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Author Archives: Steve Rhode

Nonprofit Credit Counselors Charged With Laundering Drug Money Get Prison

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In 2013 the U.S. Government brought charges against individuals associated with a credit counseling operation. At that time the U.S. District Attorney of Kansas said, “Two people have been charged with laundering cash from marijuana trafficking through a non-profit credit counseling agency in Kansas City, U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom said today. Mendy Read-Forbes, 37, Platte City, Mo., and Laura Shoop, ... Read More »

    Your Advice to the Medicaid Mother and Her Daughter Was Terrible

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    Question: Dear Steve, Just read your article on HuffPost. I would never take advice from you or at least advice you gave this girl. As you said, BA cannot attach SS benefits/Medicaid. If mother has no other assets & gets no other income, she needs to write to BA & let them know she cannot repay this debt, for reasons ... Read More »

      NC Senator Michael Lee Article Ruffled Some Debt Collection Feathers

      Photo Credit: ElfDomx

      Yesterday I published this article about proposed changes to pursing debtors in North Carolina over purchased debt. That would have been the story, done and dusted. But today I awoke to find InsideARM, an accounts receivable trade publication leveled some objections at my opinion piece. InsideARM said, “Rhode calls Lee’s bill, “idiotic,” and “ill-advised, ill-conceived and unwarranted.” Other than potentially ... Read More »

        My Mother is on Medicaid and Bank of America is Owed Money

        Sad Elderly Lady

        Question: Dear Steve, Hi – I have a question – my mother is in a nursing home, Medicaid pays for the home – she must turn over her social security and small pension to them each month. She has no money – she has a credit card from Bank of America with $3500-$4000 on it – she is the only ... Read More »

          NC Senator Michael Lee of Wilmington Might Be a Debt Collection Idiot

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          North Carolina is trying to pass legislation which will roll back protections for consumers who have bad debt purchased by debt buyers. Senator Michael Lee from Wilmington, North Carolina is the sponsor of S.B. 511, titled Proof Required for Debt/Fees, which efforts to rollback the requirement the bad debt buyer must have detailed information about where and when the debt ... Read More »

            Less Demand for Debt Relief Help in 2015

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            The latest bankruptcy filing statistics are out from the United States Courts and add support for a continued softness in the demand for debt relief help. Bankruptcy filings fell 12 percent when compared to the same period last year and the downward trend continues. In March, 2015 Chapter 7 bankruptcies accounted for 64 percent of filings while Chapter 13 filings ... Read More »

              Did World Law Debt and Orion Processing Really File Bankruptcy?

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              Under the heading of ironic debt relief outcomes, one of the major debt settlement players, World Law Debt and Orion Processing, recently filed a Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceeding. I guess their debt issues were beyond settling. This matter came to light when a reader asked me to look at a notice they received in the mail. According to court documents, ... Read More »

                My Islamic Faith Prevents Me From Paying Interest on My Student Loans

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                Question: Dear Steve, I had two citi-student loans and at some point in time within the last 5 years they went to Navient (Sallie Mae) I recently called to ask if I could get a lower pay-off amount as the original loans were 32K and now they are up to about 64K because of deferment and interest. They said no ... Read More »

                  Can We Settle a Debt With a Collector to Get College Transcript?

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                  Question: Dear Steve, My husband and I just met his adult daughter 2 years ago. He had signed away his parental rights when she was an infant 30 years ago. We have learned that she has student debt and want to pay it. The first debt is with the college she attended in Birmingham and is the one we’re focused ... Read More »

                    Smart Money Management New Name for Merged Companies

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                    The Blade is reporting two Ohio based debt relief companies have merged. “Toledo-based Comexx Smart Money and Sylvania-based Debt Tech Financial Solutions are now one company that will be called Smart Money Management LLC. The new company has 12 employees. “Today, Smart Money Management is better able to address an individual or family’s total financial disposition as the addition of ... Read More »

                      Who is Right About Budgeting Our Money, My Wife or Myself?

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                      Question: Yo Steve, My wife and I fight, or shall I say disagree, all the time about spending and a budget. She has one opinion and I have another. She says we should not spend more than 25% of our income on housing but I say 33% is alright. Who is right? Jimmy Answer: Yo right back at you Jimmy. ... Read More »

                        Why Have My Private Student Lenders Not Sued Me Yet?

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                        “Dear Steve, I went to a public school and obtained 2 degrees. A good portion of my student loan debt were in private loans. The economy crashed in 2008 and I couldn’t find work in 2009 so I went back for more education to hide from the economic realities (I had no way to pay on the loans). Sallie Mae ... Read More »

                          Hummingbird Credit Counseling Sues the United States of America

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                          Hummingbird Credit Counseling and Education has filed suit against Attorney General Eric Holder, Department of Justice, and Executive Office of United States Trustee. This suit asks for a declaratory judgment and injunctive relief. This case caught my attention because it’s not often you see a credit counseling company suing the USA and it appears this is yet another debt relief ... Read More »

                            Where Can We Get a Lower Federal Student Loan Interest Rate?

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                            “Dear Steve, My son is out of the country and I am paying off his loan. We are seniors. He has volunteered to pay himself. However, by the time currency exchanges have been calculated, it is cheaper for us the pay his loan. We have ‘myfedloan.org’ loans at 6.8% which I think is very high. Is there anywhere we can ... Read More »

                              Today in Debt Relief History – Consumer Affairs Law Center

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                              Frankly I get sick of writing about lawsuits in the debt relief industry between partners that have a falling out. But the reason I find the complaints often fascinating is they provide a look into the history of some organizations and entities. We get to learn how the whole thing developed. In this case we have the April 1, 2015 ... Read More »

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