Debt Relief Industry

Can Churchill Debt Settlement Claims be Substantiated or Believed?

Written by Steve Rhode

Update February 3, 2016

I would like to publicly thank Brian Robinson from Churchill for sending in the following statement. Clearly it appears the company has grown a lot since this article was originally posted. It takes a company with a good heart to admit they made a mistake and learned from it.

“In 2010 we had just opened our doors and as the founder of the company, I was eager to get our name out there and wrote a press release in a fury. The content of the press release was controversial, especially given the tumultuous environment the debt management industry had stirred up at the time. Any public remarks about the efficacy of debt management were put under a microscope, as they should have been given the new FTC laws put in place. Since the FTC banned up front fees and kept a more watchful eye on the debt management industry, it benefited the industry immeasurably. Many of the bad companies offering no real product no longer have a business model and have since disappeared or have gone out of business. The companies that have dedicated themselves to servicing clients honorable and ethically, while collecting fees on a performance basis only, have remained since the FTC decisions. (while I do acknowledge there are still some exceptions.)

With that said, I wanted to provide an update to Steve’s website and let everyone know how we progressed since the original post about us was written. But first, I want to acknowledge that I regret the way I originally reacted to Steve’s “inquisition” regarding my company’s intentions and abilities. I took his posting questioning our 60% debt reduction claim as a personal and unfounded attack and responded unprofessionally, rather than address the exact issues at hand. Given the atmosphere at the time, Steve had the right to question the claims of debt management companies.

Since 2010, Churchill had come a long way with a strong dedication to compliance and consumer results. Our initial proclamation that we are committed to reducing our clients debt up to 60% has been proven accurate now that we have a log of historical results, albeit, the way in which we advertised it in 2010 was done hastily. More than 5 years later we have matured as a company with a multi member debt arbitration team as well as built in compliance. We are accredited with the Better Business Bureau which includes a commitment to take very seriously any consumer complaints as well as conduct ourselves in a consistently professional manner, including the way in which we advertise.

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I wish to extend my gratitude to Steve for letting me submit an update with regards to Churchill, and I am open any questions. My email is: [email protected]

Best Regards,
Brian Robinson”

Original Post

So this press release comes across my desk.

Churchill Debt Settlement is Compliant with FTC Regulations

Churchill Debt Settlement is committed to the ethical resolution of unsecured credit card accounts by 60%. Churchill is fully FTC compliant as well as registered with the International Association of Professional Debt Arbitrators.

New York, NY, December 02, 2010 –(PR.com)– President of Churchill Debt Settlement, Brian J. Robinson says, “Credit Card practices in the United States are set up to deceive consumers.” On this premise, it is Churchill’s mission to ethically relieve consumers of credit card and other unsecured debt. Churchill Debt Settlement operates in a straight forward manner to alleviate the financial pressure forced on consumers through the questionable and deliberately misleading practices of bank lending.

Churchill Debt Settlement is a remarkable innovator at the forefront of debt settlement and debt control. In offering debt settlement, Churchill provides an intelligent option to help consumers avoid bankruptcy and secure their financial future. A secure future opens the door for college funds, a safe retirement, and most importantly freedom. Churchill can help you take control of your financial future. Call today for a free consultation.

Thomas Rosch, Commissioner of the Federal Trade Commission, recognized recently that “debt settlement is a viable and needed service for consumers.”

MEMBER: IAPDA – Source

My very favorite line from the release has to be “Churchill Debt Settlement is committed to the ethical resolution of unsecured credit card accounts by 60%.”

By that very statement Churchill Debt Settlement is not compliant with FTC regulations. The first line!

And then there is the issue of taking the statement of Commissioner Rosch out of context to promote their services, failing to mention the widespread problems the FTC found with many debt settlement players.

Too bad Churchill Debt Settlement didn’t read this before they put out their release.

So of course I had to go look at their site after than bonehead move they pulled. I seriously doubt that the FTC will find their statement about being a leader in credit card debt relief is true either.

And then there is this issue of what I would call, being untruthful on their FAQ page about bankruptcy. They make negative statements about bankruptcy but do not compare them to the solution they are offering. Apparently trying to talk consumers out of bankruptcy and into their program.

Should I just file bankruptcy:

The negative effect of bankruptcy will stay with you for years to come. Before making any decisions, make sure to be educated in all of them. Here are some of the facts about bankruptcy:

  • Bankruptcy can cost up to $2,500 to file plus additional attorney’s fees. [How much does their service cost?]
  • Chapter 13 has a 5% trustee fee for the administration. [Which is paid out of the funds the consumer can afford to pay and not on top of like a credit card debt relief program.]
  • Chapter 13 bankruptcy the court decides what you can pay. [Actually the bankruptcy laws determine what is reasonable and affordable after taking into account exemptions and deductions.]
  • Bankruptcy may hurt your chances when applying for a job in security or financial services [In very limited situations. But debt settlement can do the very same thing. In fact the U.S. military says bankruptcy will not hurt your chances to get a security clearance while being behind on your debts like in a debt settlement program can.]
  • Bankruptcy will likely result in higher interest rates on future loans and credit. [So will their program.]
  • Bankruptcy carries a negative stigma, emotional stress, and other burdens. [So does being sued, wage garnishments, and the poor credit that can result from their program.]
  • Chapter 7 bankruptcy is more difficult to qualify for since the change in bankruptcy laws in 2005. [Not true. More than 70% of bankruptcy filings are Chapter 7.]
  • Chapter 13 bankruptcy usually requires the payback of all of your debt according to your ability to pay as determined by the bankruptcy court and a judge. [Not true. Chapter 13 usually does NOT require that.]Source

And then a quick check of New York to see if they were a licensed budget planner to offer services, legally, and guess what, they are not listed as a licensed agency. – Source. [See comments below. After investigation, they are not required to be licensed. Would have been nice if they could have stated so.]

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Churchill Debt Settlement Site 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.

64 Comments

  • Hi Steve,

    Can you remove this please? You nailed us with this when we just opened up and it still shows up near the top of our Google searches every time. We are starting with a disadvantage with every client we attempt to enroll. This was six years ago when we had just opened up. Our company has conducted itself very professionally and we have provided our clients with positive results in a compliant manner. We are asking respectfully, that you take this post down. You made your point in 2010, yet we are still paying for this….

  • I have a relative that has over $90,000 in credit card debt (132 cards), while being mortaged at about 60% of the value of the property. Her finance charges are over $1200. Churchill is telling her she can pay $800 a month and be out of debt in 4 years. Her income is $700 a month (SS disability) + $1000 from her mothers SS.  I believe bankruptcy is her only option.

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