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

abandoned

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 ... Read More »

    FTC Slams Phony Payday Lender to Ground

    ftc

    At the request of the Federal Trade Commission, a U.S. district court has halted a Tampa, Florida-based operation that promised to help consumers get payday loans. Instead of loans, the defendants used consumers’ personal financial information to debit their bank accounts in increments of $30 without their authorization, the FTC alleged. Claiming to be affiliated with a network of 120 ... Read More »

      Payday Lenders in Texas Try to Dodge Law

      payday loan

      by Paul Kiel ProPublica Alarmed by the explosion of high-cost lending in the state, cities across Texas have passed ordinances to prevent the cycle of debt that short-term, high-cost loans can create. But some big lenders are finding clever ways around the laws — like giving away cash for free. TitleMax promises to “make getting cash easy!” To get a ... Read More »

        Direct Student Aid Commercial Catches My Attention

        Screen Shot 2013-08-27 at 1.03.01 PM

        A recent commercial for Direct Student Aid caught my attention. It seems the company is advertising it can offer some sort of special help for people who are having student loan problems. A secret shopper call, which you can hear below, found out the company charges between $799 to $999 for a service consumers can get for free from their ... Read More »

          Vanguard Consumer Solutions New Effort by Jeffrey Hyslip & Macey

          Travelers Reflection

          A tipster (send in your tips here) let me know about a website for Vanguard Consumer Solutions called FDCPA Help at fdcpahelp.com (ownership hidden). For those not familiar with Hyslip he was part of the Legal Helpers Debt Resolution debt settlement company that was the focus of a number of complaints. Apparently Hyslip is now trying to help consumers beat ... Read More »

            Western Sky Financial Pulls up Stakes

            Western Sky Financial Heads Into Sunset.

            You know those pesky Western Sky Financial payday loan commercials that have infected our televisions? They will soon be a thing of the past apparently. Western Sky Financial had been making payday loans all over the United States and charging problematic interest rates. The company felt they were exempt from state laws because they are owned and operated by the ... Read More »

              What to Wear and Say at Your Bankruptcy Hearing

              You don't need to dress like a fashion model but nobody is going to kick you out if you do.

              Actually, when it comes to what to wear, just don’t dress for a cookout. But as far as what to expect at your bankruptcy hearing, this article by Cathy Moran is great advice. Going to court for your first meeting of creditors? What are they going to ask me?, you wonder. My bankruptcy clients imagine a quiz on the contents ... Read More »

                More Florida Land Trusts Busted: Cambridge Land Trust and Hartford Land Trust

                wtf

                Thanks to a great reader, word out of Florida is more land trust schemers have been the unfortunate focus of law enforcement. The interesting part is how they all tie together. “The Florida attorney general’s office shut down two more South Florida land trusts Monday, continuing a yearlong pursuit to stop multiple intertwined firms from selling a complex foreclosure rescue ... Read More »

                  Massachusetts One Step Closer to Regulating Debt Settlement

                  law books

                  Collections & Credit Risk is reporting the State of Massachusetts is a step closer to regulate for-profit debt settlement companies operating in the state. Debt settlement companies would have to disclose their fees and create a budget analysis before enrolling consumers. “The longer Massachusetts waits, choosing not to oversee this industry, the more consumers will be taken advantage of by ... Read More »

                    Alleged Student Loan Assistance Employee Warns Consumers

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                    Both the National Consumer Law Center and this site have provided warnings to consumers over student loan assistance programs that can do more potential harm than good. But an insider with a student loan assistance company and now tipster (send in your tips here) sent in the following warning for readers. “I’m not using my real name for employment reasons. ... Read More »

                      Details on CFPB Lawsuit Against Morgan Drexen

                      Screen Shot 2013-08-21 at 1.02.28 PM

                      Yesterday I mentioned the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau filed suit against Morgan Drexen. As I mentioned, I said I would take more time today and wander through the complaint filed and share more about the allegations. If there was no doubt in the mind of any debt relief industry executive if the CFPB was set to regulate the industry, the ... Read More »

                        Saving Easy Money As a College Student

                        cheap

                        Heading off to college for the first time or just another semester is a prime time to either unload your wallet or engage in some deep debt acquisition. But before you just spend, spend, spend there are some really simple and easy money saving tips that case ease the pain up to 35%. It can take you a few minutes ... Read More »

                          Morgan Drexen Sued by CFPB. Take That!

                          cfpb

                          Recently the debt settlement company Morgan Drexen sued the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, CFPB, hoping they would be declared unconstitutional and disbanded. For more, see this and this. Today the CFPB turned around and unloaded their long-term investigation into Morgan Drexen and filed suit against them. I’ll review the entire lawsuit tomorrow but for now, here is what the CFPB ... Read More »

                            Student Loan Debt Robs Many of Retirement

                            Screen Shot 2013-08-20 at 4.20.56 PM

                            A new report out by the public policy organization Demos, confirms what I’ve feared for too long. Student loan debt robs people of retirement wealth. The growing burden of student loan debt and the limited options to manage that debt are leading to more and more people becoming so caught up in financial slavery that their very ability to properly ... Read More »

                              Thom Fox Interviews Steve About Debt Relief Options

                              a manatee

                              Thom Fox co-hosts a radio show “The Engine” and spent some time talking to me recently about the debt relief world today and what good options are available for consumers. It was a great interview since Thom knows the credit counseling world like a Boss! He used to work for Cambridge Credit Counseling but has moved out on his own ... Read More »

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