Here is the ironic part, I wasn’t even going to look at this page that appeared in my RSS reader under “debt settlement marketing” but unfortunately, I did, and it pissed me off.
Here is what I saw:
What Are The 5 Advantages Of Using A Debt Settlement Company?
Author : Larry Potter | on 11th Apr 2010
1. Reduce phone calls from creditors and halt creditor harassment and their scare-tactics.
2. The debt settlement company will do the tough debt negotiations for you and help get your debt reduced by 40% – 70%
3. Stay out of bankruptcy which can hurt your credit for 10 years.
4. You make only one low monthly payment instead of all the credit card payments you are making now.
5. You become debt-free much sooner than with debt counseling or debt consolidation programs, often in 12 – 36 months.
Larry G Potter
The link in the ad takes you to a company called Destroy My Debt. and the author details about Larry Potter take you to a page with the following video on it. He obviously appears to be a lead generator.
So let’s get right to the heart of the issue that upset me with the advertisement I saw online. In my opinion it is misleading and deceptive. The heart of the ad says that debt settlement will:
1. Reduce phone calls from creditors and halt creditor harassment and their scare-tactics. – Debt settlement companies, including Larry’s, have no control over creditors to stop creditor calls.
2. The debt settlement company will do the tough debt negotiations for you and help get your debt reduced by 40% – 70% – The FTC has warned consumers to stay away from companies that promise hard and fast discounts because they have no ability to actually predict what a creditor will or won’t accept.
4. You make only one low monthly payment instead of all the credit card payments you are making now. – The lower payment will be a unilateral decision and not approved by the creditors. This will leave the consumer in default, in collections and subject to being sued.
5. You become debt-free much sooner than with debt counseling or debt consolidation programs, often in 12 – 36 months. – The failure rate of debt settlement programs is massive. Only about 1% of all people signed up in a debt settlement program will ever settle all their debts. The reality is that nearly all people participating in this program will NEVER be “debt-free.”
I don’t know Larry Potter from a hole in the ground but his advertisement seems, in my opinion, intended to persuade consumers to believe debt settlement can do things it can’t in order to attract people to his site so he can generate and sell leads. The web site his link takes visitors to (source) clearly says they don’t actually provide services to consumers.
We DO NOT perform, broker, negotiate, collect documents for, or in any way associate with Loan Modifications, Debt Settlement and/or Forensic Audits. We are simply networked with licensed Loan Modification, Debt Settlement and/or Forensic Audit service providers who we will put you into contact with for these services. If you are interested in inquiring about a residential Loan Modification, Debt Settlement and/or Forensic Audit please contact our office at the number above for further details.
Maybe they ought to add, “You are in no way to believe that the statements we make are either, factual, true, or accurate in any way.”
Nobody wins with deceptive and misleading marketing. This is the kind of sketchy advertising that only give the debt settlement industry a black eye and MAKES regulators foam at the mouth to take action.