS companies?

        “Then why do only perfomance model companies praise you?” – You’d have to ask them.

        “…how much did you make last year?” – That is immaterial to your arguments and attacks.
        Your attacks seem to revolve around advanced fee debt settlement companies are a better model and deliver a higher value for consumers so what does my income have to do with that. I think you just perceive that as an issue to poke me with but it’s clearly not relevant.

      • KSW

        Like I said you are more slippery than a slimey frog! My attacks as you call them revolve around you spreading fear for proffit! Nothing more, I am out of DS, but I have watched you blindly rip an entire industry so you can make money! If you weren’t so negative & biased I would have nothing to say would I? If you were objective I would respect your opinion even if I didn’t agree with it, but to everyone who reads your BS it is very clear that you are anything but objective! & because of that you have hundreds if not thousands of people who feel the same way I do about the consumer advocate imposter who calls himself Steve Rhodes! You are evil! DS, however you collect fees is DS. Your main argument is that upfront DS clients pay for a service that they don’t receive. LHDR as do most attorney model DS companies that are still doing business have something called a Minimum Performance Standard which clearly states that if they don’t reduce the clients debt by @ least 60% they are refunded any fees charged on that account & they will still negotiate it to as low as they can. If New Era Debt reduces the debt by only 20% they still get paid 15% correct? LHDR only gets paid for performance, yes they collect it upfront, but if they are unsuccessful @ reducing the debt by a minimum of 60% they don’t make a dime on that account. You tell me who gets paid on performance? I’m sure New Era settles for less than 80% the majority of the time, my point is that they get paid no matter what as long as they settle the account therefore providing an inferior service in some instances. You ignore valid points & jump on us for making emotional statements. How much you make on all of this is very material to proving that you make your rants soley because you proffit from it period! Very simple, “YOU RANT & RAVE YOU GET PAID!” Everything you rant & rave about is suspect, you have zero credability because your “BIASED!” Not objective! You spew percentages about upfront DS, but offer no percentages to performance model DS! Why? BECAUSE THEY PAY YOU! What is so hard in being transparent about just how much you make Steve? I personally dispise anyone who prays on fear! You want to do something good, STOP BEING A SPINELESS FEAR MONGERING MANIAC HIDING BEHIND JOURNALISM & CREATE SOMETHING TANGIBLE THAT PEOPLE CAN TRULY BENNEFIT FROM! How much did you make last year Steve? The fact that you won’t be transparent about your proffit from this tells any reader your true motivations! I have read thread after thread of people expressing similar concerns as I have! You never address the big picture of the questions we raise, you simply pick apart a specific claim or sentence like a con artist selling tonic! Our BIG PICTURE CONCERN is that you have ZERO CREDABILITY because you are making piles of money spreading fear, not truth! You do make truthful statements, but you do not make objective truthful statements! Simply put, “YOU SPREAD FEAR FOR PROFFIT”! It truly is that simple! Many of us want to see you disapear Steve because we are all sick & tired of your BIASED PROFFIT BASED JOURNALISM! If you were even partially objective I would not feel so passionate about exposing you! My guess is that you have created so many enemies while living in a glass house, your glass house will soon crumble! It’s called Karma! How much did you make last year? Inquiring minds want to know!

      • KSW

        I would quickly like to point out a blatant lie from the saint Steve Rhodes! In your response you said, quote “According to a recent contract review that you can read here, LHDR charges a $900 retainer, 15% of the debt, and these fees are front-loaded and not dependent on if the debt is settled or not.”……..That could not be any further from the truth! “not dependent on whether the debt is settled” really Steve? What is there minimum performance standard all about then Steve? Please explain why you chose to LIE? If they don’t reduce the debt down to a minimum of 40% the client gets refunded on any fee they paid on that account & they still settle that account for as low as they can! THAT’s PERFORMANCE! Most (I didn’t say all)attorney model DS companies have similar guarentees! Tell another LIE! You lie to the point that it creates anger & anomosity in thousands of people! You will now be exposed!

      • http://DamonDay.com Damon Day

        You might want to reread that minimum performance standard you are hanging your hat on. It is nothing more than a marketing gimmick. It is not a 60% settlement as you claim. It is only a 65% settlement of the full amount of the debt at the time of the settlement. So because LHDR is going to spend the first 18 months or so collecting all of their fees, the actual balance of the debt is going to increase by at least 20%. Then when many of their clients are served with a lawsuit, which is to be expected according to a recent LHDR press release I saw, the attorneys for the creditor are going to tack on additional fees.

        So when it is all said and done, the only thing LHDR has to do is get an offer for about a 10% reduction if even that much of the original debt at the time of enrollment. If a client cannot afford this super high settlement, as is often the case because most of their money for the first 18 months was stolen in un-earned fees, then LHDR is now also off the hook to have to provide any of this special legal representation they are always bragging about.

        The reality is that the performance guarantee that you and every LHDR sales affiliate uses to mislead consumers, is really more about them getting out of their promised obligation than it is about any sort of success guarantee for their unfortunate client.

        They only have to get the offer, if the client can’t pay, then there is no guarantee. So it is a good thing they charge all of their fees upfront so it makes it likely the client will never be able to fund the settlement and trigger the guarantee. Otherwise they would actually have to give quite a bit of money back to their clients who are getting sued and don’t have enough money to fund the settlements yet.

        Now, you can unfortunately get away with misleading consumers during a sales call, but seriously, you are going to come into a public forum and misrepresent what LHDR is doing to clients, knowing that other people who read this forum have a copy of their contract? Really?

        “It is better to keep your mouth closed and be thought a fool, than to open it and remove all doubt”

      • KSW

        look up MLG’s minimum performance! it’s based on a reduction of 60%, just like many others! you guys are nothing but bottom feeders blasting anyone who doesn’t do things your way. I saw somewhere on here where someone said you guys are all blowing each other while raping clients! My only point is that Seve is making money on being biased! Period! Let me guess, he promotes your company? Right? I thought so!

      • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

        I’ve let you comment here on the edge of civility but your comments have wandered way over the line with this one. Fair warning, keep it civl or I’ll have to block you.

        Who is MLG?

        I’ve asked you to point to a specific example where you felt I was biased so we could discuss it but you seem resistant. What is the URL of the article you felt I was biased in and how?

      • Concern

        How would you define fear?

      • http://DamonDay.com Damon Day

        Wow, this is your best response? I guess I am not surprised considering the facts. Do you happen to have a logical response to what LHDR is doing to their clients? Can you try to creatively defend it at least? Can anyone from LHDR please provide a logical response?

        Bias? Yes, if I see a company ripping off consumers, I will treat that company differently then a company that is putting consumers first, and providing a good service. I will point out why I think what they are doing is bad for consumers. Then consumers can decide if what I am saying makes sense.

      • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

        Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, LHDR performance based guarantee. Ok, now there is something we can talk about.

        If we are to compare New Era and LHDR the New Era fee is based on the balance of the debt enrolled and the performance guarantee is if the debt is not settled to the satisfaction of the client, there is no fee.

        The LHDR minimum performance guarantee is based on a settlement of at least a 35% reduction on the balance at the time of settlement that will include additional interest, penalties and fees accrued from the date of enrollment to the date a settlement is attempted. There is nothing I read in the contracted that said a settlement would only be attempted when sufficient funds were available and ready to complete the settlement. In fact the performance guarantee in the contract says the guarantee is only in force if there is never a default of any service cost payment, if for any reason the client is unable to accept a 35% reduction on current balance, the minimum provision does not apply to any account that had a balance transfer, cash advance, an initial balance of less than $1,000 or on an account where the client was sued, no account subject to a garnishment is included either.

        It seems like the performance guarantee you appear to be holding your hat on creating a better outcome and product, instead creates a circular pothole that potentially leaves the consumer poised for termination. Later in the contract it says that if LHDR negotiates a settlement that LHDR believes is reasonable that unless the client agrees to it the agreement can be terminated and no refunds given.

        If it is possible for you, can you provide an coherent response regarding how the LHDR guarantee is more beneficial for the consumer than a performance based company that charges only when it actually settles and the consumer accepts it.

        And for your reference the link to the contract and breakdown of parts of it are are here.

      • KSW

        MY ONLY POINT IS THAT STEVE MAKES PILES OF MONEY FROM THIS SITE BLASTING ALL UPFRONT DS COMPANIES! PERIOD! Myself and many others could care less about all the legal jargon that you guys use to rip an entire industry. Everyone agrees that there were abuses. The industry needed to be cleaned up, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure that out! AGAIN MY ONLY POINT IS THAT STEVE IS TOTALLY BIASED (by the way, all of us outside your little circle jerk agree, not just myself). Steve & the rest of you have zero credibility because you are making hundreds of thousands if not millions of dollars on SPREADING FEAR! I have the right to despise fear mongering journalism don’t I? LHDR this, attorney model that, I could care less! The fact that Steve refuses to disclose how much he made on this site (btw is his right) shows that he is hiding behind journalism spreading fear making more money that the worst bad actor in DS! PERIOD! You guys can rant & rave all you want about DS, but you only do it for 1 reason “PROFFIT”!! No do you get it???? My ONLY arguement is that Steve Rhode is a fraud!! Just look into his past & it will tell you his future! So why can’t you tell us just how much you made off of being the saint of DS last year? What’s the big deal? We all know your motovations, be proud of it! He won’t because he is a fraud & his associates are bottom feeders. I don’t sell DS, I don’t sell auto warranties. Because Myself like many others has issues with the pure biase of this site we are losers selling bad products to consumers? Really??? You guys have been spewing venom like a broken record so much that you blindly acuse anyone who disagrees as con artist?? That proves in & of itself that you don’t care what or who you bash as long as it fills your pockets!

      • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

        I get the fact that you don’t like me and your demand to know my income is irrelevant. Especially in light of the fact that you won’t even bother to identify yourself, your company, or come out in the light.

        Your attacks against me are simply a bully effort of misdirection to attack the messenger.

        You’ve yet to provide any evidence, data, examples, or proof to support your position that consumers benefit from advanced fee debt settlement. I would love to have a civil conversation with you about that but you refuse to. Is it because you can’t?

        I’ve asked you to point out specific examples of my alleged bias which you have been unable to do. I’ve asked you to point to a specific article that you felt I got wrong, which you have been unable to do.

        I’ve given you a wide amount of latitude in spewing your rage and accusations at me. If I was truly biased and operating with a secret hidden agenda wouldn’t have I just deleted your comments? But I allowed you to have a voice in hopes that you might add something to an intelligent conversation.

        I was hoping that eventually you would have a cogent example or position we could discuss but your rants have all become hissy fits so unfortunately all I’m left with, “I’m rubber, you’re glue, whatever you say bounces off me and sticks to you.”

      • KSW

        I manage a small auto service shop & my wife was laid of about 4 months ago. She was a processor for a DS company who collected upfront fees. I know for a fact that the clients that she helped process were having their debt reduced in some cases as much as 80%. We have 4 children & she is working for less than half of the income that she made @ her prior company. There was a time that she & I talked about starting our own DS company so I have followed the industry for about 2 years. Why everyone here keeps acusing me of working for a company who sells “ripoff products” just becuase I have an ax to grind with people that blindly helped run hard working people like my wife to the unemployment line proves MY ONLY POINT, you are all BIASED ONLY BECAUSE YOU PROFFIT FROM IT!! LET ME REPEAT MYSELF AGAIN!! MY ONLY ARGUEMENT IS THAT YOU SPREAD FEAR FOR PROFFIT! Nothing more nothing less! I don’t want to argue with you about DS this & DS that! We all know there were abuses, but not all companies were con artists! You & your buddies who ALSO PROFFIT FROM SPREADING FEAR have to know that it just might be possible that there have been countless folks successfully complete DS programs where they paid upront fees? Are you that possessed with the greed of spreading fear for proffit to acknowledge that there were thousands of people in this industry who worked to support their families, paid taxes & provided a service that they deserved to get paid for? Free enterprise? It’s virtually insane to say that only 1 model is acceptable!! You sound like commies or the gestapo! HITLER DIED YEARS AGO!! Again my only point, my only arguement is that you & your buddies “SPREAD FEAR FOR PROFFIT” & you do so hiding behind FRAUD!! Steve you have already admitted in other threads that you have been involved in state investigations BK & other things that PEOPLE NEED TO TAKE HEED OF BEFORE THEY TAKE ADVICE FROM YOU!! You took a year hiatas to spend time with your family?? Really?? They are people who know Steve Rhodes & he is not what he portrays himself to be on this site!! AGAIN MY ONLY POINT IS THAT YOU ARE A FRAUD PROFFITING FROM FEAR MONGERING JOURNALISM!! You keep bringing up that I should tell you who I work for & give examples about DS because you are a MASTER of ripping an entire industry!! You have Zero interest in being objective!! You can pick me apart with your legal jargon because I was never in DS!! Why can’t tell us how much you made last year Steve? Are you that embarrassed by the exorbiant amount of money that you make off of FEAR??!! My kids are hungry if you want to donate some of your riches to a good cause! Elighten us Steve, what do you make off of all of this? I would rather feed my kids hamburger helper than make a living like you do!! I DESPIZE PEOPLE WHO PRAY ON FEAR!! Last time I checked I am entitled to my own opinion, right Steve? God forbid that I not be civil in my expression of disliking you & everything you stand for! All anyone has to do is look @ your past & they will know EXACTLY WHO YOU ARE!! YOU ARE A FRAUD PORTRAYING YOURSELF AS A JOURNALIST MAKING MILLIONS PRAYING ON FEAR!! PERIOD!!

      • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

        Well why didn’t you just say so from the beginning.

        If the issue is that you would like help to develop a business model that your wife can use to start her own debt settlement business then you should have asked earlier. There are a lot of people that would love to help you do that.

        In fact just today we added Scott Johnson as a debt settlement business expert to assist companies to develop successful business models.

        You can post your questions for Scott here.

      • KSW

        No comment about your motivations I see!! No comment about how much you make out of all this, but you offered a DS opportunity to me?? You help destroy DS!! Someone would have to be insane to invest their hard earned money in DS now!! I forgot you don’t know what hard earned money is, can you spell “FRAUD”??!! Did you not notice that we are currently in a low income bracket & we have 4 kids? You want to make money off of us?? YOU ARE A FRAUD WHO WILL MAKE MONEY IF IT MEANT SELLING YOUR SOUL TO THE DEVIL!! LOOK AT YOUR PAST!! FRAUD AFTER FRAUD AFTER FRAUD AFTER FRAUD!! I give you credit you are an expert at fraud! How much did you make on all of us this last year Steve? How much do make off of all of your advice & “OBJECTIVENESS”??!! BK, state investigations ect…you have a rapsheet longer than a mobster & you promote communism with your “only 1 model business model insanity!” I will keep my job thank you!! & my wife has an honest job & would never be associated with the likes of you, thank you very much! We work hard & are honest tax paying citizens!! What does your past show? How much money do you get paid for your objectiveness?? Care to answer a direct question or rant on with your FEAR MONGERING JOURNALISM?? I see you won’t disclose your income because your frauding the IRS as well?? If not I recant my statement in your honor!

      • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

        And now you’ve just simply gone off the deep end. The help offered was free so how would I have made money off of you?

      • KSW’s wife

        Sir why did you block my husband? He asked you a YES or NO question…Has anyone ever completed an upfront DS Program? Like he stated, this is a YES or NO question! Do you block everyone who searches the web & discloses that you have filed BK & have been under state investigations? It is public knowledge after all. I think it’s a fair question to ask you how much money you make out of all of you fear spreading. Scam called my husband a clown & an idiot because he is hard working & does not like people who spreads fear? Sir I personally successfully negotiated clients debts every day for 2 years does that make me a clown? I have 4 wonderful children & I had an honest job does that make me a bad person? Why do you feel the need for such vicious attacks when you have fraud in your past? Based on your past your future is easy for us to see. Only your buddies praise you becasue all of you proffit from fear! You should be ashamed of yourself! How much money did you make off of all of this last year! Are you that embarrassed to tell the truth?

      • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

        Logic would dictate that the answer is YES.

        I informed him that if his lack of civility continued that I would block him. It did. I did.

        I disclose I filed bankruptcy and had an issue with California that was resolved so it’s not like it’s a secret.

        As far as your issues with SCAM, that is not me so you are welcome to take up your issues with them.

        What fraud do I have in my past?

        Keep it civl and you are welcome to stay around. But if you get as accusatory, vile, and inflammatory as your husband did I will block you as well. This is your only warning.

      • KSW’s wife

        It’s our opinion that your type of journalism is extremely destructive because it is based on spreading fear. The fact that you get paid for blind viscious attacks on an entire industry will obviously rub a lot of people the wrong way & they should be allowed to voice their opinion. That’s what you do isn’t it? Except we’re not making millions, we just want people to know the truth about Steve Rhodes. There are soooo many worthy causes that you could use your tallent to promote or defend, but you choose to make your riches feeding off of FEAR! Why? Debt Settlement is DS no matter how a fee is collected, that’s not why you rave like a wild man. You rave like a wild man because it makes you money! It has nothing to do with how business is done. You found a way to be biased & viscious & you have a very questionable past Steve. We have the right to question your motivations, especially when you are making soooo much money on all of this.

      • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

        You are adding nothing new to the previous rants and false accusations that your husband let loose. I’ve given you fair warning about your tone.

        I’ll give you one last chance to have a proper cordial conversation.

        What have I been spreading fear about? It seems to me that in fact you are the one spreading fear in your falsehoods and mistruths about me.

        Point to a specific example of something that I have been raving “like a wild man” about. Give me a specific article URL and point and I’m happy to discuss it with you.

        And what are you claiming I am biased about?

        Again, keep your response civil and respectful or I’m blocking you.

      • Scam

        He just offered you free help for your wife you idiot- Go away

      • Scam

        The BEST front fee model debt settlement company had a total success rate of less than 40%- Your wife should have chosen a business that was not inherently ripping off Americans with financial troubles-

        Look in the mirror you clown.

      • KSW’s wife

        I am his wife & we have 4 children to feed. I worked for good people that have been business owners for over 30 years. Inherently ripping off Americans? I am going back to work for them in September, they have started a metal fabrication company, does that make them RIPPOFF PEOPLE? Some of the reasons 40% completed successfuly had to to with additional job loss while they were in the program. A lot of the clients who enrolled have struggled throughout their lifetime to pay their monthly payments so they failed to pay their program payments just like they failed to pay their credit card companies. Either way they failed to pay their payment, a lot of them had drug problems, going through divorce ect…the same reasons that they couldn’t pay their creditors applied to why a lot of clients didn’t finish their program. That is the same in any business. Since you call yourself scam I’m sure that you are an upstanding tax payer. The banks created this mess with their abuses & you all want to do is blame anyone & everyone who tried to help clean up the mess! If you want to rant & rave blindly then rant & rave about the banks abuses & leave hard working tax payers alone! We have families to support & we don’t support our families by spreading fear!

      • Concern

        User that you keep blocking people who question your questionable past. Why? What are you hiding?

      • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

        Nothing. I blocked two people for not being civil in their comments. Why are you using a fake email address?

      • Robert Stevenson

        Down with fee caps!

  • Steve Rhode

    Good points.

    So I went to look. Five years ago (2-2006) revolving debt stood at $835 Billion. It is now $794 Billion (2-2011) but in inflation adjusted currency that would be the equivalent of $712 Billion in 2006 dollars. While that is only a 15% drop in the overall debt it does not take into the consideration for population growth over the same period of time.

    From the peak in August 2008 when revolving debt stood at $973.6 Billion, in 2008 dollars it is now at $755 Billion, a reduction of nearly 23%.

    We can’t forget that not all revolving debt is going to be candidates for debt relief services. The overwhelming majority of revolving debt holders are never in default. In general it would seem that it is those in default or at the edge of default that are most likely to seek out debt relief services.

    According to the latest data the delinquency and late rates by servicer are:
    Bank of America 4.82%
    American Express 1.8%

    Charge-Offs
    Bank of America 8.18%
    American Express 3.7%
    Industry wide 7.7%

    That seems to indicate the old late debt is moving out of the system while current cardholders are doing a better job of staying current.

    Opportunity does exist for new entrants in the debt relief space that can minimize operating costs, use technology to create operational efficiency, and focus on regulatory compliance.

  • Matt

    Strangely enough, I am hearing the dead opposite. I’m not saying that the article is bad, just that there is a lot more going on out there than meets the eye. It would seem odd to me that there are so many people hitting sites like this saying they are in trouble while the “search data” says it’s declining. If you want to see something REALLY interesting, find out how much debt was out there in revolving lines 5 years ago, how much is there now and how many consumers are carrying debt. At last search, the numbers were really high. There are millions of people struggling under $10,000+ of credit card debt. Could it be that a lot of companies left the space, stopped advertising, and that the internet is no longer an effective, predictable means of client acquisitions through the standardized channels? I think there are tons of people out there in debt. I think they are way more savvy than they used to be thanks to media and social networking, and are not found through the traditional means. The banks would love for everyone to believe that the credit card debt is dropping and add to the regulatory barrage on the debt relief industry that is assisitng these folks in an attempt to get companies to “pack it up” and leave the consumers to them. This is so much bigger than most people realize. I will bet my bank account, that if the entire debt relief industry closed up, the economy would end up right where it did and there would be more people in debt than ever before. This is a ploy. We certainly wouldn’t want the credit card giants and banking moguls that crashed our economy by greedily robbing the consumers to have to lose any more money, right? Maybe the data is right and we should all pack up and go home. The debt pipeline is dried up and there is no need or future for debt relief. Or…. Just maybe this is the time when the real businessmen and women in the debt relief industry will stand and fight for the people they serve and expose the giants for what they are. Maybe they will all come together and rally for truth. Not perception, but for truth. I know way too many people in debt right now to believe the hype. The government lies, people have agendas, the media slants things whatever way they have to in order to promote readership and get the major syndicates to publish them, and the internet has become it’s own truth. It’s time to get out there and stand and fight for whats right.

  • Matt

    Strangely enough, I am hearing the dead opposite. I’m not saying that the article is bad, just that there is a lot more going on out there than meets the eye. It would seem odd to me that there are so many people hitting sites like this saying they are in trouble while the “search data” says it’s declining. If you want to see something REALLY interesting, find out how much debt was out there in revolving lines 5 years ago, how much is there now and how many consumers are carrying debt. At last search, the numbers were really high. There are millions of people struggling under $10,000+ of credit card debt. Could it be that a lot of companies left the space, stopped advertising, and that the internet is no longer an effective, predictable means of client acquisitions through the standardized channels? I think there are tons of people out there in debt. I think they are way more savvy than they used to be thanks to media and social networking, and are not found through the traditional means. The banks would love for everyone to believe that the credit card debt is dropping and add to the regulatory barrage on the debt relief industry that is assisitng these folks in an attempt to get companies to “pack it up” and leave the consumers to them. This is so much bigger than most people realize. I will bet my bank account, that if the entire debt relief industry closed up, the economy would end up right where it did and there would be more people in debt than ever before. This is a ploy. We certainly wouldn’t want the credit card giants and banking moguls that crashed our economy by greedily robbing the consumers to have to lose any more money, right? Maybe the data is right and we should all pack up and go home. The debt pipeline is dried up and there is no need or future for debt relief. Or…. Just maybe this is the time when the real businessmen and women in the debt relief industry will stand and fight for the people they serve and expose the giants for what they are. Maybe they will all come together and rally for truth. Not perception, but for truth. I know way too many people in debt right now to believe the hype. The government lies, people have agendas, the media slants things whatever way they have to in order to promote readership and get the major syndicates to publish them, and the internet has become it’s own truth. It’s time to get out there and stand and fight for whats right.

    • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

      Good points.

      So I went to look. Five years ago (2-2006) revolving debt stood at $835 Billion. It is now $794 Billion (2-2011) but in inflation adjusted currency that would be the equivalent of $712 Billion in 2006 dollars. While that is only a 15% drop in the overall debt it does not take into the consideration for population growth over the same period of time.

      From the peak in August 2008 when revolving debt stood at $973.6 Billion, in 2008 dollars it is now at $755 Billion, a reduction of nearly 23%.

      We can’t forget that not all revolving debt is going to be candidates for debt relief services. The overwhelming majority of revolving debt holders are never in default. In general it would seem that it is those in default or at the edge of default that are most likely to seek out debt relief services.

      According to the latest data the delinquency and late rates by servicer are:
      Bank of America 4.82%
      American Express 1.8%

      Charge-Offs
      Bank of America 8.18%
      American Express 3.7%
      Industry wide 7.7%

      That seems to indicate the old late debt is moving out of the system while current cardholders are doing a better job of staying current.

      Opportunity does exist for new entrants in the debt relief space that can minimize operating costs, use technology to create operational efficiency, and focus on regulatory compliance.

  • Steve Rhode

    The chrge-off acceleration actually came from the Wall Street Journal piece here. I then used that information in my article here where I talk about stagnant credit growth and future demand for debt relief services.

    I’m not sure what the Jesus angle is but the charge-offs are actually a function of the OCC and the natural end result of meeting the regulations.

    You say that the debt settlement industry paved the way for a new era of collections strategy but settlements are certainly not a new phenomenon. They’ve been one arrow in the quiver for as long as I can remember.

    I still don’t understand how you can label this article as something against debt settlement. The article says nothing negative about debt settlement.

  • Steve Rhode

    If there is any assumption to draw it is that I have consistently said that consumers have been availing themselves of all avenues to address problem debt situation including bankruptcy. Let’s not forget that as a debt relief tool as well.

    I’m not sure how anyone can draw a “good” or “bad” answer to the article which presents hard search data. It is simply a reflection of the behavior and demand for those types of search terms which is indicative of demand.

  • Bobby Zangrilli

    Charles, this is something that we anticipated when credit card reform passed, but you’re absolutely right that this is not something we hear about anymore from clients. Not only is affecting the volume of demand, but these were also good prospects because they could usually fund their settlements better than other hardship cases (like a reduction in income, for example).

  • Steve Rhode

    Charles,

    Good catch. I agree.

    The default rates were a big cattle prod that forced people into action. I’m seeing little in the way of that these days in questions from readers. Can’t remember the last time I got the “they just raised all my rates up” question.

    Steve

  • Guest

    You make it sound like creditors would have written off all this debt w/o a fight…They would just hand people settlements for being nice…Where do you think this trend came from? It was spawned from the efforts of negotiation leveraging costs to chase consumers down with collections. You constantly make it sound like these are acts of Jesus from the creditors on behalf of consumers going through hardship…Please…They may be more inclined to offer settlements today direct to consumers but this is only because the DS industry paved the way for a new era of collections strategy- direct settlements. I wont deny there are bad players that came along, but for once take that log out of your own eye before grabbing at the twig in the DS industry’s eye…You have to start giving credit where credit is do.

    Hope you caught that last one Steve…

  • Guest

    You make it sound like creditors would have written off all this debt w/o a fight…They would just hand people settlements for being nice…Where do you think this trend came from? It was spawned from the efforts of negotiation leveraging costs to chase consumers down with collections. You constantly make it sound like these are acts of Jesus from the creditors on behalf of consumers going through hardship…Please…They may be more inclined to offer settlements today direct to consumers but this is only because the DS industry paved the way for a new era of collections strategy- direct settlements. I wont deny there are bad players that came along, but for once take that log out of your own eye before grabbing at the twig in the DS industry’s eye…You have to start giving credit where credit is do.

    Hope you caught that last one Steve…

    • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

      The chrge-off acceleration actually came from the Wall Street Journal piece here. I then used that information in my article here where I talk about stagnant credit growth and future demand for debt relief services.

      I’m not sure what the Jesus angle is but the charge-offs are actually a function of the OCC and the natural end result of meeting the regulations.

      You say that the debt settlement industry paved the way for a new era of collections strategy but settlements are certainly not a new phenomenon. They’ve been one arrow in the quiver for as long as I can remember.

      I still don’t understand how you can label this article as something against debt settlement. The article says nothing negative about debt settlement.

      • Robert Stevenson

        he’s reaching…

  • Guest

    I find this interesting Steve…This would imply that DS services all along have been helping people get out of debt…I thought you were advocating that debt relief services put consumers farther into debt..? Which is is Steve? Are these services good or bad? What does this report mean to you?

  • Guest

    I find this interesting Steve…This would imply that DS services all along have been helping people get out of debt…I thought you were advocating that debt relief services put consumers farther into debt..? Which is is Steve? Are these services good or bad? What does this report mean to you?

    • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

      If there is any assumption to draw it is that I have consistently said that consumers have been availing themselves of all avenues to address problem debt situation including bankruptcy. Let’s not forget that as a debt relief tool as well.

      I’m not sure how anyone can draw a “good” or “bad” answer to the article which presents hard search data. It is simply a reflection of the behavior and demand for those types of search terms which is indicative of demand.

  • Charles Phelan

    Steve, I believe one of the overlooked factors in the drop in demand you’re reporting is the hidden effect of the Credit CARD Act. It’s been about a year now since universal default was prohibited by the CARD Act. It used to be that just about every consultation call started out with the consumer complaining about interest rate jacking (on accounts they had maintained in current standing). A lot of the “leads” generated by marketing firms in the past 2-3 years were people very angry at their mistreatment by the banks. Much of that anger has subsided now, and people are not being pushed off the financial cliff immediately after defaulting on just one account like they were before. We don’t hear the interest rate theme anywhere near as often as we used to. I suspect that this is a major factor in declining demand, and would be interested to hear what others in the industry think about this point.

  • Charles Phelan

    Steve, I believe one of the overlooked factors in the drop in demand you’re reporting is the hidden effect of the Credit CARD Act. It’s been about a year now since universal default was prohibited by the CARD Act. It used to be that just about every consultation call started out with the consumer complaining about interest rate jacking (on accounts they had maintained in current standing). A lot of the “leads” generated by marketing firms in the past 2-3 years were people very angry at their mistreatment by the banks. Much of that anger has subsided now, and people are not being pushed off the financial cliff immediately after defaulting on just one account like they were before. We don’t hear the interest rate theme anywhere near as often as we used to. I suspect that this is a major factor in declining demand, and would be interested to hear what others in the industry think about this point.

    • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

      Charles,

      Good catch. I agree.

      The default rates were a big cattle prod that forced people into action. I’m seeing little in the way of that these days in questions from readers. Can’t remember the last time I got the “they just raised all my rates up” question.

      Steve

    • http://www.franklindebtrelief.com Bobby Zangrilli

      Charles, this is something that we anticipated when credit card reform passed, but you’re absolutely right that this is not something we hear about anymore from clients. Not only is affecting the volume of demand, but these were also good prospects because they could usually fund their settlements better than other hardship cases (like a reduction in income, for example).

      • Anonymous

        Hey Bobby- Angelo & I were discussing the recent article on LHDR and the lawyer complaints yesterday & the effect (if those lawyer programs start to go away) it might have on lead cost. Coupled with the drop in interest on Google searches, less affiliate marketing, etc, what are your thoughts on lead costs? There was a time not so long ago, that leads were a third of the cost they are now. They seem to be dropping (a little) but with the declining interest on the searches, do you think that may translate into cheaper leads? How low do think it could go & when?

        I’m really interested in everyone’s input as well- so chime-on in.

      • Anthony D

        Sean,

        Lead cost did spiral up in the “boom markets” of 2009 and even in 2010 when people didn’t realize the market was cooling. Cost now appear lower than Pre-FTC 2010. However, I’m confident that most people are seeing costs higher than they anticipated with the FTC ruling. How much are the LHDR models keeping lead cost inflated? I don’t know really. I hardly see the legal model marketed online unless anyone else has different insights?

        Moreover, declining interest on the internet wouldn’t translate to lower cost. It would do the opposite with higher cost until the market adjusts. This would happen by companies leaving internet advertising or the industry all together.

        The Freedom companies eat up a ton of internet leads. You take those guys out of the market and then you see lead costs drop dramatically… although that seems highly unlikely

        My prediction… expect lead cost to be stable and only lower if more companies to leave the space. You may see a rise in cost if companies try to stick it through and the demand continues to decline.

      • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

        I think we agree that as long as the number of active companies paying for leads is at the current level that declining demand leads to a higher cost per lead as companies compete for a small potential pool of customers.

      • http://www.franklindebtrelief.com Bobby Zangrilli

        Hey Sean, I think most of us expected before the FTC rule that a lot of companies would close down (which happened) and as a result lower lead costs substantially (didn’t happen).

        In my opinion what we’re seeing is a reduction in need caused by the factors Steve and Charles pointed out – banks not extending as much credit and credit card reform – but another thing I think is self-evident is that a good portion of internet search traffic was being generated by television, radio, and direct mail campaigns from companies that moved on to other things following the FTC rule.

        Basically I’m not sure having fewer companies will lower the costs of leads because the price is determined by supply and demand, and while the demand may go down with fewer companies the supply may too. I think there’s a negative feedback cycle that occurs where fewer companies = less marketing = less consumer interest = fewer leads

      • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

        I agree that advertising breads awareness but so does success. If consumers had been receiving a massive benefit from a majority of companies before that natural word of mouth would have boosted awareness and demand like a viral video. I don’t see any evidence of this, do you?

      • http://www.franklindebtrelief.com Bobby Zangrilli

        I think debt relief will never be viral in the same way as a Youtube video is because people don’t like talking about their debt. A better comparison for our purposes would be something like Viagra. Studies have proven it works, there is obviously demand for it, and yet Pfizer still has to market it a lot.

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