Opportunity Debt Management Makes Some Bold Claims That Don’t Add Up

I found the advertisement below for Opportunity Debt Management online yesterday.

It appears to contain the same old messages which the FTC and others have addressed in suits and actions. Opportunity Debt Management appears to make claims that all consumers will become debt free in a few short years, their service will end collection calls, bankruptcy will be avoided, no hits to the credit, etc.

It looks like more of the same old marketing messages the FTC TSR was created to stop. Certainly the benefits promoted are not available to all consumers. And goodness knows what states they are registered in to do business or perform debt relief services. See this FTC publication for more on this.

Their advertisement appeared in Florida but I could not find the company registered to do business in Florida and they do not appear to hold a Florida telemarketing license. In Florida I found Opportunity Debt Management has one complaint in 2011 that was closed unsatisfactorily because the business did not respond.

The BBB gives them an A- minus rating. – Source. That rating seems very generous considering my observations and review below.

The opportunitydebtmanagement.com domain is registered to Christopher Miranda and is a registered company in New Jersey. The company lists their phone number as 800-411-1536 and does not list their physical address on their contact us page. – Source

It appears from their website that the solution primarily marketed is debt settlement and potential clients are referred out to an attorney. The attorney is not identified. They also make mention of consumer credit counseling in their benefit graphic but then go on to say, ” Lenders often consider these programs similar to bankruptcy and you may have a more difficult time re-establishing new credit. Your credit worthiness has a negative 7 to 10 year stain.” – Source. That certainly seems contradictory and could give a consumer they are related to credit counseling in some way.

A review of their explanation of debt relief options found the same old errors and incorrect information others have presented. For example, even though the company prides themselves they are working with an anonymous attorney for debt settlement, they publish information that appears clearly wrong about the only legal debt relief option, bankruptcy.

They say:

Bankruptcy laws have changed and are more restrictive than in the past. [Laws changed in 2005.] New laws favor creditors. [Some favor consumers.] Consumers need to clear certain hurdles before filing, such as undergoing credit counseling via a government-approved agency within 6 months of filing, and a “means test” which qualifies your income as being below a certain amount. [Not accurate.] Bankruptcy can cost you court and attorney fees, [Their solution costs attorney fees.] and it can remain on your credit report for up to 10 years, [Their solution will remain for 7 years like a chapter 13 bankruptcy.] which can make getting a loan very difficult during that time span. [So will bad credit as the result of a settlement.] Once completed, most have a long and difficult path to re-establishing their credit. [Not true.]

Other information presented on this page is just as inaccurate.

My opinion after seeing their ad and reviewing their website is that consumers should consider the following steps.

I’d suggest you first read How to Get Out of Debt. The Honest and Unvarnished Truth and The Truth About The Success Rates, Failure Rates and Completion Rates of Credit Counseling, Debt Settlement, and Bankruptcy. They will give you a great overview of what we need to deal with to get you moving in the right direction.

Then use the free How to Get Out of Debt Calculator to review your options.

And then there is this classic “ouch” claim they make on their site, “Clients generally experience an overall improvement in their credit once the settlement process has been completed.” This kind of language has run into trouble in the past under credit repair statutes.

Finally, they state, “Your creditors are immediately notified by a Power of Attorney letter and Cease and Desist order, that you are a client of the law firm and all correspondence shall go through them.” They appear to not care that a cease and desist letter often triggers lawsuits and that it has no power over the creditor holding the debt, only third party collection companies. – Source

I’m not impressed by what the website for Opportunity Debt Management is telling consumers and feel it is not fair and balanced for consumers to give them fair and accurate information to rely on to make an informed decision.


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