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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.

Best Buy, Target, and Walmart Text Spammers Settle With FTC

ftc

An affiliate marketing company and its two principals have agreed to settle Federal Trade Commission charges for allegedly sending out more than 42.5 million unwanted and deceptive text messages to consumers. The case is part of the FTC’s continuing crackdown on spam text messages and the settlement prohibits the defendants from sending unwanted texts to consumers, and from misleading consumers ... Read More »

Debt Settlement Mailer From Frisco, Texas Raises Alarms

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Well here is yet another version of a debt settlement mailer being sent out to consumers. This one comes from Wichita, KS postal permit 1148. The address of the sender is 2611 Internet Blvd, #021, Frisco, Texas 75034. According to the BBB that is the address for United Debt Services. They list David Melrose as the owner. Melrose is also ... Read More »

CFPB Anti-Scamming Regulation to Better Protect Consumers

scammer

A fascinating new paper out by Jean Braucher talks about the historical context of scamming and what history has taught us about why consumers are so easily scammed. “Nineteenth century American literary masters Edgar Allen Poe, Herman Melville, and Mark Twain (with co-author Charles Dudley Warner) all examined scamming in their largely pre-regulatory time. These authors made two prescient observations ... Read More »

I Have Stage 4 Colon Cancer and Student Loans. – Maria

'Cancer' highlighted in green

“Dear Steve, 2001 got private student loan grandfather co signed. Grad 2007 after a divorce and a child born in 2008 I had finical hardship. Ive paid on time in 2012 . 2013 diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer im on full disability, my co borrower is now 87 and on ssa as well. Its 160 days past due. What ... Read More »

Can I Get a Mortgage After a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy? – Kellie

Real Estate Concept

“Dear Steve, I recently discharged my ch 13. I am interested in understanding how long I should wait to consider a new home purchase. My fiancé has excellent credit but I contribute the bulk of the income. I am hoping that the 2 years you eluded to can be minimized with his credit history. Thoughts? Kellie” Don’t miss our free ... Read More »

Consumers Still Prime Targets for Debt Settlement Bogus Mailings

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I just received a submission from my I Buy Junk Mail program that serves as an example of the continued marketing that is going on to consumers with money troubles. In just a week or so, one consumer received the three irritatingly deceptive mailers you see below. I’ve reported before on mailers sent bearing the same postal permit numbers, (Santa ... Read More »

Lloyd Ward and His BFF Lloyd Regner Found Guilty

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The only part of this story which make it even more bizarre is the fact Lloyd Ward and Lloyd Regner, ex-business partners, are now involved in suing each other and allegedly trying to win back their mutual former clients from each other. Whatever was going on between them, can be read here. But in a press release issued a couple ... Read More »

Kicking Ass, Taking Names Trust Owners Arrested

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Christy Romero, Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (SIGTARP); Benjamin B. Wagner, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of California; and Kamala D. Harris, Attorney General for the State of California, announced today that Tamara Teresa Tikal, 43, of Brentwood in Contra Costa County, Calif., and Ray Jan Kornfeld, 57, of Las Vegas, Nev., were arrested ... Read More »

Mortgage Rescue Scammers Get 17 Years in Slammer

mans hands behind bars in jail or prison

Mark S. Farhood, 49, formerly of San Diego, Calif., and Jason S. Sant, 38, of Lecanto, Fla., were sentenced today for their roles in operating a nationwide online foreclosure rescue scam that went by various names, including Home Advocate Trustees and Walk Away Today, and used various websites, including walkawaytoday.org and sellfastusa.com, to deceive hundreds of vulnerable, distressed homeowners into ... Read More »

Rachel Slapped Down Yet Again

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Deceptive Robocallers Permanently Shut Down In FTC Settlements The Federal Trade Commission has continued its crackdown on illegal robocallers, with two more companies agreeing to settle charges that they used prerecorded calls to trick consumers into deceptive credit card interest rate reduction scams. Under separate proposed settlements, the defendants behind Treasure Your Success and Ambrosia Web Design will be banned ... Read More »

My Husband Had His Sallie Mae Student Loan Discharged in Bankruptcy. Can I? – Lindsey

Student Loan Corkboard Concept

“Dear Steve, I declared bankruptcy almost 5 years ago and the attorney told me that it was impossible to discharge student loans. However Sallie Mae immediately discharged my husbands private student loan of $165K without a fight or even asking them to, but not mine for 23K. I was wondering if I could still add that to the BK since ... Read More »

What Do I Do When I Can’t Afford My University of Phoenix Loans? – Eloise

College Tuition Expenses

“Dear Steve, I have private student loans with University of Phoenix. I was able to pay off one of the loans however due to my low income I have not been able to make any payments on the outstanding ones. I am several months behind and I do not see the situation getting any better. I talked to a lawyer ... Read More »

Serial Debt Relief Scammer Busted Once Again by FTC

ftc

Under settlements with the Federal Trade Commission, the defendants in two Tampa, Florida-area operations that allegedly bilked consumers of millions of dollars are banned from providing various types of financial services used in their schemes. In the spring of 2012, at the request of the FTC, a court shut down the two operations. According to the FTC, the defendants used ... Read More »

Consumer Assistance Project Agreement for Student Loan Services – Review

black-hole

Yesterday I had a consumer complaint and a story about Consumer Assistance Project, a company claiming to offer student loan elimination services. After writing my story I received a copy of a consumer agreement that was sent to them by Consumer Assistance Project. What follows is a plain language review of what the agreement says. And this one is a ... Read More »

You Mean My Flight School Student Loans Can Be Eliminated in Bankruptcy? – Scott

Pilots in the cockpit during a commertial flight

Huffington Post Reader Question Dear Steve, Student loan debt can’t get out of it and have filed bankrupt 6 yrs ago and included it in but wasn’t able to get rid of it it’s a private student loan I was able to discharge my sallie Mae student loan but not my MRU student loan. MRU filed bankruptcy and now I’m ... Read More »

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