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Author Archives: 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.

Canada Pushes Back on Debt Settlement With New Regulations

canada

In Ontario a bill passed recently which significantly impacts the delivery of debt settlement services there. First, I owe a big hat tip to a good friend up there in the great white north for alerting me to this. This new bill impacts both debt settlement companies and credit counselors. Bill 55, the Stronger Protection for Ontario Consumers Act 2013, ... Read More »

I Went to LSU Shreveport in 1990 and Still Paying Student Loans. – Julie

student loan default

“Dear Steve, I took out a student loan in 1990 at LSU-S in shreveport, LA in order for me to finish my degree. I had left an abusive husband and had been a stay at home mom. I needed that amount for living expenses so I could graduate sooner in order to take care of my children financially. Twenty years ... Read More »

My Parents Cosigned for My Private Student Loans I Can’t Afford. – Sarah

stressed-woman

“Dear Steve, Graduated in 2012 with a Bachelors degree in Fine Arts (sculpture). Have about $70k in private loan debt. Went into forbearance, still did not find an alternative in that time. Have looked into and applied for consolidation WITHOUT cosigners, denied. I am curious as to whether or not there are other options available. My payments are over $700/month, ... Read More »

Two More Settle with FTC over I Works

ftc

Two key players in the I Works scheme that allegedly took more than $275 million from consumers via deceptive “trial” memberships for bogus government-grant and money-making schemes have agreed to settle Federal Trade Commission charges that they violated federal law. Bryce Payne and Kevin Pilon, along with Jeremy Johnson and seven others, were named in a complaint the FTC filed ... Read More »

Fidelity Land Trust, Ed Cherry Issue Getting More Bizarre

oops

Today a tipster (send in your tips here) sent in the following documents in the case of the State of Florida against Ed Cherry and the Fidelity Land Trust “debacle.” – Source Apparently Cherry’s attorney is trying to back the hell out representation and Cherry is having none of that. According to Cherry’s filed objection he claims attorney Peter Snyder ... Read More »

First Debt Settlement Plan Approved in Ireland Today

Screen Shot 2013-11-25 at 12.31.41 PM

It feels like a lifetime ago I first began working to bring debt settlement to the Republic of Ireland. Northern Ireland already has a form of debt settlement known at the Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA). Not only did ROI not have any chance of a formal debt settlement approach to dealing with creditors, but there was also no real consumer ... Read More »

CFPB Takes Student Loan Problems Seriously

Student Loan Corkboard Concept

Rohit Chopra is not only the Assistant Director for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau but also the Student Loan Ombudsman there. As an example of how slow government can work at times is the slow pace of solutions for people facing private student loan debt. Currently options are limited and without any long term payment reduction solutions like those available ... Read More »

Final Defendants Banned from Debt Relief Services in Bogus “Rachel Robocall” Scam

banned

The final six of 10 defendants named in an alleged “Rachel from Cardholder Services” scam have agreed to settle Federal Trade Commission charges that they misled consumers with bogus claims that they would lower their credit card interest rates. The FTC settlement bans Emory L. “Jack” Holley IV, Lisa Miller, and the remaining corporate defendants from telemarketing and marketing debt ... Read More »

Rural Housing Service is Looking for Debt Settlement Help

peas

If you are a debt relief company and have not yet reached out to the Rural Housing Service (RHS) to provide debt settlement or debt relief help to their clients, maybe you should. The Rural Housing Service (RHS) is a credit agency for rural housing and community development within the Rural Development mission area of the Department of Agriculture. RHS ... Read More »

CRL Report Results in Silence From the Debt Relief Industry

Lowering Coffin

The other day I published the debt settlement recommendation report from The Center for Responsible Lending (CRL), click here. As vocal as critics have been in attacking this site and myself for being outspoken about consumer unfriendly debt relief practices I felt certain people would have comments to offer about the CRL recommendations. But silence, except for one commenter. Some ... Read More »

Financial Bullying a Problem

bully

Couples argue over finances, but how many Americans feel their mate bullies them over their debt and spending habits? Credit Karma, a personal finance website with more than 20 million members, commissioned Harris Interactive to find out. The online survey, conducted in June 2013, revealed that committed American adults are generally on good financial terms with their spouse or partner. ... Read More »

Text Spammers Banned by FTC

banned

A group of affiliate marketers has agreed to settle Federal Trade Commission charges that they blasted consumers with more than 30 million deceptive spam text messages and directed recipients of the spam text messages to deceptive websites. Cresta Pillsbury, Jan-Paul Diaz, Joshua Brewer and Daniel Stanitski, and their company Ecommerce Merchants, LLC, which did business as Superior Affiliate Management, were ... Read More »

Business Recovery Services Banned by Scam

banned

An operation that allegedly bilked consumers by falsely claiming it could help them recover money they lost in previous scams will be banned from selling recovery services under a default judgment against Business Recovery Services LLC and a consent judgment against its owner, Brian Hessler. The judgments permanently ban the defendants from selling any services that are represented to recover ... Read More »

CRL Comes Out With Debt Settlement Warning. Is it Fair?

Big Scam Dog

The Center for Responsible Lending just released a paper on debt settlement. Take a look at the information they published and add your comment below if you think their research is on the mark or way off base. It appears CRL relied upon data published by the American Fair Credit Council in making their determinations on effectiveness. CRL even thanks ... Read More »

My Network Technology Degree is Worthless But I Owe Sallie Mae. – Omar

Adult Ed - Questions

“Dear Steve, Immigrated from Africa in the year 2000 with a big dream of making money in Network Technology. I went to computer school that lured me in taking a sallie Mae loan for MS NT 4.0. And $10,000 for an Operating system that turned out be a scam , not been used in the workplace (old). Two months in ... Read More »

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