Some may feel I’m just some hack with a laptop but I actually make a concerted effort to report on the debt relief industry factually and accurately. Additionally, I enjoy answering reader questions and share my experience in the debt relief world since 1990.
I received permission from Branden Millstone to add this comment from Rescue One about the information below.
“[Rescue One] had a brief affiliate relationship with Arete earlier this year, but terminated that agreement in July as we decided to no longer operate in the student loan debt relief space.
Currently, clients that carry student loan debt are referred to SoFi to see if they are eligible to refinance or get a lower rate. The recent action against Arete did not impact our business operations.”
Original Post Below
But I’ve run into a situation that is unusual in my reporting and I would greatly appreciate your feedback in the comments and your vote in the survey below.
I receive tips (send in your tips here) and they are often from debt relief company insiders. Some of those tips actually get published when I have source material to support the claims. Some of the tips are in the form of guest posts I publish from the person sharing the information. See this, this, and this.
Recently I received information regarding Rescue One Financial and some relationship with the targeted company Arete Financial Freedom over student loan issues. By the way, the court just approved the Preliminary Injunction against Arete Financial Freedom and the rest of the named parties.
The allegations made to me by the insider were not fully supported by the material furnished to me. So I reached out to Rescue One to ask for clarification. After all, the answer could be innocent. I’m not going to repeat the allegations made since I can’t confirm them.
I sent an email on December 16th to the people labeled as Rescue One Financial Owners on the company roster I received as part of the tipster data dump. By the way, all the Rescue One owner email addresses are for Simple Path Financial spfin.com.
My Email to Rescue One Owners
“I apologize for the group email but I want to make sure I reach a management person who can respond and answer some questions for me before I publish my post on GetOutOfDebt.org. I always strive to be accurate in my reporting.
I have received information showing Rescue One appearing to service or sell/resell the Arete Student Loan services that were recently shut down and a receiver appointed.
What is not clear, and I want to make sure I report on this accurately, is the relationship between Rescue and Arete. How did the action against Arete impact Rescue?
Can someone please respond in the next few days with a statement, answers or quote I can include describing the relationship to readers.
Below are some images from the dump of material I have showing Rescue.
A [XX] is identified in the material I have received and I believe it is [XX] from Rescue One. Since she is specifically named this is why I have copied her on this email so she is aware.
And for the record, I know we have a history with all the Brad Smith fake lawsuit negative SEO stuff ( https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/volokh-conspiracy/wp/2017/05/17/more-apparently-fake-defendant-libel-lawsuits-aimed-at-vanishing-material-from-google/ and https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/volokh-conspiracy/wp/2016/10/10/dozens-of-suspicious-court-cases-with-missing-defendants-aim-at-getting-web-pages-taken-down-or-deindexed/ ) but I absolutely don’t have any animosity, ill will, grudge, agenda, or anything else against Rescue One. All I ask is we can avoid that silliness moving forward.
Do You Have a Question You'd Like Steve to Answer? Click Here.
If I ever publish anything about Rescue One that you want your voice heard on, just send it to me and I’ll add it. Alternatively, I always have this form on the site https://getoutofdebt.org/report-an-error”
As of the moment of publishing this, I have not received a response from Rescue One Financial. Nothing.
And here is where it gets really difficult in not receiving a response from Rescue One. Does the material I received allegedly just show they were an outsourced partner for the Arete Financial Freedom student loan program shut down by the Federal Trade Commission or does it show something more intertwined or organized? I don’t know and Rescue One won’t help clear up the question.
A “we were just a contracted backend partner” means the material I received could be totally innocent and can just be ignored and not published. But what does no response mean?
Your Vote Really Matters
So I’d love to get your feedback on this issue and bring you into the decision loop on how to handle the material I have. Please comment below and/or complete the survey below. Welcome to how I agonize over these things.