A reader sent me a letter. Yes, one of those things that is printed on paper.
In this letter the reader says they worked for Rescue One Financial and wanted to share information. The allegations made by the reader are disturbing. And if true, in my opinion, would paint a picture of premeditated deception on part of the debt relief companies.
The reader even included copies of what appears to be a marketing piece allegedly used.
See a response from Rescue One Financial, below.
The reader says:
“I am writing this letter to stop deceptive bait & switch tactics used by these companies. Enclosing advertisements targeting over extended consumers in credit, using offers for a preselected loan and then switch into a debt settlement program.
I worked briefly in [xxxxxxx] for this organization, feel it is so deceptive & immoral & unethical. As a religious & devout Christian I cannot stand by & watch consumers mislead into this program, my children & spouse convinced me to write this letter.
The company Rescue One Financial sends out mailers (information released from credit bureaus), market to over extended consumers, promising a unsecured loan from Rescue One Financial to take care of the credit card debts.
Then 24 to 48 hours called back & told by Rescue One they were rejected by over a dozen banks, received consumers file back after they obtain their social security, etc. information.
This company never submits to any underwriting department or bank, information is based from their credit report. After consumer is told bad news, then the good news is they are approved for the only federally mandated debt settlement program & approved by the AFCC in the country. (Freedom Debt Relief located in Arizona)
They market to many states, the bottom line is to enroll as many customers into the debt settlement program even if they cannot afford it. Or even if bankruptcy or credit counseling is a better option. Customers personal information is compromised and discarded in unsecured trash cans.
If you are marketing debt settlement then stop misleading consumers by pretending to represent many banks offer unsecured loans. This is a lie and misleading and taking advantage of consumers who are in financial hardship.
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Time to clean up this industry, get rid of these blood sucking vultures who prey on unsuspecting consumers. I have done my duty, now please do your part.”
Debt Relief Mailer
This first mailer appears to be designed by a company, Logan Ad Group.
I received the following statement from a Bradley Smith who is identified as a Rescue One Financial Branch Manager out of what appears to be California.
I’d like to clarify several items that appeared in your blog post on August 14 where you published a letter from someone claiming to have worked for Rescue One Financial who offered some unkind and untrue remarks about our business practices.
It is unclear whether this really was a former employee and if it was, they surely were not employed here long, because they do not have a firm understanding of how we work and furthermore if they used the kind of sales tactics they describe in their letter to you, they would have been caught in our quality assurance program and appropriate corrective action would have been taken. We do not mislead consumers and we do not tolerate dishonesty.
A simple review of our website will show that we have several tools we use to help people get out of debt, including an unsecured consolidation loan program and debt settlement programs.
Consumers responding to a mailer like the one on your blog page would have their financial profile reviewed to determine if they qualify for our loan program. Should they qualify for this program, we refer them to our licensed lending partner. Through this partnership, we help consumers gain access to millions of dollars each month to consolidate their debts.
Our debt settlement operation is a member of the AFCC, you can verify that here: http://www.americanfaircreditcouncil.org/members.html. We take great pride in helping consumers while complying with all applicable federal and state regulations.
As you can see, Rescue One does not deny that this or a similar mailer was used. I have asked repeatedly for proof they hold a California Lenders License and a license for lending in the states this mailer was sent.
I also asked for helping obtaining this information from Freedom Debt Relief. As of the time this update, no information has been provided that either shows Rescue One Financial is exempt from licensing or holds a lenders license.
Update April 5, 2013
See Is Rescue One Financial Hiring People to Lie to Google? regarding attempts to bury this story.