Regan Report – First Edition
Options for Consumers in CrisisAn Economic Analysis of the Debt Settlement Industry
First Edition - Published February 28, 2013
In 2012, the American Fair Credit Council commissioned the first-ever independent analysis of the economic impact of the debt settlement industry on enrolled participants. The report, prepared by Hemming Morse LLP, addressed the results of more than one million individual accounts that joined debt settlement programs from January 1, 2006 through December 31, 2012.
The results showed that debt settlement is a valuable, highly effective debt relief option. The report found that across the entire data set, clients with at least four months of program tenure realized debt reduction in an amount greater than their fees. Furthermore, the figures indicated that the economic benefits from debt settlement programs are far superior to the alternative debt relief options available to consumers.
- In total, the clients surveyed saw more than $1.2 billion in debt reduction.
- The typical individual that completed a debt settlement program saw an average of approximately $16,200 in debt reduction.
- Debt settlement clients (including active, terminated, and completed) collected $3.15 in debt reduction for every $1.00 of fees (i.e. $2.15 of savings).
- Clients who completed debt settlement received $4.40 in debt reduction for every $1.00 in fees (i.e. $3.40 in savings).
- Clients across all data sets achieved substantial reductions to their account balances: “This finding indicates that, for all vintages (even the earliest), debt settlement is a very effective debt relief option.”
Options for Consumers in Crisis
An Updated Economic Analysis of the Debt Settlement Industry
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.
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.