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Home > Author Archives: Steve Rhode

Author Archives: Steve Rhode

Company is Chasing Me for a Debt I Don’t Owe. What Do I Do?


Question: Dear Steve, Back in December of 2014 I received an email from a company stating that I owed them $990.68 for a debt that I know I don’t owe. They state in their email that they put my social security # into their National Database checking system and said that I was never charged with fraud. I emailed them ... Read More »

    Sallie Mae Screwed Up My Chances of Getting a Texas Public Education Grant

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    Question: Dear Steve, I started my nursing training in WY and borrowed student loan money there. Then, in 1999, I moved to Lake Charles, LA, and took out loans through Sallie Mae since I was now in the South. Sallie Mae loaned me out too much money; however, they said that since it was their mistake that it would be ... Read More »

      Social Worker Facing Retirement Can’t Pay Student Loans

      Student Loan installment payment check paying back money owed in obligation for borrowed funding for college or university education

      Question: Dear Steve, I’m a 60 year old female with one daughter in college. I took out loans to get my MSW degree which I needed to continue working in my job. I took loans totaling $50000, but during this time I went through a divorce, was jobless for 2 years, and I defaulted on the loan. I did consolidate ... Read More »

        Why There is Nothing Inherently Wrong with Debt Settlement

        Inspirational motivational quote. If you see fraud and do not say fraud you are a fraud. Simple trendy design.

        A recent article out of India about a business that entered a debt settlement agreement reminded me that I’ve wanted to write this article for some time. Over the past five or so years, debt settlement has developed a nasty reputation as a scam. Unfortunately it is the debt relief bad apples that the industry did not try to stop ... Read More »

          Father Forged Kids Names on Student Loans. Do They Owe Them?

          Hand With Wand And Money

          Question: Dear Steve, My ex husband left 2 of my children with over $100,000 each with student loan debt. He signed loans with their names without their knowledge, he missed months of payments which incurred high interest rates and now these kids both under 30 are saddled with these debts. They are beyond upset and see no end to paying ... Read More »

            Dump of Debt Relief Offers Raises More Concerns Than Answers

            Important Notice

            As part of my I Buy Junk Mail program, Eve sent in a number of recent debt relief mailers that landed in her mail box. Imagine how the average person would be able to decipher the claims made or even begin to understand what company would be able to offer the debt service or solution. As you can see in ... Read More »

              My School Misled Me, is Closing, and Leaving Me in Debt


              Question: Dear Steve, I started going to International Academy of Design and Technology in 2008 and was really excited to go for my Bachelors degree. I wanted a better life for my son and me. I asked all the usual questions; what’s the program like, how are the courses taught, is it like going to a traditional college? They assured ... Read More »

                Debt Relief Companies and Individuals – Banned

                Shirtless young man outdoor doing silly face

                The Federal Trade commission is reporting more actions against debt relief providers that allegedly misled consumers about their services. While this is about a debt settlement company, all consumers should walk away with the fact they have a responsibility to know who they are doing business with. Buying defective debt relief help is no more egregious than buying a defective ... Read More »

                  CFPB Concerned About Widespread Servicing Failures Reported by Student Loan Borrowers


                  CFPB and U.S. Departments of Education and Treasury Issue Framework for Servicing Reforms, Bureau Prioritizes Stamping Out Illegal Actions WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) released a report outlining widespread servicing failures reported by both federal and private student loan borrowers. Consumers describe companies using a wide range of sloppy, patchwork practices that can create obstacles ... Read More »

                    Millions of Federal Student Loans Lining Up to Be Eliminated and Borrowers Repaid

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                    As a consumer debt expert for decades I’ve developed a pretty good sense of reading the tea leaves of debt. Sometimes this means making some sense out of puzzle pieces well in advance of assembly. I’m getting that same strong sense that student loan debtors are on the verge of a bold new ability to discharge massive amounts of federal ... Read More »

                      More California Mortgage Modification Scammers Head to Jail

                      Dead man walking - Sad prisoner with handcuffs in prison with orange clothes

                      Four people who worked at a Rancho Cucamonga business that offered bogus loan modification programs to thousands of financially distressed homeowners – victims who lost more than $7 million when they paid for services that were never provided – were sentenced today to federal prison, with one of the leaders of the scheme being ordered to spend 20 years in ... Read More »

                        Not a Shocker – Fraud and Intimidation in Marketing Pills, Powders, or Potions


                        The Federal Trade Commission is taking action against the Florida-based marketers of a line of weight-loss supplements who allegedly made baseless claims for their products, and then threatened to enforce “gag clause” provisions against consumers to stop them from posting negative reviews and testimonials online. In a complaint filed in federal court, the FTC alleges that Roca Labs, Inc.; Roca ... Read More »

                          Rut Ro – Data Breach at Hilton Properties


                          If you recently stayed at a Hilton Hotel, Embassy Suites, Doubletree, Hampton Inn and Suites, or Waldorf Astoria – a hack may have exposed your financial details. Banks have identified a pattern of fraud that strongly suggests certain payment systems in these Hilton Hotel properties in several locations were hacked, exposing customer payment card information. Hilton confirmed that it is ... Read More »

                            My Car is All Worn Out. What Should I Do?

                            The Chevy Spark I drove recently.

                            Question: Dear Steve, I need two new cars(used cars) but I don’t know if I should fix these old cars or trade them in and buy 2 used ones. My 2007 Kia Optima has 165K miles on it and wont pass inspection-needs catalytic converter and new tires (maybe $1500?). My ex-wife has Kia Sedona with 100K miles and needs new ... Read More »

                              This Guy Gets How to Deal With Debt

                              Debt Settlement Advice

                              Bill Westrom just sent in an article to me to post on my site and it was so on track with what I have been trying to get across to people. I had to share it with you. Bill understands that dealing with debt is about education, understanding, introspection, and not forcing the solutions to fit the problems. Far ... Read More »

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