I met with a married couple last week who told me that they were embarrassed about their debt problems, and they were worried that when they met with me I would judge them for their debt.
After our meeting they realized there was no need to worry, because I’m not a judge or jury. I’m not here to find fault. My job is to make a plan to help you with your debts, and that’s why Ted Michalos and I started Hoyes Michalos back in 1999. To help you make a plan.
I don’t judge you because I haven’t lived your life; no-one has (except you). I haven’t suffered through your unique experience with job loss, marriage break up, medical problems, or whatever combination of circumstances has caused you to have more debt than you can handle. Sometimes, life happens.
My job is to assess your situation, explain all of your debt relief options, and then help you make a plan to deal with your debts. That’s why Hoyes Michalos exists, and that’s why I have trained all of our professionals to do the same: listen, and help you make a plan. (And that’s why our phone number is 310-PLAN, and why we advertise that if you give us 30 minutes, we can explain how to be debt free: Debt Free in 30, It’s That Simple).
A lot of people wonder: what is this debt free in 30 thing? Why is that your slogan? Why do you guys have a radio show called Debt Free in 30? What’s that all about? What it means is, if you will give us 30 minutes of your time to come in and meet with us, we will help you work out a plan to become debt free. We had a long discussion about whether or not this was too much of a slogan to use in our business. There’s an element to what we do that people just don’t believe, and so there’s a balancing act between what do I have to say to you to convince you that I’m real versus what I have to say to compete with the people that aren’t real. Now all your debts aren’t going to be gone at the end of the 30 minutes, that’s 30 minutes for us to understand what your situation is so that we can then craft a plan for you. And a lot of people are worried, well how many meetings do I have to have? Do I have to take a day off work? Do I have to come back and see you 5 or 6 times? No. What we’re asking for is a commitment of 30 minutes. The truth is the majority of the people that see us don’t actually require our services. What they need is some friendly advice, some professional knowledge to point them in the right direction. Because you’re an individual, you’re unique, you’re situation’s different than everybody else. We need to understand what makes you tick, what your problems are, what we can do to help you. And then once we’ve got that we can come up with a plan. If I can’t figure out in 30 minutes what you need to do to correct your problem, then I’m probably not the professional you need to be talking too. You can go on to our website at hoyes.com, you can download the information package we’re going to ask for if you want to speed things up, but that’s what it means: Give us 30 minutes, we can gather all the information we need, walk you through your options and help you come up with a plan. Debt free in 30, that’s the way we operate.
I believe our approach works, and to prove it, we periodically post testimonials received from someone we have helped. These are unsolicited testimonials; we don’t ask for them, or solicit them in any way. We simply invite the people we help to e-mail Ted and I with their thoughts. You can read all of them on the Hoyes Michalos Testimonials page.
Here’s one I recently received from Angelo (not his real name), a 44 year old man who got into debt as a result of his separation. Here’s what he said:
I think all in all it was a good experience. Not good that I had to go bankrupt, but good in a way that I was never made to feel inferior, stupid or what have you. It was a comfortable environment. I was happy I chose this firm. Thanks for all the help. It was appreciated.
As you can see, Angelo wasn’t happy about having debt problems, but we treated him with respect, and he now has his fresh start. That’s the plan: a fresh start. I’m glad we could help.