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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.

Credit Counseling Services and the Bankruptcy Conundrum

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A press release out by Advantage Credit Counseling Service drew me to their site today. – Source. While there I came across a good example of the ethical conundrum facing nonprofit credit counselors today. Advance Credit Counseling Service is not alone in dealing with this problem. According to the Advantage Credit Counseling Service website they are a proud member of ... Read More »

Inexpensive Wines and Student Loans – Ask Steve – Episode 1

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This week on Ask Steve I answer reader and viewer questions on how to find an inexpensive wine and what to do about student loans if you are unemployed. In the first question my team and I tasted ten of the least expensive wines in an attempt to find some good deals for little money. Surprisingly, there were some quite ... Read More »

Federal Student Loans Discharged in Bankruptcy. A Look at the Surprising 2012 Data and Cases.

The actual granular data presents a surprising reality.

The more I research and study the reality of dealing with student loans through bankruptcy the more I am under the opinion the data does not support the assumptions many have that no good options are available in bankruptcy for student loans. In fact my research appears to show that even for government backed student loans there are some significant ... Read More »

Student Loan Alliance Teaches Credit Counselors What About Student Loans?

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Student Loan Alliance put out a press release earlier this week talking about the training they were giving credit counseling agencies in order to deal with student loan problems. Student Loan Alliance says the credit counseling agencies that participate in their approach and training are The participating organizations are: Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Greater Dallas, Consumer Credit Counseling Service ... Read More »

A+ Financial Center Scheme Settles With FTC

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The Federal Trade Commission has settled with a set of defendants associated with the A+ Financial Center scheme. They were charged in last year’s joint law enforcement sweep against five companies that made millions of illegal pre-recorded robocalls claiming to be from “Rachel” and “Cardholder Services” and pitching credit card interest rate reduction services. In the five complaints announced in ... Read More »

Debt Defense America Brings Us More Debt Dispute Foolishness

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Recently Michael Bovee and I collaborated on an article about the debt validation/debt dispute services being sold by Debt Defense Services. You can read that article, here. Right on the heels of that article I received a document from a tipster (send in your tips here) about a similar sounding company, Debt Defense America. It seems these debt dispute services ... Read More »

Are Colorado Law Firms Overcharging People in Foreclosure?

Sagging Economy

Are people being charged inflated legal fees when they get foreclosed on? Well the Colorado Attorney General would like to know more and has filed suit for law firms to fess up. The Colorado Attorney General John Suthers is apparently concerned about law firms that handle foreclosures in the state. While fees are allowed to be passed on they are ... Read More »

Debt Consolidation USA Says Avoid Credit Counseling

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A nonsensical press release just out by Debt Consolidation USA warning consumers about credit counseling seems odd to say the least. Let’s go with the assumption the reason for this release was just to try and score some SEO points or something like that. The release refers to an article on their website titled “Reasons to Avoid Credit Counseling.” – ... Read More »

CrossCountry Mortgage Mailer Offering New Loan and Debt Refi – Review

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CrossCountry Mortgage is sending out offers for mortgage using the Making Home Affordable logo and offering quick closing loans. I certainly do have to give CrossCountry a hat tip on some items in the mailer. They did a much better job than you often see in the debt relief space. An amazing reader FitGal send in a recent mailer through ... Read More »

Freedom Debt Relief Out of Colorado

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A tipster (send in your tips here) alerted me to the fact the State of Colorado is now reporting that as of July 1, 2013 Freedom Debt Relief has had their license cancelled or revoked and reports a disciplinary action. Apparently, Freedom is no longer allowed to enroll new Colorado clients, or collect fees from new OR EXISTING Colorado clients. ... Read More »

Why People Have a Tough Time Shopping for Debt Help

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The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia published a paper by Stephanie Wilshusen which made some very enlightened observations about why consumers struggle with getting out of debt. In the paper, “Meeting the Demand for Debt Relief” it describes the options available to borrowers who seek assistance in managing their debts and discusses the information and incentive problems associated with these ... Read More »

Think You Might Owe the CFPB Money in Penalties? Read This.

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Tomorrow the CFPB will publish final rules regarding the collection of money owed to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. It is very possible that fines levied against companies and individuals will fall under the rules. With tougher enforcements to come from the CFPB in the debt relief space, participants should be aware of the powers to collect the CFPB has ... Read More »

Computer Warning Seeking Money Is Scam

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A computer virus that locks up personal computers, and then issues a demand for money from the Department of Justice and the U.S. Courts, is a scam and has no link to the courts or other federal agencies. The virus locks up computers and warns users that they face criminal prosecution unless they pay a fee. Victims should contact the ... Read More »

Debt Collection Form Letters to Stop Debt Collectors in 5 Different Situations

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The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has published five letters consumers can use in certain circumstances to deal with abusive debt collection practices. It is important for consumers to be aware that while these form letters may be helpful, the letters are best used in the right situation and to accomplish a specific task. For example, asking a collector or creditor ... Read More »

Consumer Credit Card Delinquencies Fall to Lowest Level Since 1990

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Consumer delinquencies declined significantly in this year’s first quarter, falling in 11 out of 13 loan categories as consumers more carefully manage their finances, according to results from the American Bankers Association’s Consumer Credit Delinquency Bulletin. The composite ratio, which tracks delinquencies in eight closed-end installment loan categories, fell 29 basis points to 1.70 percent of all accounts in the ... Read More »

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