A hero reader with a debt relief company sent in a recent mailer for National Distressed Asset Relief Program they received on behalf of a client. The mailer fine print says it is somehow related to a law firm but makes no mention of the firm.
The claims in the mailer give the recipient the impression they have just received a government check and this is related to the National Distressed Asset Relief Program or DARP as they call it. Shouldn’t that actually be NDARP for an acronym? Why yes it should. Idiots.
I think DARP should actually stand for – Don’t Actually Respond to Program.
The mailer is below.
The mailer has telephone number 866-661-8340 on it and gives messages of urgency on it. It also mentions a program which does not exist in government circles. There is no such thing as the National Distressed Asset Relief Program from a official point of view.
The mailer makes claims that appear to have been made illegal by the FTC Telemarketing Sales Rules for debt relief a couple of years ago. The performance claims are unsubstantiated and the statement that there is an immediate reduction in payments is problematic because this is not done in cooperation with creditors.
The claim that this program avoids costly debt management programs is curious since this appears to be a debt management program. Is it selling against itself?
The claim it avoids negative public records seems deceptive and misleading as well since if you stop paying creditors what they are expecting they can sue you and that can result in a public record.
I can envision a number of people who get this mailer to think the check is real. It even says it is check 4208 and the back of it looks exactly like most valid checks on first glance.
The back of the bogus mailer which may confuse and deceive consumers contains the following message that leads me to believe this is a lead generating mailer for an attorney model debt settlement firm.
The fine print says:
Do You Have a Question You'd Like Steve to Answer? Click Here.
It is important for you to know that you are not alone. We know it is a difficult situation you are dealing with. Our customer service representatives are highly trained and sensitive to your needs in order to console you though this difficult time.
[Console you – seriously, WTF.]
You must be experiencing a Financial Hardship in order to qualify. Enrollment is limited. This letter is an advertisement that provides consumer leads to debt resolution providers and law firms. The hiring of a law firm is an important decision and should not be based solely on advertisements. The retention of a client is subject to review and qualification by the aw firm. No representation is made that the quality of the legal services to be performed is greater than the quality of legal services performed by other lawyers. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. Not available in all states. Additional information is available upon request. Any proposed settlement quotes are based on clients who have actually completed settlements and not based on every single client who has enrolled in the program. Individual results vary and are dependent on ability to save funds and successful completion of law firms program.
So they even appear to admit a couple of things in this language. First, the say it is a settlement program. Second, they admit the claims made are not representative of all people who enroll in the program, only the successful clients.
In my book that’s deceptive.
The envelope says it was mailed from zip code 95813 under permit 1297.
If you receive this mailing you may want to consider filing a complaint with the United States Postal Inspection Service.
You’ve Got to Ask Yourself
If this was a legit and well intended mailer then why doesn’t the company that sent it even identify themselves?
It’s all cloaked in less than earnest performance claims, a fake check, a fake program, and an anonymous sender. This one stinks.