Interesting questions. But the answers might surprise you. Money matters, helping people and dealing with creditors was something that I was always interested in. After my divorce I considered myself the king of debt! Most men and women reading this can probably relate. I felt lost, helpless and useless. I also felt like a bad person owing so many people so much money. I didn’t make enough money to pay all my bills. That was back in 1984. We had no internet to look up the things we can find today. Credit counseling consolidate debt bill consolidation payday loan consolidation. Although I don’t remember payday loans back then in the 80s I’m sure they were out there. I didn’t care where I got the money from as long as I got it. I was deep in debt and it sucked. I had a great business idea and a way to make money in my head and I borrowed some money from my father to take a shot. I was fairly successful. I did very well in the business that I chose and made enough money to pay my bills, to pay my creditors and not to have my creditors call me specifically because I had no creditors anymore. So between 1984 and 1994 I became debt-free. I was in the video business and owned video stores. We know how that worked out. How do you spell Blockbuster! All of a sudden the money dried up. Bills came in and there was no way to pay them. Who could keep up with a company that big? They were a money generating machine.  All they did was figure out new and really innovative ways to create cash for their burgeoning business. Their stores basically became little cash generating movie theaters except you took the movies back to your house. That’s the beginning . Companies like these pushed the little guys out and caused them to go bankrupt. Me included. that was the beginning though, the beginning of let’s watch our movies at home, save a lot of money and not pay all that ridiculous amount of money for refreshments. It was the start of what we do today which is stream at home. Yes we all stream at home now and we don’t even buy something that’s tangible. We are paying for something that we can’t see except if we turn the television on. It’s interesting. I was out of work, and though I wasn’t broke, I knew I would be in about a year. I needed to have an income . A steady income. I had one for 10 years. Love don’t pay the bills! I did a lot of soul searching and thinking about how I could make money. I also knew that being in the video business and having four stores I had created lots of good feelings and joy for people. That made me feel good. I decided that I wanted to create something that saved people money. Something that kept people out of debt. Something that did not allow people to get to deeply into debt. I decided all that based on my own experiences of divorce and debt that I mentioned before. I didn’t know how to go about it. I didn’t know what I could create that would put me in a position where I could actually help people eliminate their debt and eventually get out of debt. A lot of ideas are great but they require creativity and lots of thought. I knew there was a need. If there’s a need there has to be a product created to meet the need. In this case a product for people to get out of debt and stay out of debt hopefully for the rest of their lives. Two years pass and I realized that I was running out of money. I had enough money to pay my bills and lay out one lump sum to create a business. I was driving down in fort Lauderdale one day and saw a sign on a billboard. GET OUT OF DEBT RIGHT NOW! There was an 800 number right underneath. I wanted to know how they got people out of debt right now. This is what happened next.

 

As soon as I got home, no cell phones back then at least not one I could afford, I called that company. They really did get people out of debt. They were a nonprofit credit counseling agency. Interestingly my first thought was, what the hell is a nonprofit credit counseling agency? What is credit counseling? What is a 501c3? How did they help people get out of debt, by counseling them? Then I started to think is this like therapy? So I went down to the library, remember those people? I went down to the library and did some research and then I understood. They were the gold standard at that time. Not for profit credit counseling agencies were the gold standard for getting people out of debt and that was not a good thing. I didn’t know that it wasn’t a good thing when I was learning about their business but I quickly realized that they operated under rules and regulations that were dictated by the government and consequently couldn’t hire quality staff to get the job done. So now, we have a need and we have a product. What I needed was the ability to make a deal with the creditors. We were still at the dawn of the internet and snail mail was King. I spent 6 months calling and writing to Banks and asking them what their criteria was to work with me and after a certain amount of time I knew what had to be done. My problem was being in debt. I hadn’t worked in a while . I knew this would work. I was so confident that I took a second mortgage out on my home. I knew one thing . I knew for this to work for the consumer I had to have the absolute most qualified people working with me and teaching me. I wanted attorneys. I wanted attorneys with financial backgrounds who had the ability and the gumption to stand up for their clients. I found a few and in January 1998 I Incorporated FederatedFinancial.COM Services Inc.

SMiller