A debt settlement company forwarded to me a copy of a recent pitch they received from a company called Shielded Circle whose slogan is “Financial Integrity for Life.”
Consumers are already confused by who is doing what in some of the debt settlement contracts. I can’t imagine how confusing it would be to add the layers of options and service on top of a sale.
Just look at what happened with the FBL Associates clients when consumers entered into contracts with a bunch of different vendors. Read the comments on this post.
The complexity in some of these sales is reaching a level where soon we’ll need a mandated Regulation Z box, like for credit cards, that puts the terms in plain English. In fact, that would be a good idea for debt relief providers to actually have. Or how about just simplifying the agreements to a point where they provide transparency and simplicity as has been proposed with credit card agreements?
Here is an example of a simplified credit card agreement that was proposed by designers Siegel+Gale.
Here’s an added value service, make debt relief services simpler to understand. What do you think? Post your comments below.
The Shielded Circle marketing solicitation letter says:
It was a pleasure speaking with you about how the Shielded Circle might be a fit for your situation. Our program is a must-have for settlement companies facing the new FTC Ruling. As I promised, here are more details about the program.
The Shielded Circle is an asset protection and creditor deterrence program that offers unmatched consumer protection from banks, credit card companies, bill collectors, and civil law suits. It is the perfect “front-end” for debt settlement negotiation. We developed the program over seven years and we work constantly improve it. Our program is a powerfully effective tool for helping secure the very best settlements for your clients in the shortest time possible.
Once a client comes on board the three stage program begins. At each stage your clients’ protection and security grow until their discouraged creditors become more than willing to accept settlements that will make you and your customers smile.
SHIELDED CIRCLE EXECUTIVE SUMMARY:
- Allows immediate income to Settlement Company
- Protects clients’ assets from seizure or levy
- Creditors cannot garnish wages
- Collection phone calls answered at our Call Center
- Dunning and Collection Notices responded to by our paralegals
- Reduces Settlement Company administrative overhead
- Improves Settlement Company leverage with Creditors
- Restores clients’ credit score
- FTC Compliant
Phase One— Asset Protection, Privacy, and Creditor Deterrence
As soon as the client joins us we start putting in place an aggressive system of protection against seizure of real and personal assets. The data exchange and recording of the necessary documents takes approximately 4 to 6 weeks.
We immediately take over all communication and contact with creditors. This usually takes care of any imminent threats of legal action and provides the client with enough time to get his asset and garnishment protection set up.
Our service not only relieves customers from having to endure demeaning calls and intimidating notices, but all collection contacts are answered by trained call center operators who know exactly what to say in response to collection efforts.
Our operators don’t have your clients’ personal information; therefore they cannot inadvertently disclose anything creditors don’t already know.
Our paralegal staff, under the supervision our in-house legal counsel, promptly and correctly responds to collection letters, demand notices, law suit threats, and legal documents. Our people insist on full compliance with all debt collection and FTC laws and regulations. That alone is sufficient to discourage many collection agencies.
We answer all collection correspondence, carefully gauging where our clients stand in the process from the type and tone of the letters we are receiving from debt collectors. Our objective is to convince creditors that there are easier targets than our customers for their efforts. We have been very successful at it.
You may find the Shielded Circle response program provides many of the services you have been paying a staff to handle. By teaming up with us you may be able to significantly reduce your overhead and concentrate more resources on sales and settlement negotiations.
When needed, we can put in place our “Secret Weapon”: bulletproof protection against wage garnishment.
Wage garnishment has been the bane of debt settlement companies and the most feared outcome of litigation for clients. While rarely ever needed, the Shielded Circle program can completely protect our clients against this dreaded collection tactic.
But remember, with the earlier stages of our program set up, and the response team working hard at deterrence, it rarely makes much sense for a creditor to sue one of our clients at all. Though we can and do protect against garnishment, we rarely ever have to do so.
Phase Two— Debt Negotiation
Once creditors realize they cannot succeed with forced collection, they become ready to negotiate. You will be there to help. After a few months of difficult correspondence, an investigation of our client’s asset situation, and a sober evaluation of the prospects of recovering enough to make it worth the effort, creditors realize they cannot force payment and cannot garnish wages.
They need a way out and you will be there to provide it for them. Getting 20% of something is better than getting 0% of all they are wishing to get.
It is not uncommon for us to see pay offs between 10% to 20% of the original balance due offered to our clients. In the past year our settlement offer average has been 17%.
Our objective from the start is to convince creditors that their efforts are too time consuming and costly for the recovery they are likely to make. Our program is carefully crafted to achieve that objective.
Once they are worn down by the process and aware of the obstacles to a profitable recovery, creditors are ready to negotiate and move on. They have long lists of debtors who are much weaker and more vulnerable than your clients will be inside the Shielded Circle.
Inserting the Shielded Circle program as a front-end to yours in no way affects your business model. For you, it’s business as usual in full compliance with the new FTC rulings.
Phase Three—Education and Credit Restoration
An integral part of the Shielded Circle program is client membership in the Financial Integrity Institute. The Institute provides the tools and know how to help clients avoid the financial traps that got them in trouble in the first place, meeting the FTC Ruling suggestions. It includes an eleven chapter book called The Busy Family’s Guide to Money, online and traditional Budgeting and Personal Forms, iMoneyQuest, another book called Financial Integrity for Life, over 40 financial educational videos, and many other educational budgeting and money saving items.
And finally we offer our clients a credit score restoration program for making negative credit events disappear from their credit reports. This isn’t simply a list of tips on how to improve credit scores. We work to eliminate reports of negative events completely. If they cannot be seen, they do not affect FICO scores. There are no guarantees, but the program effectively increases FICO credit scores. We have seen improvements of between 60 and 120 points for many of our customers.
Imagine being able to tell your prospects they can stop making payments, protect their assets from seizure (both real estate and personal property), prevent their wages from creditor garnishment, negotiate settlements for 10% – 20%, and still see their credit scores go up! This is what adding the Shielded Circle program to your offerings can do.
Wholesale Prices based on minimum 50 sales per calendar month
Shielded Circle Program includes the following:
- Financial Shield (Customer pays filing fee)
- Privacy and Response Service (Customer pays mail box and forwarding fees)
- Creditor Deterrence
- Virtual Phone Number
- Customer service website with education resources
- Support Ticket functions
- Financial Integrity Institute Membership
- Prepaid Programs include membership the Financial Integrity Institute’s Financial Integrity System for no extra charge.
- Membership is required for Shielded Circle customers on the payment program and is not included with their regular payments.
- Retail one time charge $495. Wholesale $245 Your Margin – $250
Prepaid Membership Pricing
There is no 4 party or larger group pricing. Group enrollments must have a logical connection; e.g. family, close friends, co-workers. The Shielded Circle reserves the right to decide if group memberships will apply to other than family members.
Account Servicing for Prepaid Accounts
Your company collects published retail price from customer, enters enrollment information online and forwards wholesale amount via ACH to Shielded Circle.
Shielded Circle Monthly Membership Pricing Schedule:
If you sell fewer than 50 programs per month, your monthly wholesale price increases by $40 for an individual, $50 for couples, and $60 for three party membership.
Customers may continue their response services after 12 months for a retail price of $148 per month, $128 wholesale, regardless of the group size.
Servicing Monthly Membership Accounts
Shielded Circle handles payment processing after the initial payment (collected by the marketing company) and pays monthly commissions via ACH deposit. When your company reaches 50 program sales in a calendar month, all sales for that month earn the full commission.
Membership, for individuals or couples only, includes:
- $10k lien and preparation of Confession of Judgment (filing fee extra),
- Privacy and Response services (Customer pays for Private Mail Box)
- Customer service website access
- Membership in the Financial Integrity System. (FIS)
- Credit Restoration Education if customer renews for additional 12 months beyond first year.
Renewals are $95 per month after completion of the 12 month membership and include credit restoration services.
The Pathways to Wealth Credit Score Restoration Service is optional after 12 months of membership. Retail cost is $29 per month for an individual and $39 per month for a couple. It is included if they renew continue their response services at $148/month. Credit Score Restoration can take up to 12 months to accomplish.
I hope this answered some of the questions you have about our program. You can call me at 800-294-3724 after you have looked over this information. I look forward to hearing from you soon. – Source
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