Monday, September 01, 2008

Kevin Trudeau's Two Magic Words

(This has become, by far, the single post popular post in any of my blogs or websites I've ever written. If you find the information here useful or amusing (or, anything, really) please feel free to leave a comment; I'd love to hear what y'all think. August 6, 2010)

A Review of Chapter 12 of Debt Cure$™ "They" Don't Want You to Know About.

If you've seen the infomercial for Kevin Trudeau's Debt Cure$™ book you're probably wondering what the "Two Magic Words" are. In the infomercial he claims that these Two Magic Words will clear up your credit almost overnight. If you're suspicious of such hyperbole, you should be.

First off, there aren't two magic words. There are eight of them. Or maybe six if you count an acronym as a word. So, right out of the proverbial starting gate, Mr. Trudeau has lied to you.

Discharged Debt

The first set of "magic" words are "Discharged Debt". How will using that with your creditor help clear your credit? Good question. But it only applies to those who (1) have declared bankruptcy, and (2) whose debts have been discharged by the court but not reported by the creditor to the credit agency.

Mr. Trudeau tells the story of one of his seemingly billions of friends, Dan Nolastname, who declared bankruptcy but never bothered to check his credit report after his debts were discharged by the court. the following year, he applied for a mortgage and, surprise, surprise, one of the debts hadn't been reported as discharged and was holding up the mortgage approval process. It seems to me that not checking your credit report (for free at www.annualcreditreport.com; do it now; I'll wait. ) after completing a bankruptcy proceeding would be about the smartest thing to do. And, who in their right mind would apply for such a big loan without first making sure the credit report was 100% accurate before hand?

"Dan Nolastname" paid the $9,500 debt he didn't owe just to get the mortgage going through. (He later sued the old creditor and got his $9,500 back as well as $14,000 in "fines and attorney fees".)

Regardless, this situation doesn't seem to me to be the fault of the creditor; it's Dan's fault for not making sure that all his discharged debt had been properly reported to the credit agencies. Due diligence, my friend; make sure there are no errors on your credit report. It's really that simple.

Identity Theft

The second set of "magic" words is "Identity Theft".

Mr. Trudeau tells an unprovable story of yet another among his seemingly billions of friends, Kurt. Kurt apparently had a $15,000 debt being reported by American Express to the credit agencies. Kurt apparently didn't have - and never had - any American Express account. Kurt then told "Customer Service", after having lawyers allegedly send letters saying the debt wasn't his, that he "must be the victim of identity theft."

And, "poof!", according to Kevin Trudeau, the debt was removed from the credit report. He never comes out and says that you should claim that any legitimate debt on your credit report isn't yours because of identity theft but why else include this section if it isn't at least implied. In fact, he says,
"If there is something on your credit report that is a total mystery, you need to tell the credit card company or the bank that it is just not yours! Two magic words = identity theft. You should be able to get immediate improvement!"

No admonition to check for why it's a "total mystery"; he just tells you that if you don't recognize it, you must have been the victim of identity theft! This seems to me to be nothing more than a thinly veiled suggestion that you claim identity theft on any debts you don't want to pay.

The Statute of Limitations

And the third set of "magic" words is "The SOL". What? He means "The Statute of Limitations". Which careful readers will note is actually four words.

If the Statute of Limitations is up on a debt, it can't be collected. (The Statute of Limitations varies from 3 years to 15 years depending on the type of debt and the state in which the debt agreement was entered.)

He appears to advocate just ignoring your debt until it just goes away. He says to call the debt "alleged" and to never admit (or pay a tiny amount of it) to anybody who calls or writes about it. And, while legal, it certainly isn't ethical. If you signed a contract to pay for something, it's your obligation to pay it.

Summary

The only real and good advice in all of Chapter 12 is "Stay on top of your affairs and you can head off problems a lot quicker." Surely, you don't need a 300+ page book to tell you that. Save your money; or borrow the book from the library like I did.

In my opinion, the best way to "get rid" of your debt is to pay it off. It's your ethical obligation to do so. Bankruptcy should be only used when severe unforeseen circumstances arise (death of a wage earner, etc.) which severely limit your ability to pay the debt you owe off. Above all, you should not enter into a debt contract if you know you don't have the means to pay it; that's lying and is utterly, completely wrong.

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For a review of the whole book, not just Chapter 12: Review of Kevin Trudeau's Debt Cures Book

Kevin Trudeau, in my opinion, offers absolutely nothing of value to anybody but himself. Ever. In anything he writes, says, does, thinks, or plans.

(While I'm not exactly sure what is trademarked (either "Debt Cures" or "Debt Cure$") it's owned by either Debt Cures, LLC (curiously, the copyright holder of the book) or Kevin Trudeau himself. Why set up an LLC? Well, it's a Limited Liability Company which, unless I'm wrong, means that the person or persons who set it up are not personally responsible for any of its debts or obligations. So, perhaps, another cure for your debt is to set up some sort of shell company, an LLC, and sink it into oblivion.)

On a related note: The FTC has banned Kevin Trudeau from Infomercials For Three Years, Ordered to Pay More Than $5 Million for False Claims About Weight-Loss Book.

September 14, 2010: On another related note: Judge Orders Kevin Trudeau to Pay More Than $37 Million for False Claims About Weight-Loss Book. Seems like Kevin can't keep his hands outta the cookie jar.

10 comments:

  1. Your blog keeps getting better and better! Your older articles are not as good as newer ones you have a lot more creativity and originality now keep it up!

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  2. I am listening to his commercial right now, "The Hotseat," with the two playboy models that over react to his claims. I have two magic words that I would tell him.

    At the end of his commercial, he claims that the government has banned him from broadcasting on television...He should have thought that one out first...

    If someone really wants to see his book I'm sure it is sitting in a library somewhere...

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  3. Thanks for the comment, Anonymous.

    Sounds like Kevin is lying again. He's not "banned from broadcasting", he's banned by the FTC from infomercials because he lied about his diet book. He can broadcast all he wants; he just can't promote his products. There's a difference and Kevin just doesn't seem to "get it". (Or maybe he's trying to play the martyr card...)

    I wonder if the way to tell when Kevin is lying to you is if he's trying to sell you something. I'll investigate...

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  4. Exceptional post. Thank you for taking the time to write it. It seems the greatest charlatan in recent decades continues to pillage America by exhorting himself as a champion of the little guy v. Big Brother and much more leveraging his Trump-esque ability to spin anything and lead honest people into believing falsehoods. Your post, in a genuine and fair way, allows the more prudent types to get the "substance" of his on camera rhetoric and not fall for paying $29.99 DING! Excuse me, $19.99 for material better suited for the recycling bin. Nice Work!

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  5. It's obvious from his infomercials he is a big ol' impostor. I was watching one for a few minutes for entertainment, and of course I wanted to know what those magic words could possibly be...so I ended up here. And wow are they lame! Thanks for the review.

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  6. Well, thanks for the two magic words! I was curious but when I saw them, I knew immediately, there is not help but to pay it off in true,red-blooded American fashion!

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  7. Thanks for the post. Couldn't agree more with you about the ethicality of paying off your debt. Putting something on a credit card and not paying it off (or any of it) is stealing! If you're gonna be a crook, just do it the old fashioned way and run out of the store with it! There are commercials for tax relief too...you know, if the IRS is after you to pay your taxes. They have people proudly giving testimonials of how little they payed compared to what they owed. Makes me want to throw somethiing at the tv...every time.

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  8. it is 2/11/2012 and I am watching him on an informercial right now. Is the ban still on?

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  9. The ban should still be valid (Probably until October this year). But it's probably just for one of his scams; the weight loss crap.

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