Regan Report – Third Edition

Options for Consumers in Crisis

An Economic Analysis of the Debt Settlement Industry
Third Edition - Published February 8, 2018
Greg J. Regan

In the 2018 version of the “Regan Report”, the American Fair Credit Council (AFCC) analyzed the results of a six-year study of consumers enrolled in debt settlement programs, performed by the Certified Public Accounting firm of Hemming Morse LLP, in order to once again show the ways consumers realized financial benefits from debt settlement participation.

This iteration of the report tracked the outcomes of over 400,000 clients in 2.9 million accounts enrolled in debt settlement programs during the period from January 1, 2011 to March 31, 2017. In addition, it documented the economic benefits consumers received as a result of client participation in debt settlement programs during that period. For consumers struggling with unsecured debt, the data showcased that debt settlement offers significant value and advantages compared to other options.

Key takeaways include:
  • Debt settlement on average saved consumers $2.64 for every $1.00 in fees paid.
  • More than 95 percent of debt settlement clients received savings in excess of fees.
  • Most consumers saw initial account settlements within four to six months of their start date in a program.
  • After approximately nine months, accretion experienced by clients on enrolled debt due to interest, fees, and penalties, fell below accretion that would otherwise occur if accounts were to amortize at normal credit card rates of interest.
Companion Reports

Options for Consumers in Crisis

In 2012, the American Fair Credit Council (AFCC) commissioned the first-ever independent analysis of the economic impact of the debt settlement industry on enrolled participants. Since then, the AFCC has commissioned four reports overseen by Greg Regan of Hemming Morse LLP, all of which exemplify the immense benefits of debt settlement for consumers struggling with unsecured debt.

State Versions
Options for Consumer in Crisis

The following state-specific versions of the recent independent “Regan Report” are a supplement in the series of reports overseen by Greg Regan of Hemming Morse LLP. These iterations exemplify how debt settlement serves consumers in financial hardship each day by offering significant and measurable financial benefits.

Financial Outcomes for Debt Settlement Programs

The American Fair Credit Council (AFCC) commissioned these two reports in 2019 and 2020, both of which were completed by Will S. Dobbie, Professor of Public Policy at Harvard Kennedy School of Government. The reports examine current evidence as well as past research conducted by Greg Regan of Hemming Morse LLP, while concluding that the Regan Report’s results were correct and debt settlement programs offer significant benefits to financially distressed individuals.

Economic Impact Report

The 2019 and 2020 Economic Impact Reports analyze the debt settlement industry’s national and local economic impact. These independent studies, which were commissioned by the AFCC from John Dunham & Associates, demonstrate the overwhelming importance of debt settlement for consumers, the U.S. economy as a whole, and state economies across the nation.