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Report From the TASC Conference. Attendee Sends in Their Notes,

Just in, an attendee at the TASC conference just held in Las Vegas has sent in their notes of what they felt was the highlights for readers.

Report From the TASC Conference. Attendee Sends in Their Notes,
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TASC – THURSDAY

BOB LINDERMAN: GENERAL COUNSEL OF FREEDOM DEBT RELIEF

GOALS AND OBJECTIVES: “THIS IS A CONSUMER CENTRIC, REGULATOR SENSITIVE, BUSINESS FRIENDLY ORG THATS GOING TO MAKE A CLEAN BREAK FROM THE PAST…”

TOMAS GORDON: CLEARONE ADVANTAGE – INTRODUCTION

WES YOUNG: GENERAL COUNSEL OF CENTURY NEGOTIATIONS.

“THERE ARE FRACTURES IN THE INDUSTRY: MANY DIFFERENT GROUPS REGARDING FEE BANS, TRADE ASSOCIATIONS, FTC EXEMPTIONS, BAD MOUTHING, ETC. – THAT HURT OUR INDUSTRY WITH REGULATION AND SALES. TASC HAS DONE A GOOD JOB WITH CREDIBILITY AND TRANSPARENCY.”

ANDREW HOUSSER: FREEDOM DEBT RELIEF

GOALS AND OBJECTIVES: “TAKE IT BACK TO WHY WE ORIGINALLY GOT INTO THIS BUSINESS.. TO HELP PEOPLE AND EDUCATE THEM. “BECOMING AS MUCH A CONSUMER RESOURCE AS AN INDUSTRY”

MATT GUTHRIE DMB FINANCIAL

GOALS AND OBJECTIVES: “TRY TO MAKE IT ONE OF THE STRONGEST ORGANIZATIONS IN THE INDUSTRY”

LINDA REMSBERG: NOTEWORLD SERVICING CENTER

  • THE POSITIVE SPIRAL: CUSTOMER LOYALTY (PPT PRESENTATION)
  • FLYWHEEL ANALOGY: WHAT IS THE FLYWHEEL FOR DEBT SETTLEMENT POST 10/27/10?
  • CUSTOMER LOYALTY STARTS WITH YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH THE CREDITOR.
  • THE CONSUMER INITIALLY BELIEVES THAT A DEBT SETTLEMENT CO HAS A RELATIONSHIP WITH THEIR CREDITOR.
  • “WE ARE A MCDONALDS WORLD” CUSTOMERS WANT RESULTS QUICK.
  • THEY FEEL WE ARE BETTER AT NEGOTIATING THAN THEY ARE. THAT’S WHY THEY SIGN UP WITH US.
  • THERE IS A LOT OF “IMPLICIT PROMISE” THAT NEEDS TO BE ADDRESSED TO SUCCESSFULLY GET THE FLYWHEEL TURNING.
  • BUSINESS SUCCESS: WHO ARE WE ENROLLING, WHO ARE WE DELIVERING, HOW FAST ARE WE DELIVERING RESULTS, ETC.
  • MANAGEMENT OF PERFORMANCE: ANSWERING PHONES FRIENDLY AND FAST, RETURNING CALLS, ETC.
  • HOW ARE CUSTOMERS REACTING TO US?
  • DO THEY SEE THINGS THE SAME WAY WE DID?
  • SURVEY CUSTOMERS UPON ENROLLMENT AND AT EXIT. “SURVEY AND TAKE ACTION.”
  • YOU NEED A RIGOROUS RETENTION PLAN.
  • IMPLEMENT A RETENTION SPECIALIST.
  • PRE 10/27 THE FLYWHEEL WAS MARKETING. BUT WE ALSO NEED DEBT SETTLEMENT COMPANIES.
  • THE FLYWHEEL NEEDS TO BE THE REDUCTION OF DEBT BY SUCCESSFULLY DELIVERING THE IMPLIED PRODUCT.
  • MEASURE HOW WELL YOU ARE DELIVERING IT – THE ONY WAY TO KNOW TRUTH ABOUT YOUR COMPANY.
  • KNOW YOUR CUSTOMER. YOU CAN NOT BE RELEVANT TO YOUR CUSTOMER IF YOU DONT KNOW THEM.

ANDREW HOUSSER: FREEDOM DEBT RELIEF

NO WAY TO ELIMINATE THE CASH BURN PRIOR TO GETTING SETTLEMENT REVENUE. ITS ONLY A QUESTION OF CONTROLLING COSTS AND THE DEPTH OF THE TROUGH. YOU STILL NEED TO INVEST IN THE BACK OFFICE OF YOUR COMPANY MORE THAN EVER. SETTLEMENT DEPARTMENT IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN EVER AFTER 10/27. HOW DO YOU CUT COSTS WHEN YOU NEED TO INVEST INTO YOUR BUSINESS MORE THAN EVER?

CREDITOR RELATIONSHIPS: CREDITORS ARE WILLING NOW MORE THAN EVER TO NEGOTIATE. THIS IS AN ONGOING BUSINESS RELATIONSHIP THAT NEEDS TO BE CULTIVATED, CREDITORS ARE AT THE FRONT LINE OF THOSE RELATIONSHIPS.

DO NOT LIMIT SETTLEMENT TERMS. YOU GET REVENUE EARLIER ON A TERM PAY SETTLEMENT BASED ON FTC FEE STRUCTURE REGULATION.

THIS IS A CUSTOMER SERVICE INTENSIVE BUSINESS. 80-90% OF ALL CALLS ARE ANSWERED IN 30 SECONDS OR LESS.

MATT GUTHRIE DMB FINANCIAL

HAS BEEN OFFERING NO ADVANCED FEE FOR 3- 4 YEARS. “WE NEED TO MANAGE THE CLIENTS EXPECTATIONS. THIS STARTS AT THE SALES, FLOWS THROUGH CUSTOMER SERVICE AND SETTLEMENT PROCESS… THEY NEED TO UNDERSTAND EXACTLY WHAT IS GOING ON…”

THE MESSAGE TO THOSE CLIENTS NEEDS TO BE THE SAME FROM START TO FINISH.

DAVID FISHMAN: ARBITRONICS / DEBT BUSTERS

BEEN IN THE BUSINESS FOR 25 YEARS. PSYCHOLOGY OF SETTLEMENT: WE NEED TO UNDERSTAND HOW TO MAKE THE CREDITOR AND COLLECTION AGENT UNDERSTAND. RESENTS THE “LAWYER COLLECTORS GREATLY” – TURN THEM INTO AN ASSETT, NOT A LIABILITY.

NV ALLOWS HIM TO CHARGE $400 UPFRONT RETAINER, $50 MSF AND SAVINGS FEE?? NEED CLARITY.

MORE PAYDAY LOANS. SPECIAL PROGRAM JUST FOR PAYDAY LOANS. PAYDAY LOANS ARE MOSTLY OFF SHORE AND A TOTALLY ILLEGAL LOAN TO BEGIN WITH BASED ON LAW, CAN ELIMINATE IT. AUTO CONTRACTS, AND CASH FOR KEYS FOR REAL ESTATE. NEW MARKETS THAT THE DEBT SETTLEMENT INDUSTRY SHOULD BE LOOKING AT SO WE CAN BROADEN OUR REVENUE SOURCES.

RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN NEGOTIATOR AND CLIENT IS CRITICAL. “FROM THE MOMENT THE SALE IS MADE, THEY FORGOT EVERYTHING THEY SIGNED UP FOR 10 MINUTES LATER… THEY HAVENT A CLUE WHAT THEY SIGNED UP FOR… THE PROGRAM IS REEXPLAINED EVERY SINGLE TIME THE CLIENT IS TALKED TO..”

“WE ASK THEM FOR TWO THINGS: PUT THE MONEY IN THE BANK AND DONT TALK TO THEIR CREDITOR..”

TOMAS GORDON:

CUSTOMER SERVICE SETTLEMENT STRATEGY

CAPITAL REQUIREMENTS AND BUDGETING

“SINGLE-MOST IMPORTANT THING TO DO IS ENROLL THE RIGHT PERSON” – THESE CUSTOMERS DEMAND RESULTS. OVER-COMMUNICATE. WE WANT TO REACH OUT TO THEM WEEKLY, DAILY, FOLLOW UP ON EMAIL. MAKE SURE THEY FEEL TAKEN CARE OF. THE BIG KEY TO THIS IS ANALYTICS AND DATA INTEGRITY. UNDERWRITE THESE PEOPLE. “WE HAVENT CUT COSTS – JUST REALLOCATED TO MAKE SURE WE ENROLL THE RIGHT PEOPLE”

ROBBY BIRNBAUM: ” ANDREW HOUSSER, MANY PEOPLE WANT TO KNOW HOW LONG IT TAKES TO BREAK EVEN WITH NO ADVANCED FEES?”

ANDREW HOUSSER: “I DONT KNOW – WE HAVENT REACHED IT YET”

AFTER DISCUSSING THE OBVIOUS SPREADSHEET LINE ITEMS, HIS ANSWER WAS “18-24 MONTHS” IT’S A NEW, CAPITAL INTENSIVE BUSINESS.

BRINBAUM: QUESTIONS THE PANEL ON DIFFERENT MARKETING STRATEGIES TO GET CONVERSION COST DOWN:

GUTHRIE: DIRECT MAIL FOR YEARS

TOMAS GORDON: “DONT LOOK AT ACQUISITION COST, BUT LIFETIME COST. A $200 CUSTOMER FALLING OUT IN 3 MONTHS ISNT GREAT. WE WOULD RATHER PAY A MUCH HIGHER ACQUISITION COST FOR A CUSTOMER THAT STICKS WITH IT.”

ANDREW HOUSSER: THE AMOUNT OF PEOPLE WITH DEBT (SIGNIFICANT = 30K PLUS) IS LESS BASED ON MANY CREDIT LINES BEING CUT, THEREFORE A SIGNIFICANT DECREASE IN CONSUMER POTENTIAL. BIGGEST IMPACT HAS BEEN ON SALES SIDE. ITS BEEN VERY EFFECTIVE THAT THE SALES PEOPLE HAVE BECOME COUNSELORS. SET THE EXPECTATIONS UPFRONT. THE BIGGEST BANG FOR THE BUCK IS ON THE SALES PROCESS BEING THAT WE DONT CHARGE AN ADVANCED FEE.

DAVID FISHMAN: “DEBT DENIAL IS STRONGER THAN DRUG DENIAL, ALCOHOL AND GAMBLING.” HAS FULL TIME BLOGGERS AND SOCIAL NETWORKING TO DRIVE PEOPLE TO THEIR WEBSITE. FORCES CUSTOMER TO TRACK EVERY PENNY ON QUICKBOOKS AND MANAGE EACH AND EVERY PENNY SPENT ON A WEEKLY BASIS. (NEED MORE CLARITY)

********** BREAK **********

MARK WILLIAMS: EXTREME BRANDING

  • BIRTH OF A NEW INDUSTRY AND A NEW NAME FOR TASC CHANGING THE WORDS YOU USE WILL IMPACT YORU BUSINESS MORE THAN ANYTHING. HOW YOU TALK ABOUT THINGS CHANGES THE WAY PEOPLE LOOK AT IT.
  • “THE CLEAN AIR ACT WAS ANYTHING BUT…”
  • THE MOVE TO “NO ADVANCED FEE” DEBT SETTLEMENT IS A HUGE BOOM FOR THE INDUSTRY.
  • FOCUS GROUP IN SAN FRANCISCO: “ENGAGEMENT SESSION”
  • RECRUITED PEOPLE IN DEBT SETTLMEENT PROGRAMS AND HAD TO BE SUCCESSFULLY MAKING THEIR WAY THRU THE PROGRAM, BUT HAD NO IDEA ABOUT THE NO ADVANCED FEE ISSUES:
  • VIDEO OF CONSUMERS FROM FOCUS GROUP.
  • THE [CONSUMER'S] CRISIS DOES NOT OCCUR OVERNIGHT. CALLING A DSC HAPPENS AFTER YEARS OF STRUGGLING. VERY OFTEN THESE PEOPLE ARE VERY SMART. THEY ARE OUR NEIGHBORS AND OUR FRIENDS, THEY HAVE A STRONG SENSE OF RESPONSIBILITY. THEY ARENT DEADBEATS AND THEY ARENT BLAMING THEIR CREDITORS.
  • THEY ARE BATTLING FOR CONTROL. THEY KNOW IT MAY GET WORSE BEFORE IT GETS BETTER. THEY ARE WILLING TO UNDERGO AGGRESSIVE EXTREMITIES TO GET OUT OF DEBT.
  • THEY SEE THEIR DEBT SETTLEMENT PARTNER AS A HIGH-QUALITY, PAID SERVICE.
  • IRONICALLY, THEY DEMAND RESULTS JUST LIKE ANY CONSUMER BUYING AN EXPENSIVE PRODUCT.
  • AFTER UNSUCCESSFULLY STRUGGLING WITH DEBT, EVENTUALLY SOMETHING CLICKS.
  • KNOWING THE CONSEQUENCES OF BANKRUPTCY ARE DAMAGING, THEY ARE WILLING TO TAKE MEASURES THEY MIGHT NOT OTHERWISE CONSIDER.
  • DEBT OFTEN RUNS IN THE FAMILY. INTERESTINGLY, OFTEN WE GET REFERRALS FROM CLOSE FRIENDS AND FAMILY
  • SAY: OUR PROGRAM IS A COMMITMENT, THERE IS RISK, ITS AGGRESSIVE BUT IT WORKS.
  • FEW PEOPLE HAVE TIME OR UNDERSTANDING OF THE CREDIT INDUSTRY TO EFFECTIVELY NEGOTIATE THEIR OWN DEBT.
  • CONSUMERS: FLEX YOUR SPENDING POWER. EVERY ADULT KNOWS MUCH IN LIFE IS A NEGOTIATION. BUT WHEN YOU ARE DEEP IN DEBT IT FEELS LIKE YOU HAVE NO LEVERAGE. LIKE YOURE AT THE MERCY OF THE CREDIT CARD COMPANIES AND BANKS THAT COULDN’T CARE LESS ABOUT YOU.
  • DEBT SETTLEMENT COMPANIES GIVE YOU LEVERAGE. DEBT SETTLEMENT PROFESSIONALS REPRESENT YOU AND USE THEIR EXPERTISE TO DELIVER A FAIR RESULT TO ALL PARTIES.
  • THE DEBT SETTLEMENT INDUSTRY HAS BEEN UNFAIRLY SLANDERED BY SOME CONSUMER ADVOCATES AND CREDIT COUNSELORS. NOW NEW LAWS ARE IN PLACE.
  • DIFFERENTIATE YOURSELF BY BEING A MEMBER OF TASC AND BE A PART OF THOSE WHO PLAY BY THE RULES. YOU CANT JUST CHANGE YOUR NAMES AND BE WELCOME TO THE RANKS OF LEGITIMATE SERVICES.
  • WE NEED NEW WORDS:
  • NO ADVANCE FEE DEBT SETTLEMENT
  • PAY FOR PERFORMANCE
  • OUR TARGET IS EASILY CONFUSED ABOUT DEBT SETTLEMENT BUT ARE LOOKING FOR AN AGGRESSIVE NEGOTIATOR TO REDUCE THEIR DEBT.
  • TWO TYPES OF DSC’S: GOOD AND BAD.
  • THE CREDIT CARD COMPANIES AND BANKS NEED US. BUT THEY WONT GIVE US HELP WITH MARKETING OUR SERVICES. DONT POKE THE BEAR OR THEY WILL REALLY FOCUS ON WHAT WE ARE DOING…
  • PAY MORE ATTENTION TO THE WORDS OTHERS USE WHEN THEY TALK ABOUT DEBT SETTLEMENT. IT MAKES SENSE TO POSITION THIS SERVICE AS THE LAST STEP BEFORE BANKRUPTCY.
  • WE NEGOTIATE A BETTER DEAL WITH THE CREDIT CARD COMPANIES – WE CHAMPION CONSUMERS IN THE STRUGGLE FOR A SQUARE DEAL.
  • WE ARE ADVOCATES.
  • WE ARE BRINGING A FAIR DEAL TO THE TABLE.
  • MOVE FROM SETTLEMENT OT ADVOCATES- EXPERTS IN BRANDING NOW THAT YOU NEED TO GO FROM THE BOTTOM TO THE TOP.
  • TASC IS NOW KNOWN AS “THE AMERICAN FAIR CREDIT COUNCIL” OR THE AFCC.
  • FIGHTING FOR FAIR CREDIT PRACTICES. IF THE CREDIT CARD COMPANIES WERE ROE FAIR THEY WOULDN’T NEED US.
  • WE ARE A VIABLE OPTION FOR TROUBLED DEBTORS.
  • A NEGOTIATOR, AN ADVOCATE AND THE BORROWERS CHAMPION IN THE FIGHT FOR FAIR CREDIT.

MARK GUIMOND: NATIONAL POLICY GROUP, BOB LINDERMAN, WESLEY YOUNG ON CONSUMER PROTECTION BOARD & FTC

WESLEY YOUNG

********** LUNCH **********

ROBBY BIRNBAUM / MARK GUIMOND ON “HYBRID MODEL”

WHEN YOU MIX DMP WITH SETTLEMENT, ONCE YOU GET THE PLAN APPROVED WITH THE CREDITOR, YOU JUST TRIGGERED WHAT THE FTC REQUIRES TO GET YOUR FEE FOR THAT DEBT.

TIM WILKINS: HUMOR AND CANADA

(FRIDAY)

MICHAEL HENDRIX CEO GLOBAL CLIENT SOLUTIONS DEDICATED TO DEBT SETTLEMENT – CORE COMPETENCY MOVED $6B IN DEBT SETTLEMENT THROUGH 7 BANKS.

  • HAS 100 EMPLOYEES IN CUSTOMER SERVICE DPET
  • 23 EMPLOYEES FOR CONSUMER ADVOCACY/RETENTION
  • LOWEST COST SERVICE PROVIDER
  • GOT AN INVESTEMNT BY THE FOURTH WEALTHIEST PERSON (KAISER) IN THE WORLD – “WE HAVE VERY DEEP POCKETS”

BIRNBAUM: ANNOUNCEMENT

CA IS A SINCERE CONCERN FOR OUR INDUSTRY ASKING FOR MONTHLY COMMITMENTS FOR CONTRIBUTING TO CA LOBBYISTS

TASC IS GOINGN TO BE OFFERING A “CASH BURN FINANCE STRUCTURE” IN A FEW WEEKS.

TAMI: JOEL WINSTON ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR OF BUREAU OF CONSUMER PROTECTION AT FTC

JOEL WINSTON: TSR VIA SKYPE

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

Report From the TASC Conference. Attendee Sends in Their Notes, by

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About Steve Rhode

Steve Rhode
Steve Rhode is the Get Out of Debt Guy and has been helping good people with bad debt problems since 1994. You can learn more about Steve, here.
  • Steve Rhode

    @01a6942cc4888548dba0f5158e81055e:disqus you’ve got to get registered in Disqus so we can see your smiling avatar. Life is incomplete without it.

  • Robert Stevenson

    haha i love this.. you further prove my point. This has nothing to do with your ridiculous claim that “no one has completed” a program.

    –juice box and a nap–
    -> I need both–If I agree with him, do I get smarter or does he get dumber?—-> haha what does this even mean. Literally, every “haha” is laughter at your crazy statements. PS: Quit “Liking” your own comments hahahaha

  • Errick

    Wow, okay, someone needs a juice box and a nap. So who is smart then? Is Damon Day smart? He says:

    “the regulators where not given any other choice with the rampant
    consumer abuse that existed, and the pathetic responses from industry
    trade groups in defense of said abuse.”

    And,

    “we have an industry where A MAJORITY of the players have, for the better
    part of a decade, focused on separating financially struggling
    consumers from their last dollar.”

    If I agree with him, do I get smarter or does he get dumber?

    P.S. I’d rather be an idiot than a scammer.

  • Robert Stevenson

    @304cda5e12ce959a98a2b18d9ceeff83:disqus I am right.. you’re an idiot. It’s ok, most people who are don’t know they are.

  • Robert Stevenson

    @AFaria:disqus , just tags the person you are talking directly to. The “Reply” button does it, but the @01a6942cc4888548dba0f5158e81055e:disqus at-@ button is being used in a lot of other social media formats like Facebook, etc.

  • Errick

    Well maybe you’re right about me. But we’re still waiting for someone to show where I’m wrong about debt settlement.

  • Andy Faria

    @Robert Stevenson What does it do?

  • Robert Stevenson

    @getoutofdebtguy:disqus o yea, let’s start the trend. Way easier to communicate in boards like this.

  • Robert Stevenson

    @304cda5e12ce959a98a2b18d9ceeff83:disqus you still talking? haha you’re the 13 year old kid for the community. You’ve lost all credibility and even enough to agitate someone… Hence, you do not exist in the universe

  • Michael

    I flick my bick in your general direction.

  • Errick

    I don’t think it’s a question of whether there is any money to be made, it’s a question of whether debt settlement is now less lucrative for a commission sales person than the alternatives, like car warranties or whatever else is coming down the pike. I am guessing it is now, so reputable or not, who will Always Be Closing? No one. It’s basically over.

    As I keep saying, TASC and USOBA are doing the rational thing by stonewalling IF (I said IF) the whole industry is basically a sham. Then the logical thing to do is resist all regulation across the board and run out the clock. And since I won’t assume someone is stupid, I will assume that TASC and USOBA are properly pursuing their best interests and defending the 50+15=55 scam as long as they can.

    And as I also keep saying, since no one can be found who has fully completed a debt settlement plan on the terms it was entered, under any fee greater than one or two percent of the enrolled debt, then it is POSSIBLE (I said POSSIBLE) that no one ever has. Otherwise we would have heard from someone who has, which also means the whole industry is basically a sham. If even one tenth of one percent succeed, we should have heard from one of them.

    Since my two very reasonable inferences lead to the same conclusion, I believe the whole industry is basically run on the 50+15=55 scam. So…

    Flame on!

  • Mike Reilly

    Well let’s see, first off, you defend yourself just fine and don’t need me or anyone for that matter to stand in your corner. Based on what Howdy wrote I was not sure he knew what it is you do so, a quick sentence to sum it up. The final comment is and old expression which I think is self explanatory, no?

    I mean, if this industry snaps inline hence, the bad guys disappear and then as Steve is reporting, demand continues to drop and the economy shows great improvement, what do all of our businesses look like, let alone the niche you carved our? Sure, there will always be debtors in trouble, that goes without saying and the need for debt relief will be around long after you and I are gone but, I wonder what effect it will have on your niche?

    I think the biggest push in your niche is alarming consumers about sub-par DS companies and taking it to the bad guy’s right? What happens when “you” (that should’ve made you feel good :) win that fight? You end up getting what you wish for, right?

    The way I see it is; it’s all good for companies like mine, companies that have the ability to ride it out because the competition is drying up. There may be less business to be had (peaks and valleys) but also fewer providers, beautiful.

    I’m not so sure it will work out that way for coaching, I’m sure you will provide us with your perspective, I guess only time will tell.

  • Damon Day

    Hey Mike, Damon here. I at first thought you were defending me, and I appreciated that, then I read the last sentence and became confused. Would you be so kind as to clarify your point?

    Thanks

  • Damon Day

    Hey Robert,

    Yes it is true that good companies will unfortunately go out of business. That is good old unintended consequences of government intervention. Contrary to what many might think, I think the fee ban is horrible from a business stand point, and I don’t envy any debt settlement company that is going to have to operate within the new rules. But also understand that the regulators where not given any other choice with the rampant consumer abuse that existed, and the pathetic responses from industry trade groups in defense of said abuse.

    TASC and USOBA where two organizations in a position to “be the change” so to speak and not only did they do nothing, but they actually encouraged and fostered an environment for this abuse and stonewalled regulators until the bitter end.

    Now, as you know, anyone that actually reads my blog or my comments knows that I am not out to get the debt settlement industry, but simply the bad actors that operate within it. The organizations that do right by people, should encourage me because whether they realize it or not, I am actually helping them.

    I am curious, for everyone in the DS industry and following the new TSR rules, regardless of whether or not you agree with anything else that I say, does it at least make you smile a little bit when I write an article or a comment exposing what a company like Legal Helpers is continuing to do?

    Please click the “like button” on this comment if you do get a little kick out of that, even if you don’t like other things that I say or do.

  • Damon Day

    Howdy,

    If you think my goal is to bash and bring down the entire industry, then you must not be actually paying attention to what I am writing. I must just have a high opinion of myself, because I really thought some of my responses were very clever. Ah well, if I make everyone happy, then I am doing it wrong :-)

    It amuses me that, we have an industry where A MAJORITY of the players have, for the better part of a decade, focused on separating financially struggling consumers from their last dollar.

    Then when these same players, forced by regulation to change their ways, suddenly attempt to re brand themselves as advocates and champions for consumers by simply “changing the words” I somehow become the bad guy for saying sphinctersayswhat?

    All jokes aside, I write with a specific style to get attention. I want to draw consumer attention to fact that a large majority of the “debt relief” programs that are peddled are just garbage. Sorry, but facts is facts.

    Questionable debt relief programs (those that closely resemble my remarks) seem to want me to shut up and not say anything negative about this poor, misunderstood industry that is just the victim of a political witch hunt, while they are out on the front lines championing for the little guy. <–Negative sarcasm

    I am amazed by just how many industry types still don’t seem to understand that they were royally hosed by TASC and USOBA. Maybe if they would pay less attention to what I write, and a little more attention to how their trade groups were sticking it to them for years, they wouldn’t be in the advance fee ban mess and looking to blame me for their problems.

    I am just saying…

    By the way, if you don’t agree with something I say, and you would like to have a substantive discussion vs one about my style, then please let me know. I like my style, consumers seem to like my style, and if an industry tard takes issue with it, well, Frankly my Dear, I don’t give a damn, because I don’t write for them. (This is clever stuff)

  • Steve Rhode

    Wow, look at that ability to put @ in front of the commenters name. @01a6942cc4888548dba0f5158e81055e:disqus you are the first one to use that feature. Pretty cool stuff.

  • Robert Stevenson

    @DamonDay:disqus , it may be impossible though. Well, not “impossible”, but you will see honest, hard working companies going out of business. And not because it isn’t profitable, but there is a lot of “cash burn” until companies can get paid. Even if we use an estimate of 50% of consumers settling 8/10 accounts, there is still profit… but can a company hang on for that long? That will be answered shortly…

    But the easy answer is the economics will be very difficult with the decreasing demand.

    @c9782dd6721df378363fb7987f09fdc7:disqus as much as I want to get defensive with Damon because I’m pationate about the industry, I also realize there’s too much truth and it isn’t directed at companies that operate correctly. However, I completely agree with the name change. Not so much because TASC has a bad name persay, because it’s pretty rare that people even realize what TASC even is…. But, the new name relates better to consumers, legislators… I mean come on, listen to these credit counseling trade groups. “The consumer -sits down- with a credit counselor, reviews their budge”… the words are a lot more friendly than DEBT —– SETTLEMENT— COMPANIES —-. Let’s be honest, it was simply unfriendly name to begin with.

  • Anonymous

    My fav was “you can’t just change your name and immediately join the ranks of legitimate companies” and moments after “so… We changed our name to AFCC because we have done such a good job being transparent….”

    This was a bullshit loophole conference and I hope they all get shut down. Birnbaum, Lindermam, Hauser, Williams, Brown: you should all be ashamed of yourselves for making such a challenged industry even more worthless by simply existing.

    Yours truly,

    The asshole who gave the TASC conference notes to Steve.

  • Anonymous

    My fav was “you can’t just change your name and immediately join the ranks of legitimate companies” and moments after “so… We changed our name to AFCC because we have done such a good job being transparent….”

    This was a bullshit loophole conference and I hope they all get shut down. Birnbaum, Lindermam, Hauser, Williams, Brown: you should all be ashamed of yourselves for making such a challenged industry even more worthless by simply existing.

    Yours truly,

    The asshole who gave the TASC conference notes to Steve.

    • Cupid

      Errick – nonprofit DMP-ers enroll consumers left, right and upside down
      who can qualify for chapter 7 bankruptcy. Do the DMP-ers encourage or
      instruct the consumer to consult with a bankruptcy attorney to learn
      more about chapter 7 before proceeding forward in a DMP? If they don’t, isn’t that kind of a scam like you accuse the settlement industry of?

      That pretty much is a breach of trust. That pretty much makes the
      nonprofit single solution DMP-ers about as bad as you say settlement
      companies are. Couple that with the fact that nonprofit DMP-ers get paid
      to represent banks payment programs that have to be complied with at
      the threat of pulled support and I think I would rather talk to someone
      who is not representing the creditors I might be struggling with. Banks
      that, need I remind
      you, have and will continue to pay out BILLIONS of dollars for their
      wrong
      doing. That’s what you support Errick. A system that brought this nation
      to its
      worst economic condition since the great depression.

      “Now get in the pit and try to love someone.”

  • Mike Reilly

    Howdy,

    Damon’s niche in one sentence is guiding consumers to the appropriate debt relief service if discovery warrants such action. I think the question is, when or if (and those are two big words) this industry straightens out, either through regulation or other methods what happens to that niche, does it survive?

    We all can ask ourselves a similar question, will we survive the transformation?

    I know you’ve all heard the expression “be careful what you wish for”.

  • Howdy

    Damon, why is it that every comment you post is negative sarcasm? I noticed that on some of your other posts as well. I can understand a little sarcasm to be funny here and there but almost every post of your is a sarcastic comment talking bad about the ds industry. It seems like your only goal is to bash and bring down the ds industry, you seem to have nothing but bad things to say about DS and those in the DS industry, how about some positive statements every once in a while instead of negative sarcasm in every one of your posts? just a thought

  • Howdy

    Damon, why is it that every comment you post is negative sarcasm? I noticed that on some of your other posts as well. I can understand a little sarcasm to be funny here and there but almost every post of your is a sarcastic comment talking bad about the ds industry. It seems like your only goal is to bash and bring down the ds industry, you seem to have nothing but bad things to say about DS and those in the DS industry, how about some positive statements every once in a while instead of negative sarcasm in every one of your posts? just a thought

    • Mike Reilly

      Howdy,

      Damon’s niche in one sentence is guiding consumers to the appropriate debt relief service if discovery warrants such action. I think the question is, when or if (and those are two big words) this industry straightens out, either through regulation or other methods what happens to that niche, does it survive?

      We all can ask ourselves a similar question, will we survive the transformation?

      I know you’ve all heard the expression “be careful what you wish for”.

      • http://DamonDay.com Damon Day

        Hey Mike, Damon here. I at first thought you were defending me, and I appreciated that, then I read the last sentence and became confused. Would you be so kind as to clarify your point?

        Thanks

      • Mike Reilly

        Well let’s see, first off, you defend yourself just fine and don’t need me or anyone for that matter to stand in your corner. Based on what Howdy wrote I was not sure he knew what it is you do so, a quick sentence to sum it up. The final comment is and old expression which I think is self explanatory, no?

        I mean, if this industry snaps inline hence, the bad guys disappear and then as Steve is reporting, demand continues to drop and the economy shows great improvement, what do all of our businesses look like, let alone the niche you carved our? Sure, there will always be debtors in trouble, that goes without saying and the need for debt relief will be around long after you and I are gone but, I wonder what effect it will have on your niche?

        I think the biggest push in your niche is alarming consumers about sub-par DS companies and taking it to the bad guy’s right? What happens when “you” (that should’ve made you feel good :) win that fight? You end up getting what you wish for, right?

        The way I see it is; it’s all good for companies like mine, companies that have the ability to ride it out because the competition is drying up. There may be less business to be had (peaks and valleys) but also fewer providers, beautiful.

        I’m not so sure it will work out that way for coaching, I’m sure you will provide us with your perspective, I guess only time will tell.

    • Robert Stevenson

      @DamonDay:disqus , it may be impossible though. Well, not “impossible”, but you will see honest, hard working companies going out of business. And not because it isn’t profitable, but there is a lot of “cash burn” until companies can get paid. Even if we use an estimate of 50% of consumers settling 8/10 accounts, there is still profit… but can a company hang on for that long? That will be answered shortly…

      But the easy answer is the economics will be very difficult with the decreasing demand.

      @c9782dd6721df378363fb7987f09fdc7:disqus as much as I want to get defensive with Damon because I’m pationate about the industry, I also realize there’s too much truth and it isn’t directed at companies that operate correctly. However, I completely agree with the name change. Not so much because TASC has a bad name persay, because it’s pretty rare that people even realize what TASC even is…. But, the new name relates better to consumers, legislators… I mean come on, listen to these credit counseling trade groups. “The consumer -sits down- with a credit counselor, reviews their budge”… the words are a lot more friendly than DEBT —– SETTLEMENT— COMPANIES —-. Let’s be honest, it was simply unfriendly name to begin with.

      • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

        Wow, look at that ability to put @ in front of the commenters name. @01a6942cc4888548dba0f5158e81055e:disqus you are the first one to use that feature. Pretty cool stuff.

      • Robert Stevenson

        @getoutofdebtguy:disqus o yea, let’s start the trend. Way easier to communicate in boards like this.

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

        @Robert Stevenson What does it do?

      • Robert Stevenson

        @AFaria:disqus , just tags the person you are talking directly to. The “Reply” button does it, but the @01a6942cc4888548dba0f5158e81055e:disqus at-@ button is being used in a lot of other social media formats like Facebook, etc.

      • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

        @01a6942cc4888548dba0f5158e81055e:disqus you’ve got to get registered in Disqus so we can see your smiling avatar. Life is incomplete without it.

      • http://DamonDay.com Damon Day

        Hey Robert,

        Yes it is true that good companies will unfortunately go out of business. That is good old unintended consequences of government intervention. Contrary to what many might think, I think the fee ban is horrible from a business stand point, and I don’t envy any debt settlement company that is going to have to operate within the new rules. But also understand that the regulators where not given any other choice with the rampant consumer abuse that existed, and the pathetic responses from industry trade groups in defense of said abuse.

        TASC and USOBA where two organizations in a position to “be the change” so to speak and not only did they do nothing, but they actually encouraged and fostered an environment for this abuse and stonewalled regulators until the bitter end.

        Now, as you know, anyone that actually reads my blog or my comments knows that I am not out to get the debt settlement industry, but simply the bad actors that operate within it. The organizations that do right by people, should encourage me because whether they realize it or not, I am actually helping them.

        I am curious, for everyone in the DS industry and following the new TSR rules, regardless of whether or not you agree with anything else that I say, does it at least make you smile a little bit when I write an article or a comment exposing what a company like Legal Helpers is continuing to do?

        Please click the “like button” on this comment if you do get a little kick out of that, even if you don’t like other things that I say or do.

      • Errick

        I don’t think it’s a question of whether there is any money to be made, it’s a question of whether debt settlement is now less lucrative for a commission sales person than the alternatives, like car warranties or whatever else is coming down the pike. I am guessing it is now, so reputable or not, who will Always Be Closing? No one. It’s basically over.

        As I keep saying, TASC and USOBA are doing the rational thing by stonewalling IF (I said IF) the whole industry is basically a sham. Then the logical thing to do is resist all regulation across the board and run out the clock. And since I won’t assume someone is stupid, I will assume that TASC and USOBA are properly pursuing their best interests and defending the 50+15=55 scam as long as they can.

        And as I also keep saying, since no one can be found who has fully completed a debt settlement plan on the terms it was entered, under any fee greater than one or two percent of the enrolled debt, then it is POSSIBLE (I said POSSIBLE) that no one ever has. Otherwise we would have heard from someone who has, which also means the whole industry is basically a sham. If even one tenth of one percent succeed, we should have heard from one of them.

        Since my two very reasonable inferences lead to the same conclusion, I believe the whole industry is basically run on the 50+15=55 scam. So…

        Flame on!

      • Michael

        I flick my bick in your general direction.

      • Robert Stevenson

        @304cda5e12ce959a98a2b18d9ceeff83:disqus you still talking? haha you’re the 13 year old kid for the community. You’ve lost all credibility and even enough to agitate someone… Hence, you do not exist in the universe

      • Errick

        Well maybe you’re right about me. But we’re still waiting for someone to show where I’m wrong about debt settlement.

      • Robert Stevenson

        @304cda5e12ce959a98a2b18d9ceeff83:disqus I am right.. you’re an idiot. It’s ok, most people who are don’t know they are.

      • Errick

        Wow, okay, someone needs a juice box and a nap. So who is smart then? Is Damon Day smart? He says:

        “the regulators where not given any other choice with the rampant
        consumer abuse that existed, and the pathetic responses from industry
        trade groups in defense of said abuse.”

        And,

        “we have an industry where A MAJORITY of the players have, for the better
        part of a decade, focused on separating financially struggling
        consumers from their last dollar.”

        If I agree with him, do I get smarter or does he get dumber?

        P.S. I’d rather be an idiot than a scammer.

      • Robert Stevenson

        haha i love this.. you further prove my point. This has nothing to do with your ridiculous claim that “no one has completed” a program.

        –juice box and a nap–
        -> I need both–If I agree with him, do I get smarter or does he get dumber?—-> haha what does this even mean. Literally, every “haha” is laughter at your crazy statements. PS: Quit “Liking” your own comments hahahaha

    • http://DamonDay.com Damon Day

      Howdy,

      If you think my goal is to bash and bring down the entire industry, then you must not be actually paying attention to what I am writing. I must just have a high opinion of myself, because I really thought some of my responses were very clever. Ah well, if I make everyone happy, then I am doing it wrong :-)

      It amuses me that, we have an industry where A MAJORITY of the players have, for the better part of a decade, focused on separating financially struggling consumers from their last dollar.

      Then when these same players, forced by regulation to change their ways, suddenly attempt to re brand themselves as advocates and champions for consumers by simply “changing the words” I somehow become the bad guy for saying sphinctersayswhat?

      All jokes aside, I write with a specific style to get attention. I want to draw consumer attention to fact that a large majority of the “debt relief” programs that are peddled are just garbage. Sorry, but facts is facts.

      Questionable debt relief programs (those that closely resemble my remarks) seem to want me to shut up and not say anything negative about this poor, misunderstood industry that is just the victim of a political witch hunt, while they are out on the front lines championing for the little guy. <–Negative sarcasm

      I am amazed by just how many industry types still don't seem to understand that they were royally hosed by TASC and USOBA. Maybe if they would pay less attention to what I write, and a little more attention to how their trade groups were sticking it to them for years, they wouldn't be in the advance fee ban mess and looking to blame me for their problems.

      I am just saying…

      By the way, if you don't agree with something I say, and you would like to have a substantive discussion vs one about my style, then please let me know. I like my style, consumers seem to like my style, and if an industry tard takes issue with it, well, Frankly my Dear, I don't give a damn, because I don't write for them. (This is clever stuff)

  • Damon Day

    It is amusing to watch all of these guys actually having to put some thought into figuring out ways to do what they previously said was impossible. I guess what they meant was, they were too lazy, and didn’t give enough of a rip about the clients to bother with trying to figure out how to make their programs better. Interesting how they used to lash out and attack me when I suggested some of these things in articles.

    Nice to see them talking seriously about necessary changes. Sort of funny how they “snap to” when regulations force them to align their goals with those of their clients. Hmm, I wonder where they have heard things like that before.

    I am sure there are some well meaning people in the group and I certainly see some positive statements from some of the speakers that I like. But unfortunately there are still some delusional statements coming out of here. It seems a reality check is still very much needed for some individuals. Until you admit and understand the problems, how can you possibly provide the solutions?

    I will monitor with interest, but actions speak far louder than words. Let’s see how it goes.

    Some questionable statements for example:

    1. TASC HAS DONE A GOOD JOB WITH CREDIBILITY AND TRANSPARENCY
    (I am curious to know how they are measuring their success in this area?)

    2. ITS BEEN VERY EFFECTIVE THAT THE SALES PEOPLE HAVE BECOME COUNSELORS
    (I hope they are providing an actual unbiased consult, and not simply a fancy sales pitch)

    3. THE DEBT SETTLEMENT INDUSTRY HAS BEEN UNFAIRLY SLANDERED BY SOME CONSUMER ADVOCATES AND CREDIT COUNSELORS. NOW NEW LAWS ARE IN PLACE.
    (You can’t hear me but, I just coughed and said bullshit at the same time)

    4. WE NEED NEW WORDS
    (Ya, that should fix everything)

    5. OUR TARGET IS EASILY CONFUSED ABOUT DEBT SETTLEMENT BUT ARE LOOKING FOR AN AGGRESSIVE NEGOTIATOR TO REDUCE THEIR DEBT.
    (I am sure your clients would like to know that you think they are too stupid to understand what you are doing)

    6. WE ARE ADVOCATES.
    (And the pitch was…… just a bit outside) baa ha ha ha ha

    7. MOVE FROM SETTLEMENT TO ADVOCATES- EXPERTS IN BRANDING NOW THAT YOU NEED TO GO FROM THE BOTTOM TO THE TOP.
    (Did Webster make an update to the definition of Advocate that I am not aware of?)

    8. TASC IS NOW KNOWN AS “THE AMERICAN FAIR CREDIT COUNCIL” OR THE AFCC.
    (Why change your name if “you have done such a good job?”)

    9. A NEGOTIATOR, AN ADVOCATE AND THE BORROWERS CHAMPION IN THE FIGHT FOR FAIR CREDIT.
    (Ya… A real American Hero)

    My question is, where the hell was all of this stuff when you guys were getting paid upfront and supposed to be doing this?????????????

    Now you are some kind of consumer advocate because in order to now get paid, you are being forced to do what you should have been doing for years?

    You can put a pretty bow on a box of crap but it still stinks when you open it.

  • http://DamonDay.com Damon Day

    It is amusing to watch all of these guys actually having to put some thought into figuring out ways to do what they previously said was impossible. I guess what they meant was, they were too lazy, and didn’t give enough of a rip about the clients to bother with trying to figure out how to make their programs better. Interesting how they used to lash out and attack me when I suggested some of these things in articles.

    Nice to see them talking seriously about necessary changes. Sort of funny how they “snap to” when regulations force them to align their goals with those of their clients. Hmm, I wonder where they have heard things like that before.

    I am sure there are some well meaning people in the group and I certainly see some positive statements from some of the speakers that I like. But unfortunately there are still some delusional statements coming out of here. It seems a reality check is still very much needed for some individuals. Until you admit and understand the problems, how can you possibly provide the solutions?

    I will monitor with interest, but actions speak far louder than words. Let’s see how it goes.

    Some questionable statements for example:

    1. TASC HAS DONE A GOOD JOB WITH CREDIBILITY AND TRANSPARENCY
    (I am curious to know how they are measuring their success in this area?)

    2. ITS BEEN VERY EFFECTIVE THAT THE SALES PEOPLE HAVE BECOME COUNSELORS
    (I hope they are providing an actual unbiased consult, and not simply a fancy sales pitch)

    3. THE DEBT SETTLEMENT INDUSTRY HAS BEEN UNFAIRLY SLANDERED BY SOME CONSUMER ADVOCATES AND CREDIT COUNSELORS. NOW NEW LAWS ARE IN PLACE.
    (You can’t hear me but, I just coughed and said bullshit at the same time)

    4. WE NEED NEW WORDS
    (Ya, that should fix everything)

    5. OUR TARGET IS EASILY CONFUSED ABOUT DEBT SETTLEMENT BUT ARE LOOKING FOR AN AGGRESSIVE NEGOTIATOR TO REDUCE THEIR DEBT.
    (I am sure your clients would like to know that you think they are too stupid to understand what you are doing)

    6. WE ARE ADVOCATES.
    (And the pitch was…… just a bit outside) baa ha ha ha ha

    7. MOVE FROM SETTLEMENT TO ADVOCATES- EXPERTS IN BRANDING NOW THAT YOU NEED TO GO FROM THE BOTTOM TO THE TOP.
    (Did Webster make an update to the definition of Advocate that I am not aware of?)

    8. TASC IS NOW KNOWN AS “THE AMERICAN FAIR CREDIT COUNCIL” OR THE AFCC.
    (Why change your name if “you have done such a good job?”)

    9. A NEGOTIATOR, AN ADVOCATE AND THE BORROWERS CHAMPION IN THE FIGHT FOR FAIR CREDIT.
    (Ya… A real American Hero)

    My question is, where the hell was all of this stuff when you guys were getting paid upfront and supposed to be doing this?????????????

    Now you are some kind of consumer advocate because in order to now get paid, you are being forced to do what you should have been doing for years?

    You can put a pretty bow on a box of crap but it still stinks when you open it.

    • http://twitter.com/fraudsniffer CMS

      Absolutely well said Damon!

  • Mike Reilly

    GCS is a beast!

  • Mike Reilly

    GCS is a beast!

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