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Is This Consumer Debt Hardship Initiative a Scam? – Peter

“Dear Steve,

I recently got a letter that makes me wonder if this is something I should do.

1050 Connecticut Ave.
Washington, DC 20036
United states Of America

RE: HR 5140
Consumer Debt Hardship Initiative

They said I was eligible for hardship programs created in conjuntion with the Consumer Debt Hardship Initiative of 2009 and listed one of my debt.

The phone number is 1-877-811-1409.


Dear Peter,

I called the phone number and it was answered by Credit Relief Today, possibly the debt settlement firm of the same name. They could not tell me what they do or what I would “qualify” for without a case number that appears on the letter. All very fishy. There is no reason why a legitimate company can’t tell you what they do when asked nicely.

But I really think they are a collection company that is sending out notices in an attempt to collect a debt. The case number must actually relate to a debt they are trying to collect. This is why they can’t tell me what they do or what I qualify for based on a debt situation.

Let me assure you, there is NO government program that allows you to reduce your debt. The program the letter references has nothing to do with relieving consumer debt. The program is H.R. 5140 and is known as the Recovery Rebates and Economic Stimulus for the American People Act of 2008.

The package includes two major components: rapid tax rebates for American households and tax incentives for businesses to invest, as well as provisions increasing the size of home mortgage loans that the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) can insure and that the quasi-governmental enterprises Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac can purchase. – Source

This program appears to be nothing more than a sales attempt to sell you a debt settlement program or collect a debt under false pretenses.

READ  I Got a Letter About National Certified Debt Relief. Is it a Scam? - LeRoy

Once person on the net posted the following information:

…so I called them and was able to get a email address from someone and this allowed me to hack into their not very secure email server. they are a fraud debt collection and skip trace company. They have so many spread sheets they update all the time with so many people personal and SSN its evidence what they are doing. let alone the emails going back and forth between their staff and other office around the country. Which are not very big and most seem to be “boiler room” type collections. They record all calls and are trying to find you and put you into a payment system. In reading a lot of their emails they literally make fun of the “dumbshits” who are paying them and think this is a legitimate Economic Stimulus Act provision. and if they have your SSN they can and will pull your credit for any and all reasons. – Source

I would be most appreciative if you could scan and upload a copy of the letter to me so I could see it. You can upload it here.

If anyone gets a letter from these folks, DO NOT CALL THEM.

Please update me on your progress by posting updates here in the comments section of your question. I’m very interested in how this works out for you.


You are not alone. I'm here to help. There is no need to suffer in silence. We can get through this. Tomorrow can be better than today. Don't give up.

P.S. Be sure to read ‘The Secret of Surviving Through Difficult Economic Times. What I Learned On My Journey‘.

About the author

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.


  • Discontinue contacting me! Your not going to get red cent from me so again leave the fuck alone.Dont .contact me if I need help Ill contace a legentament Co. Of MY CHOICE!!!

  • I received a phone call during the middle of class. The number was from 8327865520. When I heard it was from a student loan debt relief, I hung up the phone. He called immediately back twice, then I put the number on auto-reject, which was followed by an voicemail. Once in my classroom there was an email from the same guy that I hung up on. [email protected]. I decided to do some research.

  • I am fearful that my daughter is being taken by an attorney in Lake Worth, Florida by the name of Michael Van Cleve who also owns Consumer Hardship Foundation. She needs to get her payments reduced somewhat as she is presently 2 months behind. This lawyer wants her to not pay her house payments and send that money to him to pay his 1200. dollar fee. This sounds too incestous of a relationship for me. I don’t think they are doing no more than what she could do herself. I know there is a company here in Indpls that does not charge anything to do the same things, but I don’t know their name.

    • Sue, this company is a fraud. They have impersonated me, stolen my identity, and have committed fraud all across the nation. The Florida Bar and law enforcement are helping me investigate. Please, please contact me immediately at [email protected]. You can also call me at 334-233-8842. Or, you can contact the Florida Bar at 850-561-5639. Ask for Karen Brown. Thank you!

  • These are just debt consolidation company. They negotiate your settlement with credit card companies, medical debts, and other forms of debt and they basically make a plan to have you debt free in X years. This all sounds fantastic….however…your credit score would initially go down making you ineligible for mortgages, or even something as small as renting a car. If you can pull through the X amount of years you would be debt free and your debt would be shown as paid off, returning you to a good credit score. 

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