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Debt Relief Industry Not the Only Ones in the Income Toilet

I saw this graph on the newspaper advertising business and it reminded me of what a graph of the debt relief business revenue would look like.

Since the start of the economic crisis the demand and need for debt relief services, other than bankruptcy, has been declining. And while different factions of the debt relief industry point fingers at what has caused this, I’ve written at length about the underlying issues, here.

Credit counselors blame, debt settlement companies and debt settlement companies blame new regulation. It’s a tired old circle now. The reality is that the change in the economy and composition in debt consumers carry is the real underlying issue.

But the newspaper industry has been facing a similar income decline.

Debt Relief Industry Not the Only Ones in the Income Toilet

Estimated print advertising revenues of $19.0 billion in 2012 will be the lowest annual amount spent on print newspaper advertising since the NAA started tracking ad revenue in 1950.

The decline in print newspaper advertising to a 62-year low is amazing by itself, but the sharp decline in recent years is pretty stunning. This year’s ad revenues of $19 billion will be less than half of the $46 billion spent just five years ago in 2007, and a little more than one-third of the $56.5 billion spent in 2004.

Here’s another perspective: It took 50 years to go from about $20 billion in annual newspaper print ad revenue in 1950 (adjusted for inflation) to $63.5 billion in 2000, and then only 12 years to go from $63.5 billion back to less than $20 billion in 2012. – Source

Some industries are just not evergreen and change beyond the control of those in the industry. The real trick here is identifying the changes needed and making those changes proactively.

For example, in the debt world I was talking a long time ago about shedding operational debt and ridding through the income storm to come. Those that did not listen to that advice or prepare on their own, are gone now.

Or how about the advice for credit counselors to expand their services to include debt settlement as part of rounding out their solutions so they could assist more people? The credit counselors are just too afraid to stand up to creditors and do what they need to do, and guess what, many are really struggling now.

We can be wed to what we’d like for the future to be or the debt relief industry as a whole can do what is needed to survive. For more information on what needs to be done, please refer to this article.

Debt Relief Industry Not the Only Ones in the Income Toilet
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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.
  • http://twitter.com/ThomasJFox Thomas Fox

    Including Debt Settlement is but one way agencies can assist the public.  There are many financial needs out there, and credit counseling agencies have a tremendous amount of knowledge capital to leverage. Organizations thrive when they successfully marry their skills to the needs of their customers.  That being said, all one has to do is think outside the box to identify ways you can meet your mission, provide value, and help agency employees enjoy a more rewarding career.  

    • http://www.activedebt.com/ Angelo Anzalone

      In a perfect world, common sense would prevail Thomas but that cycle that Steve spoke of is what is keeping the division.  The only way to truly act in the best interest of the consumer is for non profits and settlement companies to work together but the banks will never allow that.  Non profits are afraid to lose fair share from the banks if they offer settlement services and settlement companies are not generating enough revenue to cover marketing costs so every sits idle waiting for something to happen.  Its pretty sad actually, at the end of the day consumers are harmed most as a result. 

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