Debt Free League – Hide Your Wallet, Marketers say the Darnedest Things

Debt Free League

What do you mean bad idea?

Debt Free League issued a press release today and one line jumped right out and grabbed my attention.   The press release was about how the economy in California was in the toilet and Debt Free League was riding to the rescue by telling consumers who the best debt relief providers were.

However, there is only one line that you need to read to know exactly what these guys are doing, and why consumers would be well advised not to call them for help with their debt issues.

Here is the line…

Lately, as a convenience to consumers, Debt Free League representatives have been making house calls and assisting people at their local Starbucks. The benefit is a great money saver on gas, and has been a blessing for people with busy schedules.

Luckily I have developed a keen ear for understanding bullshit, so I can translate what this means for you.

On October 27th a new law went into effect that banned debt settlement companies from charging all their fees in the beginning half of their programs, which they were very fond of doing since they knew most people would never actually complete the program successfully.  Many of these companies have now or will shortly be going out of business, since they don’t actually know how make a profit if they need to actually perform a service first.

However, among these rip off programs are what are known as Loopholers.  These are companies that are trying to find any loophole they can around this advance fee ban law, so they can continue to enroll unsuspecting consumers into their BS programs and take them for every last dollar as quickly as they can.

One such loophole in the law is what is known as the “face to face” exemption.  This allows for debt settlement companies who meet with clients face to face instead of over the phone to be exempted from the rule.  The new rule is specific to telemarketing.

So in order to keep their cash cows coming in, there have been a handful of companies now scrambling to amass an army of foot soldiers to go out into neighborhoods and continue pitching the front loaded fee scam.

If a debt settlement company wants to meet you in person to sign the paperwork, there is no logical reason for them to do so unless it was to specifically try and get around the new law to protect consumers from predatory settlement operations, and charge you their fees before settling your debt.

Lets look at the line in the press release again.  Notice that they pitch it as an added convenience to the consumer.  Excuse me?  What is convenient about meeting some strange person at a public place like Starbucks to discuss very private financial information with a lot of people around?  Wouldn’t it be more convenient to discuss this over the telephone?

How is this a blessing for people with busy schedules?  How is this a gas saver?  Seems like I would use less gas, just sitting at my kitchen table and using my telephone.  Seems like my telephone would also be more accommodating to my schedule than some face to face meeting at Starbucks.

Notice they also said “Lately.” Hmm, could that be because just last week the law changed and the only way they could continue to charge huge amounts of money to consumers looking for help, would be to meet face to face?  Wow, that is really convenient.

From this press release, it appears to me that Debt Free League is more than willing to send a sales person to your house, or to buy you a cup of 2 dollar coffee, simply to charge you thousands of dollars in upfront fees, that will very likely insure your eventual Bankruptcy filing. Debt Free League claims that they are just looking to help.  My question is, how exactly are they helping?

You know what would be fun.  If you happen to speak with someone from Debt Free League, and they want to come and meet with you in person to explain their bullshit, oops, I mean debt relief plan, tell them you would prefer to just do it over the phone.

Please let me know what creative reasons they come up with to convince you that it is in your best interest to meet “face to face.”  Oh, this might get really fun, because marketers do say the darnedest things.

About Damon Day

As a Debt Coach and a Financial Advocate, I have saved my clients Millions of Dollars by exposing the debt relief scams that other consumers fall victim to. I work directly for my clients to create custom debt relief strategies based on their own unique circumstances. Consumers who speak with me first, come out far ahead of those who don't, every single time. Guaranteed. +Damon Day

17 Responses to “Debt Free League – Hide Your Wallet, Marketers say the Darnedest Things”

Read below or add a comment...

  1. Edward (1 comments) says:

    Sounds like pressure selling to me, once they have you they won’t let go till you sign up.

    I have seen this foot soldier mentality too in other areas, particularly broadband sales recently too.

    • Damon (132 comments) says:

      Yes, certainly not the kind of person or program you want to take financial advice from. The entire system is stacked against the consumer.

  2. asset management (1 comments) says:

    I think these are just their diversionary tactics to get everyone’s attention and be part of their program if they have convinced someone. In the end they will earn from recruiting you, and the people will suffer.

    • Damon (132 comments) says:

      That is pretty much how the game works. It is about making money for most outfits. Not about providing actual help. Even if the sales rep is convinced (which most of them are) that they are doing a great thing.

  3. instrumentals (1 comments) says:

    2010, marketers are crazy, I wonder how it would be like in the upcoming years. what schemes will they come up with. it’s going to be crazyyyy

  4. Alan Maddick (1 comments) says:

    Wow that is really amazing! In Australia we have a huge raft of laws that protect consumers from the pressured face to face selling, in fact some companies inc financial services are not allowed to conduct face to face sales at all (cold calling)

    Good work highlighting this loop hole

    • Damon (132 comments) says:

      There are plenty of laws here to, but the problem with laws is that the criminals tend to ignore them 🙂 Funny how that always seems to be the case 🙂

  5. High Interest CD Rate Finder (1 comments) says:

    Thank you for breaking down the true meaning of the Debt Free League quote. Too many people are fooled by statements like this, which is what makes it so hard to relieve debt. I would also be a bit creeped out if someone came up to me in Starbucks talking about my debt issues.

    • Damon (132 comments) says:

      Sure thanks for stopping by the site. Actually they don’t just show up and talk to strangers 🙂 They try and set the appointment over the phone and either meet you at your house or some public place like Starbucks 🙂

  6. Michael (6 comments) says:

    They want to meet face to face because this is the only way they can convince you to deal with them – through hypnotizing 🙂

  7. Susan (3 comments) says:

    This article was both entertaining and interesting. You’re a phenomenal writer, by the way. I had no idea that predatory debt settlement companies had loopholes at all….I thought their practices were illegal but they rely on the ignorance of the consumer to reap a profit. Guess not…..

    • Damon (132 comments) says:

      Hey Susan,

      Thanks for the compliment.

      Yes, when you really start learning about how most of these guys operate it is actually pretty disgusting, the way that some of them simply steal money from families that can least afford it, is really sickening.

  8. Victor May (1 comments) says:

    I personally would never sign up for something like that from someone who walked up to me at a coffee shop either. When I had debt issues in the past, I spent a lot of time doing research, checking the BBB, and finally ended up paying good money to a debt settlement attorney to help get us through our problems.
    An associate of mine spent several thousand dollars up front to one of these scam companies who promised/guaranteed that they could keep him out of foreclosure. Shortly after they had his money (and several hundred other victims too) they closed up shop never to be heard from again.

    • Damon (132 comments) says:

      Hello Victor,

      Yes, taking the time to really do your research is the best way to protect yourself. I am sorry your friend was ripped of by an apparent loan mod scam. That is a whole other industry that is really full of rip offs as well.

  9. Paul (2 comments) says:

    Well it’s certainly a new tact. I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if there are agencies who study the likes of Hypnosis and Neuro Linguistic Processing etc. In my area, loan sharks are in their masses.