Debt Relief Industry Forecasts and Trends Marketing

Debt Relief Providers to See General Slowdown Until Credit Loosens

As part of what I’m seeing out in the debt relief world, the demand for debt relief services in general is slowing for everybody in the debt relief space.

It’s been interesting to watch credit counseling blame debt settlement, and debt settlement blame bankruptcy and bankruptcy blame everyone for the lower demand for services.

I just posted an article on lower bankruptcy filings for the tail of 2010 from the year before and I expect to see filings, when compared for the same time period last year, drop.

Jay Fleishman, a bankruptcy attorney that helps other bankruptcy attorneys market their practices just told me “Lots of my consumer bankruptcy lawyer colleagues are in slowdown mode and have been for some time.” On Twitter (@JayFleishman) he said “Too many lawyers flooded the field when the recession hit. So now people are just broke and angry.”

This just reinforces what I’ve been saying.

My opinion is it’s time for good debt relief to stop sinking money into finding just those few consumers that match your niche solution and instead widen your solution base to serve all the consumers that contact you.

With a falling number of consumers that need bankruptcy, debt settlement, or credit counseling; trying to compete just for your niche client is only going to get more expensive since acquisition costs will remain steady or increase as the demand for the smaller audience of consumers who need X solution, falls.

The irony is that while many debt settlement companies are angry and blame regulation and the government for killing their industry, the fact is the shrinking demand for services was doing that already. Consumers that are stone broke don’t have money for repayment solutions. The most at risk solution to this slowdown is probably credit counseling that provides little to no monthly payment reduction.

Debt relief services will always be needed but until credit begins to loosen up and consumers start absorbing new debt, expect demand for debt relief help to only continue to trend downward.


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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.


  • Mike I agree with you 100%!! This site is very good @ pointing out abuses & is so eager to attack their own industry soley so they can offer services through their affiliates that advertise on this site! The video was horrible!! All it did was mislead people who really need help & cause fear which is what Steve is a master at! Steve created this site for 1 reason!! So he can make his fortune creating hits on his site! I read another post where he was arguing with another person who pointed out what Steve’s motivations are. In that post Steve was telling this guy when Steve did debt settlement that they charged $495 per account & that it was so much better than other models who charge upfront for the same service! The guy pointed out that the average debt on an account is around $2,000 & charging $495 per account is equal to charging the client 25% & Steve was jumping up & down saying how bad it was to charge between 10% to 15% upfront for the exact same service! Debt Settlement is debt settlement regardless of how someone collects fees! Me personally would much rather pay 10% to 15% upfront than 25% later. The key is what service is provided not how the fees are collected! Unless you are Steve then, say whatever it takes to scare people into using his affiliates! Steve promotes what is good for him & his affilaites, not what is good for the consumer! BTW he never commented back to the guy about gouging people @ 25% he just rambled on picking on the guy because he had to lay off all of his employees!

  • The data I am referring to is in Google Trends. And I used the top 10 KW’s as well, more than likely very similar to what you are referring to (Debt settlement, relief, “long-tail KW’s”).

    However, I do realize that there were a ton of people in the industry searching “debt settlement” and thus, increasing the search volume. I’m going to check some other sources because I’m not too familiar with the reliability of Google Trends, but this is what the data says.

  • That’s very interesting but not the data I’m seeing

    Those who left the business are no longer advertising, hence fewer searches and web traffic from those initiatives.

    Not really what Steve was alluding to, but I get it. I’m not a big fan of waiting around for folks to reach out to different media advertisements. I’m working a sizable SEO initiative at the moment and have been for more than 6 months with one of the largest and most respected players in the space. All indications suggest a flat to minimal decline. I’m talking the top 10 trophy keywords/phrases on down! We have seen several changes in the search terms because of the recent changes. People are searching differently!

    Just an FYI

  • Mike,

    There are a lot of companies that have left, but traffic and search demand for the industry has peaked in 2009. 2010 saw a steady drop and since Nov 2010 to now it is lower than it’s been since 2008. I believe this is what Steve is referring too?

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