Debt Cleanse by Jorge P. Newbery Book Review

Part how-to manual, part self-help book, and part-companion to the larger website, Jorge P. Newbery’s Debt Cleanse: How to Settle Your Unaffordable Debts for Pennies on the Dollar (And Not Pay Some at All) is a definitive, exhaustive guide with the goal of forever ridding the reader from the crippling debt that so unfortunately saddles millions of Americans.

Newbery begins with a set if staggering statistics. Literally millions of Americans are burdened with various forms of debt. Some of this debt is so massive that is it often feels to the victims that they (or even their progeny) will never be rid of it. Newbery himself once suffered from that kind of debtor’s fear. As he so candidly admits, at one point in his career as a businessman, he owed a debt amounting to over twenty-six million dollars. But today he is relatively debt-free. Sound impossible? Newbery’s guide illuminates step-by-step how he was able to emerge from that crippling figure by paying only a minuscule fraction of it. He further provides hundreds of exacting tips, tools, and tactics to aid any person who finds him or herself in debt to eventually walk away debt-free after only paying a very small portion of the overall cost.

After an introductory chapter in which Newbery provides the reader with his background and a brief introduction to the vision behind Debt Cleanse and its accompanying website, the following section goes on to provide an extensive list of vocabulary words that any reader looking to get rid of his or her debt would do well to memorize.

The third chapter elucidates the steps needed to get started debt cleansing. Some of these steps, especially on first read, may seem radical, even downright illicit, but could ultimately prove immensely useful to one looking to finally emerge from their debt. Here Newbery explicates the eight essential principles to debt cleansing that appear constantly in the book, including the stopping payment of debt, the ignoring of any creditors (even upon threat of arrest), the necessity of disputing debts, and the welcoming, and instigating, of lawsuits. Other controversial, yet understandable and perhaps even necessary, notions that Newbery proposes here include not caring about one’s credit score, the necessity of having a lawyer you trust on retainer, and the advisability of never filing for bankruptcy.

The subsequent dozen-or so chapters each painstakingly and eruditely guide the reader through the steps necessary to eliminate many of the most common debts plaguing Americans today, include mortgage payments, car loans, student loans, medical bills, and credit card loans. Each chapter not only thoroughly explains the processes and steps that need to be undertaken in order to cleanse the reader of that form of loan, but additionally help the reader to understand the intricacies and the lingo associated with that type of loan. The hundred-plus page appendices at the conclusion of the book, entitled “Action Tools,” provide readers with hundreds of necessary forms, questions, and checklists needed to cleanse debt.

While Debt Cleanse will be too radical an approach to financial stability for more conservative readers, for those who wish to follow in Newbery’s footsteps, it serves an indispensable guide and printed companion to If Newbery succeeds, it may even help engender the debt revolution that he desires.