Debt Relief Industry Marketing

National Debt Resolution Repeatedly Stands Behind 40% Settlement Rate Claim

It is absolutely no secret that I secret shop in my research. I respond to a lot of online ads to see the type of material and claims they make. The reality is I just don’t have the time to write about every non-compliant claim I hear from sales reps but this one is a doozy and clearly not in compliance with sales rules regarding the sale of debt relief services.

The highlighted section of the email was the way they sent it. I didn’t do that.

Okay, so I took the challenge. Let’s see how “in compliance” they were I thought. So I asked, “What kind of results should I expect from your program?”

The response, “However, our average is a 40% settlement rate. We can get as low as 20/25% depending on your creditors and your situation.”

I felt bad for the guy since he so badly flubbed up that answer and essentially promised me a 40% settlement rate, so I ask him to clarify the statement hoping he’d correct his error. “Does that mean the typical client gets a 40% average settlement or that the settlements you obtain are a 40% average?”

Sales representative says, “That means that you would more than likely be paying back about 40% of what you owe your creditor. Let me give you a quick example. If you owe a creditor $1000, we will negotiate to bring that balance down to about $400. Once you have saved $400 we will finalize that settlement for the discounted amount of $400. Leaving a zero balance.”

So while the company sends out emails proclaiming and giving consumers the impression they are “in compliance” when it comes to just the basic issue of fairly representing their services to consumers, it appears they clearly are not.

But in the interest of fairness, I would welcome the company to post independently audited facts and data that supports the typical client receives a 40% settlement offer. The FTC is very clear that marketing representations made cannot be of those clients that may settle but must represent the results obtained by all consumers enrolled.

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I can’t help but to quote the red section of the initial email. “There are still many companies that are trying to get around this new law.” Apparently so.

Even the website of National Debt Resolution appears to make the same 40% claim on their home page when they say, “Use Debt Settlement to Reduce Your Balances up to 60%.”

NationalDebtResolution archive.

Sincerly,
Steve

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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.

4 Comments

  • These companies are sales companies & surely they will sell… While the pitch my not be compliant in detail, I hear much much worse. 40% is reasonable for clients that make regular deposits and complete a typical program in a “reasonable” amount of time. I understand the FTC rule but even I wouldnt brand it as entirely fair as written. Every debtor’s situation is different- how far behind, how large the debt, state laws…. To say that settlements received on average are __% isn’t such a stretch.
    I have no idea who NDR is & if they WERE one of the thousands of hucksters charging up front for their service then that 40% figure may well have only served 10% of their clients in the past. If their clients are now saving money from day 1- it could well serve 70% overall. The average settlement we accept is in the low thirties… I still have a hard time wrapping my brain around a good way to say it- especially when the question is posed. We typically tell prospective clients that if they qualify and things remain consistent, a good rule of thumb is that they will likely pay about half of what they owe to get through the DS process. I always tell them that we will do our best (and we will), but that there are no promises; That it is not an exact science.
    I’m not so sure that NDR is flagrantly deceiving prospects there… like a lot of others.
    Damon- My vote for #1 Consumer Debt Settlement Company”…. Legal Helpers Debt Resolution! Oh, wait… they aren’t a DS company. Oh well.

  • These companies are sales companies & surely they will sell… While the pitch my not be compliant in detail, I hear much much worse. 40% is reasonable for clients that make regular deposits and complete a typical program in a “reasonable” amount of time. I understand the FTC rule but even I wouldnt brand it as entirely fair as written. Every debtor’s situation is different- how far behind, how large the debt, state laws…. To say that settlements received on average are __% isn’t such a stretch.
    I have no idea who NDR is & if they WERE one of the thousands of hucksters charging up front for their service then that 40% figure may well have only served 10% of their clients in the past. If their clients are now saving money from day 1- it could well serve 70% overall. The average settlement we accept is in the low thirties… I still have a hard time wrapping my brain around a good way to say it- especially when the question is posed. We typically tell prospective clients that if they qualify and things remain consistent, a good rule of thumb is that they will likely pay about half of what they owe to get through the DS process. I always tell them that we will do our best (and we will), but that there are no promises; That it is not an exact science.
    I’m not so sure that NDR is flagrantly deceiving prospects there… like a lot of others.
    Damon- My vote for #1 Consumer Debt Settlement Company”…. Legal Helpers Debt Resolution! Oh, wait… they aren’t a DS company. Oh well.

  • I like the tag line at the bottom “The #1 Consumer Debt Settlement Company”. Everyone says that they are the best, or the top or number 1. Who is doing the judging? Just once I would like to see someone say, something like “the 23rd best debt settlement company”.

  • I like the tag line at the bottom “The #1 Consumer Debt Settlement Company”. Everyone says that they are the best, or the top or number 1. Who is doing the judging? Just once I would like to see someone say, something like “the 23rd best debt settlement company”.

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