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Author Archives: Steve Rhode

Helping America Group – Apples and Oranges

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A reader asked me to look at a couple of help wanted ads after my article this morning wanting to know who the American company was that was moving debt relief jobs to Panama. See this article. The ads say an American company, Helping America Group is looking to hire people in their Panama City, Panama call center. But here ... Read More »

    Can I Just Let My Private Student Loans Expire and Say Goodbye?

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    Question: Dear Steve, I owe 104K in private loans. I think I have 8. One of the loans has a cosigner. If I quit paying my loans and still continue to pay the one with the cosigner. I am to the point where I can’t afford to live. I have a good job but can’t get ahead. Is it possible ... Read More »

      Life Financial Planning Debt Relief Offer – I’m Calling Bullshit

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      An amazing reader, BillKal, sent in a new debt relief mailer through my I Buy Junk Mail program. The offer says it is from a 501(c)(3) nonprofit company, Life Financial Planning, a non-profit corporation, at 575 Menlo Drive, #1, Rocklin, CA 95765. That happens to be the same address used by another company that appeared in one of my stories ... Read More »

        What Do You Know About Safe Harbor Financial in Panama?

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        A tipster (send in your tips here) sent me information about a company called Safe Harbor Financial in Panama City, Panama. From company ads they say they are a “single client sales center locating in Panama City. We sell products and services in the financial services sector and will be employing 50-75 in our Panama Center.” – Source, Source The ... Read More »

          Telemarketing Sales Rule Changes Impact Debt Relief Companies

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          The Federal Trade Commission is rolling out new changes to the Telemarketing Sales Rule which can impact debt relief companies. The last big update to the Telemarketing Sales Rule (TSR) significantly hit the debt relief industry and wound up closing down a number of debt settlement operations who were collecting advance fees. The TSR is intended to fundamentally be an ... Read More »

            Can I Not Pay My Private Student Loan With a Cosigner?

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            Question: Dear Steve, I paid my undergraduate degree completely in loans, some federal, most private. The private loan companies include: Discover student loans and Wells Fargo. My loans are sum total of 70,000. I want to go back to graduate school but I’m terrified of getting into more loans. What do you suggest for lenders who have cosigners? Claiming bankruptcy ... Read More »

              Yellow Book Invoice Scam Resurfaces Again

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              At the Federal Trade Commission’s request, a federal court has banned Robert Ray Law and his company, CPU Service Incorporated (CPU) from sending unsolicited direct mail to advertise or promote goods or services, imposed a judgment of almost $400,000, and required them to immediately pay $45,000. In July 2014, the FTC charged Law and Your Yellow Book Inc. (YYB) with ... Read More »

                FTC Halts Bogus Envelope-Stuffing Scam

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                At the Federal Trade Commission’s request, a federal court has halted a nationwide work-at-home scam that took more than $7 million from tens of thousands of consumers. The defendants allegedly lured consumers with false claims that they could earn up to $5,000 or more in weekly income by stuffing and mailing “special advertising letters” from home. According to the FTC’s ... Read More »

                  Practical Debt Relief Learns the Connecticut Lesson

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                  I don’t know why debt relief companies don’t learn the lesson that Connecticut is a tough SOB state when it comes to debt relief issues. If a company allows someone to complain to the State rather than just giving a full refund and exceptional customer service, they get slapped by Connecticut. This happens over and over again. The latest company ... Read More »

                    New Bankruptcy Forms Make It Easier to File Without an Attorney

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                    Now don’t get me wrong, there is no substitute for the experience, knowledge, and wisdom of an experienced bankruptcy attorney. But for decades people have been filing out their own bankruptcy petitions, because they can. The forms were not geared for the average person to easily figure out. On December 1, 2015 the bankruptcy forms are going to change, in ... Read More »

                      AES is Not Willing to Help Me With an Affordable Private Student Loan Payment

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                      Question: Dear Steve, Several years back my married daughter had been working and due do the economy had been losing many jobs. She decided to go back to school to hopefully get a better job. Of course to make all this happen she needed to apply for student loans. In order to get the loans she needed a co-signer. I ... Read More »

                        6 Out of 10 People Stressed About Holiday Spending

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                        Consumers may not feel so jolly once they head into this year’s holiday shopping season. According to a national survey by Experian, many respondents are concerned about the financial stress of gift buying and adding debt, as well as becoming an identity theft victim. When it comes to their finances, a majority of survey respondents believe holiday shopping is a ... Read More »

                          Nationwide Debt Direct Hit Yet Again With Marketing Suit in OH

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                          Previously I wrote about Nationwide Debt Direct being his with a suit in Ohio regarding the marketing letters they were sending out. You can see that previous article, here. Well it looks like another law firm is using a similar approach in going after Nationwide Debt Direct. The suit filed on November 17, 2015 claims Nationwide Debt Direct sent marketing ... Read More »

                            Consumer Credit Counseling Foundation Hit With TCPA Suit

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                            I’ve been talking about the risks of Telephone Consumer Protection Act lawsuits against debt relief companies for some time now. On November 18, 2015 another such suit was filed. This time against Consumer Credit Counseling Foundation and Ishwinder Judge. The suit filed by Christopher Reichman of Prato & Reichman says: Defendants made six (6) live calls to PAUL SAPAN’s home ... Read More »

                              Omni Management Partners Client Agreement Review Leaves Me Wondering

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                              I recently wrote about Omni Management Partners as the result of a comment made on the site. Subsequently I received a copy of the client agreement. What follows is just my opinion about what I read in the agreement. I am not a lawyer and can’t offer any legal opinion about this agreement. What you will read below is simply ... Read More »

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