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Debt-Agency.us, Debt-Experts.net and TheConsumerStandard.com Running ‘Deceptive’ Stimulus Debt Settlement Advertisements

Yesterday I came across a link to http://theconsumerstandard.com/v1/debt.php which took me to the page below.

The Consumer Standard Debt Settlement Advertisement

What struck me about the advert was how it made it appear there was some new federal or state law that allowed people for a limited time to reduce their debt by 50%. The link at the bottom of the page “Reforms to Protect American Credit Card Holders” actually linked to a White House page, here, only furthering potential consumer confusion.

Let’s look at the message on the page. Keep in mind I looked at this page on 4/14/2010 so the tells me I only have one day to act.

Recent revisions to state and federal laws will allow you to legally cut your debts in half. For this limited time, anyone can renegotiate their entire debt down to 50% of what they currently owe and make just one simple monthly payment. Act now because this program expires 4/15/2010.

Let’s dissect that statement and see how much is true.

  1. Recent revisions to state and federal laws will allow you to legally cut your debts in half. – Not true
  2. For this limited time, anyone can renegotiate their entire debt down to 50% of what they currently owe and make just one simple monthly payment. – Not true
  3. Act now because this program expires 4/15/2010. – Not true

So I clicked on the button and was taken to the page below.

Debt-Agency.us Lead Form

Here the confusion only continues for the consumer. At the top of the page it says in big letters, “Stimulus Package” but can you read what it says in the really tiny print at the bottom of the page? Click on the graphic above and see if looking at a larger version helps.

The small print actually says “Not associated with the federal government or the American Reinvestment and Renewal Act.” So the disclaimer means that some people thought this was affiliated with a government program or it appears to be associated with a government program, or that the company thought people would be confused to believe it did.

The privacy policy on the Debt-Agency.us says the site is owned by a debt settlement company called Debt ExpertsSource. The Debt-Experts.net site says their nameservers are run by LeadsAccelerize.com. I’m three layers deep on lead generators and I don’t even know who the debt settlement provider is here. How would the consumer know who in the world these ads were for?

Debt-Agency.us is owned by:
Dave Stewart [email protected]
Accelerize New Media
204 Riverside
Newport Beach, CA 92663

800 Credit Card Debt

And I went to LeadsAccelerize.com and it led me back to 800 Credit Card Debt (source) that has this disclaimer on the bottom through the more link:

Company Disclaimer: Not available in all states. This message is brought to you by 800 Credit Card Debt which is a matching service for various debt options. 800 Credit Card Debt does not provide any type of loans, mortgage financing, credit card services, debt reduction or settlement services, tax services, or any other financial services or advice. 800 Credit Card Debt provides referrals to unrelated third party financial companies. 800 Credit Card Debt makes no representations or warranties concerning the qualifications or performance of these third-party companies. When you contact 800 Credit Card Debt we will attempt to understand your situation as you explain it to us, and suggest or match you to possible options. By calling and providing your personal information, you agree that your personal information may be collected and transferred to a company that may be able to assist you. You agree that you will perform your own due diligence in reviewing whether any option presented is sufficient and suitable for your personal situation, comfort and risk tolerance level. Individual results may vary based on ability to save sufficient funds, and complete all program terms. Program does not assume or pay any debts, promise a specific reduction in debt, or provide legal or tax advice. Program is not available in all states, please request, read and understand all terms prior to enrollment in any financial program. By providing your contact information, you agree to receive return telephone calls, emails or other communications from Program and its affiliates and expressly waive any “No Call” preference or registration.

These are no small text ads, these are large full page ads that consumers see and that in my opinion, are deceptive and can lead to confusion that there is some government plan or agency that for a limited time will help you cut your debt in half. That’s simply not true.

And then we run into the issue with layers and layers of lead agencies. Who is the ultimate end provider of services here and as a consumer how would I be able to tell who I might be referred to if I’m never told who that is?


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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.

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