Home > Author Archives: Steve Rhode (page 2)

Author Archives: Steve Rhode

Brookstone Law Seizure Report Reads Like a Bad Movie Script

Old movie camera with film clapperboard. Preparations for shooting movie

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently went after Brookstone Law Group. For more on that, click here. This mess has been brewing for years and it has managed to suck in some people I think are friendly who I’ve communicated with for a long time. But the report by the court-appointed receiver reads like a movie script. What you are ... Read More »

Republican Congress Doesn’t Give a Damn About Student Loan Issues

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If anyone thinks changing Washington D.C. to more Republican control is going to provide more relief for people with student loan problems. History paints a different picture. Since 2008 there has been an extremely lackluster effort by Republicans on student loans. Check the graphic below from the Capitol Words project. Read More »

Is National Debt Relief Not the Number One Debt Relief Company?

Business quality service customer feedback rating and survey keys with hands thumb up symbol and icon on computer keyboard.

Question: Dear Steve, I’m looking to consolidate debt but have too many bills. I just signed up with National Debt Relief, I read that they were one of the number one debt relief companies.. is that not the case? Angela Answer: Dear Angela, I am always perplexed when someone asks me this sort of question. It is so subjective. I ... Read More »

How Many of the Sallie Mae and Navient Student Loans Are Actually Eligible for Bankruptcy Discharge? Loads!


I was recently working on an article about private student loans that sure look like they should have been discharged in the students bankruptcy filing. It looks as if the loans were issued for a course of study that is not certified for Title IV funding. I know that sounds like a bit of a technical statement but keep reading. ... Read More »

More Debt Relief Entities Sued by FTC for Debt Elimination Robocalls


The Federal Trade Commission and the Office of the Florida Attorney General have charged a web of related defendants based in Orlando with bombarding consumers with illegal robocalls in an attempt to sell them bogus credit-card interest rate reduction and debt relief services. In all, the complaint alleges the defendants’ robocall scheme bilked consumers out of more than $15.6 million ... Read More »

A Bunch of These Navient Private Student Loans May Really be Eligible for Bankruptcy Discharge Today

Closeup portrait of handsome young man looking shocked surprised in disbelief with hands on face looking at you camera isolated on background. Positive human emotions facial expressions

Bankruptcy attorney Chad Van Horn has recently filed suit against Navient for attempting to purse student loans after a consumer bankruptcy. The issue stems from the fact the loans appear to not be protected from bankruptcy, yet Navient continued to attempt to collect on them. If the loans were not protected in bankruptcy, they would have been fully discharged and ... Read More »

Federal Debt Assistance Association – This is Going to Get Real, Fast

Alleged FDAA Mailer

I don’t know the people behind the Federal Debt Assistance Association but it sure seems like they missed the entire debt relief debacle as companies were nabbed for impersonating the federal government in debt relief claims. I was passed a mailer the company recently and allegedly sent out from their “regulatory” office at 5234 Glen Arm Road, Glen Arm, Maryland. ... Read More »

Things Get Real on Student Loan Elimination by Borrower Defense

Dog using a laptop and surfing the web

The Department of Education has released a massive proposed rule that aims at finalizing a process to allow people who have been defrauded by their schools, a process to eliminate their federal student loans. It also would create a process for student loan borrowers to also seek to get back loan payments they made to schools found to have misled ... Read More »

Brookstone Law and Cast of Players Hit Hard by FTC for Shenanigans

Brookstone Law

I wish I was above saying “I told you so” but I’ve been working on this story since 2011 and put in a lot of effort on this. So this time I’m going to have to say “I told you so.” You can see my past stories on the group, here. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has gone after Brookstone ... Read More »

Trump University Sure Quacks Like a Scam

Hand holding magic wand with sparks attracting money from top hat. Success wealth trick lie deception fraud cheating magic fast money concept. EPS 10 vector illustration no transparency

Over the years I’ve written so many articles about consumers being induced, duped, tricked, or taken by one scheme or another. Putting aside the Donald Trump, the Trump University case is so seemingly close to many of those other things that caught consumers and left them poorer. Propublica just posted the following article which does a great job of gathering ... Read More »

I’ve Had a Student Loan Wage Garnishment for 18 Months That I Need Stopped


Question: Dear Steve, My student loans are being paid through garnishment of my wages. I was in default, did not receive notice of the garnishment and have now paid for more than 18 months. I have a chronic illness, but am not “disabled.” I work full time with $0.01 in savings and can not afford the $524 monthly coming out ... Read More »

My Elderly Father-In-Law is Screaming at Us for Money

The conversation brought up the fundamental flaw in the tug-of-war between the goals of the consumer and the goals of the debt relief company.

Question: Dear Steve, Father in-law needed help getting his house fixed(roof,plumbing and furnace). He asked my husband and I to take out a personal loan and fix his house and for us to pay the personal loan. We told him we were unable to do that due to a personal loan and our auto loan we already had. My father ... Read More »

National Debt Relief Employees, Sue for Unpaid Overtime

Hello I Am Suing You words on a name tag sticker informing that someone is bringing a lawsuit against you in a court of law

National Debt Relief has just been sued by some of its former employees who assert they were not properly compensated. This suit brings back memories of similar sorts of suits from the high flying debt settlement days in Texas. Some of those cases are still ongoing years later. The suit was filed on June 3, 2016 and was filed against ... Read More »

Bayview Law Group – Consumer Complaint – June 6, 2016

customer service feedback

Consumer Statement: From Sept 2010 until April of 2012, I paid Bay View Law group out of Costa Mesa, Ca close to $10,000 to consolidate and negotiate my credit cards. I was told that the credit cards were settled and nothing to worry about. At the end of May 2016 I applied for student loans for my daughter to attend ... Read More »

My AES Student Loan Balance Has Tripled Since I Defaulted

Many multicolor question marks above the head of young man or boy. Making decision thinking uncertainty learning concept. EPS 10 vector illustration no transparency

Question: Dear Steve, Student loans…was laid off from my job back in 2002, with 2 kids in college. also, decided to return to school my self. took out several loans that I thought was government loans with American education services. Between hurricane Katarina and not finding steady employment I defaulted on the loans. Was making pay I guess it wasn’t ... Read More »

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