August 9, 1973 |
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
|Known for||Freedom Financial Network
Freedom Debt Relief
Andrew Housser is a financial expert and entrepreneur who co-founded, with Bradford Stroh, Freedom Financial Network, which provides consumer finance services through its divisions: Freedom Debt Relief, Bills.com, Freedom Tax Relief, FreedomPlus and Freedom Mortgage.
Housser received his MBA from Stanford Business School, where he was an Arjay Miller Scholar, and received a BA from Dartmouth College, where he graduated Summa Cum Laude and was a member of the Phi Beta Kappa honor society.
Prior to founding Freedom Financial Network, Housser was an investor in a variety of services, manufacturing and distribution companies at Littlejohn & Company, a private equity firm based in Greenwich, Connecticut. Prior to Littlejohn & Company, he worked for Smith Barney in New York City in the company's investment banking division.
Housser and his business partner, Brad Stroh, founded Freedom Financial Network in 2002. Freedom Debt Relief, the largest division of Freedom Financial Network, provides debt settlement services. Debt settlement, also known as debt arbitration or debt negotiation, is a unique approach to debt reduction in which the debtor and creditor agree on a reduced balance that will be regarded as payment in full.
The company was founded with the goal of providing consumers with a viable alternative to bankruptcy as a way to get out of debt. "We looked long and hard at the collection industry," Housser said. "You have the biggest companies in the world--banks, collectors law firms--all ganging up on the consumer who has no advocate. We saw an opportunity."
Freedom Debt Relief is an accredited member of the American Fair Credit Council (AFCC). Andrew Housser serves on AFCC's Board of Directors, a position he has held since 2006, when it operated under the name The Association of Settlement Companies. In 2010, he was awarded the association’s President's Award for outstanding voluntary service to the organization and contributions that “benefits the consumer”. Within the AFCC, Andrew plays a key role in promoting strong consumer legislation at the state and federal level, including important work the industry conducted with the Federal Trade Commission with respect to federal regulation for the industry. He played a vital role in reinventing the industry association to focus on its mission of credit advocacy, as well as strict compliance with the new federal regulations.
In 2005, Stroh and Housser purchased the Bills.com domain and relaunched it as a website that provides consumers with information and interactive tools dealing with personal finance topics including debt relief assistance, mortgage loans, and insurance. In 2008, Entrepreneur magazine named Bills.com #3 in the Hot 100 Fastest Growing Companies in America.
Housser is also frequently called upon as an expert by the print, broadcast and online news media. He has been quoted in publications such as The New York Times, Christian Science Monitor, CNBC, BankRate and AOL Money & Finance. As part of his company's effort to help educate American consumers on credit, debt and personal finance management, Housser is a weekly contributor to WorldNow, one of the country's largest online media content producers. With WorldNow's online presence through more than 400 media companies - including CBS Radio, Cox, Dispatch, Entravision, Fisher, Gray, Griffin, Journal, Landmark, Media General, Quincy, Raycom Media, Schurz, Titan and Waterman & Young - Housser regularly reaches nearly 2 million readers each week with timely consumer finance information.
Housser's company was also recognized as one of the best places to work in 2008 and 2009 by the San Francisco Business Times and Phoenix Business Journal.
In December 2013, Freedom Financial Network announced that Vulcan Capital, an investment group owned by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, would invest $125 million of venture capital in FreedomPlus, an online lending platform to make unsecured loans to consumers. Housser is CEO of FreedomPlus.
- Winner of 2008 Ernst & Young Entrepreneurs of the Year for the Northern California region
- Named to the Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal's "40 Under 40" list
- Bills.com was No. 17 on Inc. Magazine's Top 100 Financial Services Companies in the Bay Area in 2008
- Bills.com was No. 12 on Inc. Magazine's Top 100 Businesses in the Bay Area in 2008
Housser lives with his family in Northern California. He is married to Lara Bridges Housser and the father of three children.
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