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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.

Unsecured Consumer Debt Continues to Fall. Bad for Debt Relief Companies.

Dollar Bank Note Downward Trend Arrow

Another month has passed and the Federal Reserve has updated their latest stats. As predicted, the level of consumer debt fell in February at an annual rate of 3.4 percent. Unsecured debt has been the bread and butter of debt relief, debt settlement, and credit counseling companies and while the population grows and unsecured shrinks it puts significantly more pressure ... Read More »

Auto Purchase Goes Wrong and Leaves Widow Holding a Big Mysterious Debt

car loan

In North Carolina a case is meandering it’s way through the courts regarding the purchase of a Jeep and the resulting financial quagmire. If you have some free time to work your way through the document filed, you will wind up scratching your head. It’s confusing enough the consumer is named Hester and the car dealership was Vester but keep ... Read More »

Do Debt Relief Companies Violate the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act?

surprise

For some time the esoteric argument of debt relief companies putting debt outside the statute of limitations in a credit counseling or debt settlement program, has been bantered about. But a recent twist to this otherwise academic discussion has put a new emphasis on this issue. A Seventh Circuit court opinion found that debt collectors’ letters to consumers offering to ... Read More »

Department of Education Wants to Make Schools Accountable for Cost

Feedback

The Department of Education is proposing new rules tomorrow that would make for-profit colleges, universities and schools be more responsible for the education and cost of that education provided to students in programs which prepare student for gainful employment. The government is concerned a number of these postsecondary educational programs are neither accountable nor transparent to students enrolling in these ... Read More »

More Mortgage Rescue Idiots Headed to Jail

mans hands behind bars in jail or prison

Christy Romero, Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (SIGTARP), and Preet Bharara, United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, today announced that on Wednesday, Isaak Khafizov, a former owner of American Home Recovery (“AHR”), a mortgage loan modification business that operated in New York, was sentenced in Manhattan federal court to nine years in ... Read More »

FTC Beats American Indians, Again

Run away. Here comes the FTC!

The poor American Indians get no respect. First they lose the continent, their land, and then this payday loan court battle. Actually the last one they should have lost. U.S. District Judge Finds that FTC Can Sue Deceptive Payday Loan Business Regardless of American Indian Tribal Affiliation Defendants behind AMG Services Had Argued That Tribal Affiliation Exempts Them from Federal ... Read More »

Scott Law Group Adds GreenByPhone to List

law books

The Scott Law Group, that Washington state legal firm that has sued a number of debt relief companies, has added a new name to this big list, GreenByPhone, Inc. But apparently these folks were involved in an action with J Hass Group, a name debt relief industry people should recognize. According to the Scott Law Group: On March 14, 2014, ... Read More »

Florida Clears Clouded Fidelity Land Trust Deeds for Consumers

Searching-right

The State of Florida has taken action to undo all the titles assigned to Florida company Fidelity Land Trust, a company that has been in the news here. FLT had been selling consumers a program they billed as a way to clear the mortgage on a Florida home. According to a recent article by Kimberly Miller of the Palm Beach ... Read More »

Why Most Student Loan Debt Advice is Bad or Just Wrong

money down the drain narrow

As a consumer debt expert it is exceedingly frustrating hearing from people all around the country on a daily basis who are seeking good help for their student loan troubles, only to get really bad advice, or worse, ripped off. The scammers are ahead of the experts on selling student loan solutions. It’s not unusual at all for me hear ... Read More »

FTC Nails Debt Collectors With Court Order

ftc

Defendants Behind Buffalo, New York-based Operation Misrepresented They Were with the Government and Threatened Consumers with Arrest and Other Legal Action At the request of the Federal Trade Commission, a U.S. district court halted a debt collection operation that the agency charged with violating the Federal Trade Commission Act and the Fair Debt Collection Act by misrepresenting that they were ... Read More »

Consumer Assistance Project Not Loved by Connecticut

connecticut

Here is what the Connecticut Department of Banking says: IN THE MATTER OF: LAW OFFICES OF TIMOTHY MCCABE, P.A. (“McCabe”) CONSUMER ASSISTANCE PROJECT, CORP f/k/a BACK OFFICE LAW PROJECT, CORP (“Consumer Assistance Project”) McCabe is a former attorney with offices at 30 S. M. Street, Lake Worth, Florida, and 1350 E. Newport Center Drive, Suite 100, Deerfield Beach, Florida. Consumer ... Read More »

AmeriFree Says I Got It All Wrong

happy woman in wheelchair outdoors beach showing victory sign

In a recent article “Why Isn’t AmeriFree Licensed in Their Own State?” a reader asked why AmeriFree did not appear to be registered to offer debt relief services in Arizona. As I said in the article, I had previously reached out to AmeriFree for a statement or response and heard nothing. Well today I have. A John Corey said, “AmeriFree ... Read More »

Selling You a BS Copy of Your Deed Gets Pissy

afraid alone

Recently I wrote about a BS mailer from some company called Record Transfer Service and it was called a Deed Processing Notice. My objection was the mailer was offering consumers a copy of their deed, many can get online for free. Well it seems the bad blood of this effort extended back to 2012 when one party, Secured Document Services ... Read More »

Continued Downward Pressure In Debt Relief Demand

Mature woman confused

The latest round of statistics is out showing what consumers are doing when it comes to debt. On the surface it appears the amount of debt is going up and that’s good news for credit counselors and debt settlement companies. A closer inspection though continues the gloom forecast for such services. While consumer debt is up, revolving debt, the bread ... Read More »

United Credit Consultants Says the Darndest Things

oops

In a story I’ve been working on for a bit, United Credit Consultants in Minnesota had said something in a press release that caught the attention of readers who brought it to my attention. It seems United Credit Consultants was saying they had FICO certified negotiators who could provide debt settlement service. But not only did UCC wind up with ... Read More »

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