Not All Debt Settlement is Bad. Ask the Rural Housing Service.

There has been so much written, and a lot by me, of deceptive and poor debt settlement actions taken by consumer debt settlement companies that apparently have no clue what they are doing in the field.

For many years I have defended the use of debt settlement in the right situation. The problem has been debt settlement was sold as a one size fits all solution and it simply is not.

I’ve written before about the history of debt settlement and the use of the negotiated technique to work out an outstanding obligation. But I bet you didn’t know the federal government even has a special program to settle debt for family farmers.

The Rural Housing Service runs a Debt Settlement Community and Business Program they describe by saying:

The Community and Direct Business Programs loans and grants are authorized by the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act. Rural Housing Service (RHS) is a credit agency for agricultural and rural development for the United States Department of Agriculture and offers supervised credit to develop, improve and operate family farms, modest housing, essential community facilities, and business and industry across rural America. The Debt Settlement Community and Business Programs provides policies and procedures as well as a mechanism for debt settlement in connection with Community Facilities loans and grants, direct Business and Industry loans, Indian Tribal Land Acquisition loans and Irrigation and Drainage. The debt settlement program provides the delinquent client with an equitable tool for the compromise, adjustment, cancellation, or chargeoff of a debt owed to the Agency.

So there you go, a positive use of debt settlement.


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Damon Day - Pro Debt Coach

Damon Day - Pro Debt Coach
Steve Rhode

18 thoughts on “Not All Debt Settlement is Bad. Ask the Rural Housing Service.”

  1. I have watched you slander hundreds if not thousands of companies over the last 6 or 7 years since you have monopolized fear mongering journalism online…You get a mailer from a “tipster”, spend some time digging online and then make false claims based on your “10 minutes of online investigations”. You have no conscious of the job loss you create or the companies you destroy as long as you can drive traffic to your site and make millions off of google ads. You are a fraud, my guess is that you have hundreds of enemies created by your fraud investigations. How many businesses that you did your “DUE DILIGENCE” (which amounts to a 10 minute online investigation) have you destroyed or caused tremendous damage to those businesses by spreading your “educated guesses”? You pick winners & losers based on who pays you the most and you have caused hundreds of hard working innocent people to lose their jobs. I would also guess that some of those enemies that you have created are looking for revenge. I bet that you look over your shoulder every time you set foot on the street wondering when will be the day that YOU have to pay the price for destroying good peoples lives. One of these days they will see you on the street and they will get their retribution. Hopefully they will do it in a way where Steve Rhodes disappears from your stranglehold online presence. You destroy good companies based on “your investigation of maybe 10 minutes” then you find another one to investigate for 5 minutes then you go on to your next victim causing tremendous job loss with your recklessness. Have you ever been face to face with a company owner or employee to whom you have destroyed their lives? If you haven’t yet, some day you will. You are a Fraud. My guess is that you have multiple slander lawsuits against you. You make CRAZY claims based on a few online searches and then say “if I reported something that is not correct show me.” A company should never have to prove whether or not you are correct, YOU should have to PROVE that YOU are correct!! I am confident that you will run up on the wrong person or that the wrong person will run up on you and then all of us will finally be free from your venom that you spray everyday! ONE DAY STEVE 🙂 ONE DAY 🙂

    • So you are threatening me with violence?

      Every post on the site allow any person or company to submit any correction or error report. Which I promptly publish.

      Let’s talk specifics. What story contains information that you feel is wrong, why, and give me the URL to confirm your assertions.

      I welcome an open discussion.

      If anyone feels any fact in any story is in error, they can simply report it using this link

      When it comes to your allegation that my publication of a mailer creates job loss and carnage would that not be the fact the mailer was sent, not the fact it was published?

      Are you blaming me because I published it or the facts in the mailer were problematic?

      All of my stories include links to the source documents from which I gathered the facts and they support the statements I made. In the case of a mailer received from a consumer the mailer itself supports the factual state of the mailer.

      My invitation is simple and open. Give me a specific story and the facts that are reported wrong in the story and let’s exam it.

      • I never threatened you with anything. I just know what happens to people who destroy other peoples lives, that’s all. If you haven’t done what is said that you have done then you have nothing to worry about do you? I think all of your readers have a right to know exactly what you do when you investigate a company? Please be specific.

        • I perceived your statement “I bet that you look over your shoulder every time you set foot on the street wondering when will be the day that YOU have to pay the price for destroying good peoples lives. One of these days they will see you on the street and they will get their retribution.” as a threat.

          I’m happy to discuss a specific story, which one do you want to discuss? Give me the URL.

          • It is no surprise to me that your perception was wrong! But you sure must have a guilty conscious based on your response. Can’t you answer a simple question? Please give your readers an example of how you investigate a company. How much time do you typically spend investigating before you slander a company? I as well as your readers want to know “how do you investigate when you attack a company online?” Do you have high quality private investigators that do your research? Do you have a paid staff that does your investigating? How do you do it? Please tell us Steve. Enlighten us!

          • To help centralize this discussion now scattered over many posts I just posted this,

            Please post your comments there so we can have one clear conversation.

            My response was an open offer to discuss a specific post and talk about the research that went into it.

            Go over to and give me a specific post in the comments and I’ll gladly discuss it.

          • Ok Stevie boy I see that you do not play fair. Do not be surprised when people make posts from other IP addresses in other states asking my question about how you conduct investigations.

          • I’m happy to answer but since every post is different, give me a specific post to tell you the history on and I’ll gladly do it. My response to others will be the same as well.

          • I guess you are just “screening” my posts now? They were posting as soon as I hit enter, but now there is a several minute delay. My sincere apologies for accusing you of blocking me.

          • I am very sorry Steve, but you admitted that your investigations consist of simple online searches. Everything that you find on the internet is true right? Every assumption that you make on every company that you slander are based on “founded assumptions” that you primarily found on the internet correct?

  2. I would agree with you that probably 95% of the debt settlement companies are bad actors out there. But there are some legitimate ones as you have pointed out. Debtors should be advised to thoroughly check out a company at a variety of sites (not just the BBB) before they sign any contracts, give money and get scammed.

    However, I find it strange that considering your comments a debt settlement company, Freedom, is listed on your site.

    In addition, you recognize that debt settlement is not a one-size fits all situation. I would suggest that neither is bankruptcy. Many people are unable or unwilling to file bankruptcy for a variety of reasons.

    There is no substitute for a strapped debtor sitting down with an attorney in this area who is knowledgeable about the debt collection/consumer protection laws in the attorney’s state of practice, the judgment/exemptions and a brief understanding of what bankruptcy will entail so as to be able to thoroughly evaluate the client’s situation and help the client decide what solution is best for the client to get rid of debt, whether it is debt settlement, debt consolidation, bankruptcy, or for the rare elderly client on a fixed income with no assets, simply doing nothing at all.

    • I think any mention of Freedom is in a Google ad, which I don’t control. And as I generally advise, consumers should explore all options but must absolutely speak with a bankruptcy attorney.

      Just because someone is unwilling to file bankruptcy, does not mean it is not the right solution. I understand emotions plays a lot in the decision but incorrect assumptions and myths should be dispelled before decisions are made. I have quite an extensive list on the site.

      Your mention of the elderly client doing nothing makes me want to remind you that even in those situations, a doing nothing solution is the last option if the elderly person is not in a good mental state to continue the collection, suits, etc.

      I’d seen plenty of cases where the cost of a chapter 7 to regain a life and close the door on the old debt was worth more than the cost of bankruptcy.


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