United Debt Counselors just sent out a press release which hit my news feed. United Debt says they’ve been helping people for “over half a decade.” Congratulations on making it five years. Aren’t these the same folks who were United Debt Services and then United Debt Counselors?
I’ll post the full press release below but the part that caught my attention was: “In the past, clients have sought debt relief services to either avoid the high cost of bankruptcy or to settle debts they owe.”
I wonder if the FTC would see this as a gross misrepresentation of the settlement United Debt Counselors signed with the FTC?
Now look, a bit of hyperbole in a sales pitch is okay but to say that bankruptcy has a high cost to be avoided would simply not be correct. Mathematically speaking, bankruptcy is the fastest way out of debt for the least amount of money. Besides, people who file bankruptcy do better than those who don’t.
It appears in reading the entire press release, again below, the big announcement is United Debt’s innovative approach is “explaining terms and conditions of services, providing an estimate of the fees charged for services provided, explaining the process of debt settlement, and explaining what could happen if debt settlement services are not completed.”
Look, if I misread the release, post a comment and correct me.
UDC also links to this other press release which appears to state they are charging advance fees by trying to get around the Telemarketing Sales Rules with a face-to-face meeting. Otherwise, why would they say, “Although most UDC customers sign up for services after a face-to-face meeting, in some instances, they sign up over the phone. In such situations where a customer signs up with UDC without an in-person meeting, no fees will be collected until United Debt Counselors settles or reduces the customer’s debt and the first payment on such reduction is made to a creditor.” – Source
The Press Release That Caught My Eye
FRISCO, TX–(Marketwired – Apr 24, 2017) – United Debt Counselors (“United Debt” or “UDC”) has been providing debt settlement services for over half a decade. The company has just implemented additional steps to ensure it operates within the regulatory guidelines spelled out by the FTC. Recently, the company has developed new strategies to better assist clients who seek debt relief services, going beyond simply offering an alternative to those considering filing bankruptcy.
Often, a consumer’s main concern is seeking relief from debt and finding a way to avoid bankruptcy. But, the individual needs to have all the information to make an informed decision about the best courses of action for his or her situation. Read on for more information about United Debt offering new services for debt relief clients.
UDC wants all clients to have a good experience. One way to do this is to help clients understand the debt counseling and debt relief. In the past, clients have sought debt relief services to either avoid the high cost of bankruptcy or to settle debts they owe. These services are of great benefit to many people, even if they don’t understand the process. But, by explaining the process step by step, clients can make well informed choices and take the time to consider all options available to them in handling the debts they owe.
Some of the additional steps UDC will take to ensure clients have a positive debt relief experience are explaining terms and conditions of services, providing an estimate of the fees charged for services provided, explaining the process of debt settlement, and explaining what could happen if debt settlement services are not completed. Clients need to understand all the options and potential consequences associated with each. Clients who understand debt settlement services are more likely to follow through on their plans and do so willingly.
Nobody goes through life amassing debt with the thought they don’t have to pay it back. Usually, inexperience with the use of credit cards, the loss of income or job, or some other unforeseen circumstance, creates the financial dilemma of being unable to pay debts back. Some creditors will work with customers to find a reasonable solution. However, some are not as willing and the terms they offer may not work for some situations. This is where debt settlement services can potentially help. The debt relief services work better for most customers if they understand the process and how to avoid similar circumstances in the future.
United Debt offers consumers a way to take care of debt. The company does not hire outside consultants for marketing. This is one of the best ways to avoid false advertising, and prevent potential customers from being misled about debt relief and debt settlement services. The goal is always to retain customers for the long-term. – Source
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