- The Washington Times - Friday, October 16, 2009

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

I wholeheartedly agree with some of Chris Kesterson’s statements in his recent letter to the editor (“The benefits of debt settlement,” Letters, Oct. 5). In particular, I agree with this statement: “Unfortunately, consumers in debt won’t see the benefits of using debt settlement when misinformation is propagated.”

A good place to start in curbing the propagation of misinformation would be in Mr. Kesterson’s backyard. For example, referring to my company, Consumer Recovery Network (CRN), and me, he writes: “… and yet he charges his customers 15 percent of the amount they save after doing the negotiation themselves!” Not so: CRN does not now, nor has it ever, charged its members any percentage of savings for negotiating settlements with creditors on their own. That would be absurd.

One purpose of CRN’s educational materials and the ongoing support we provide to CRN members who use those materials to settle their own debts is to help those members avoid additional fees - most certainly the high fees charged by the majority of service providers in the debt-settlement industry, many of which are members of Mr. Kesterson’s organization, the Association of Settlement Companies (TASC).

There seems to be a pattern developing with TASC in the propagation of misinformation, as noted in the demand for public retraction of same by the National Consumer Law Center and the Consumer Federation of America. These two organizations have long histories of being champions for consumer rights. Their demand for public retraction addressed to Mr. Kesterson has been made a public filing with the Federal Trade Commission and can be found on the FTC Web site.

Mr. Kesterson states in his letter that CRN is listed with the Better Business Bureau as having only one employee. This statement should not be taken to mean that CRN resources are limited to one individual. CRN independently contracts with numerous well-qualified, highly trained and very experienced specialists who work individually with all CRN members.

MICHAEL BOVEE

President

Consumer Recovery Network

Sandpoint, Idaho

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