Debt Articles

What Can You Tell Me About Validify and Fresh Start Credit Services?

Written by Steve Rhode

Question:

Dear Steve,

Can’t get out of credit card debt. Making more than minimum payments and it’s still gonna take 20 years.

Have you heard of a company called Validify? They say they use fresh start services and a lawyer named Micheal Fallon. They say they try to validify the debt and if that doesn’t work they try to settle it.

Rickey

Answer:

Dear Rickey,

I don’t think I had heard about either company previously.

I’m happy to take a quick look using my following free guides.

  1. The Ultimate Consumer Guide to Checking Out a Debt Relief Company Before You Sign On the Line
  2. 10 Must Do Steps to Find the Best Credit Counseling or Debt Settlement Company for You
  3. How to Check Out a Business or Company to Avoid Getting Scammed or Ripped Off

Validify

It is not clear to me exactly what Validify is all about. They say they are “a third party consumer counseling agency that has been approved with accredited companies to enroll you in the program that best suits your financial situation.” – Source

When asked by the State of California, where they are registered to do business, they said they are a call center. – Source, Source

But then again Validify says, “We are NOT a law firm and are not lawyers. We hire independent lawyers, law firms, and work with attorney-backed agencies.”

They hire the companies they send consumers too? Really?

The Validify website also says, “We are a free solution and are compensated based on your success in the program we enroll you in.” So it would seem they may be a call center that is generating leads for debt relief providers.

But while Validify is a registered company in the State of California, the State has no company registered to do business as a corporation or LLC under the name Fresh Start Credit Services.

So if Validify sent you to Fresh Start Credit Services and has deemed them to be an approved and accredited company you might want to ask what the accreditation standards were/are.

Validify also says “Our goal is simple: eliminate our clients’ debt burden in the least amount of time possible.” But do they really have “clients” in a debt relief sense if they are sending callers to other companies? And isn’t bankruptcy the least expensive and fastest way out of debt with the least amount of legal and tax risk?

The description of “the team” at Validify says that John Titone is the manager and corporate documents say name him as responsible for the LLC filings.

Validify does not list their physical location on their website, or I could not find it.

Fresh Start Credit Services

Fresh Start Credit Services says they are located at 100 B Street Suite 200
​Santa Rosa, CA 95401. – Source

Fresh Start Credit Services says, “Our goal is to work efficiently, effectively, and aggressively with you and The Law Office of Michael C. Fallon to help you to a more financially secure future.” – Source

The State Bar of California does say there is an attorney named Michael C. Fallon who eligible to practice law in California. I’m not sure what state you live in. You’d have to check with your state to see if he is licensed to offer you legal advice in your state.

The Fresh Start Credit Services website has what appears to be a page client’s should use as a script when debt collectors call, and they will.

What is interesting is if you are being legally represented by attorney Michael C Fallon then why doesn’t the script say to tell the collectors you are being represented by an attorney and give his contact information? Instead, the purported script says, “Please don’t call me. I can’t make regular payments because I have a hardship. I am trying to avoid bankruptcy. I will be in contact when I can work something out with you. Thank you, goodbye (hang up).”

So Here is Where I Stand Right Now

I’m not exactly sure what you were sold. Is Validify your debt relief center or a call center generating commissioned sales to Fresh Start Credit Services? And is Fresh Start Credit Services a fictitious name for a different company, and if so, who? Their website does say a John Klein is the company manager. – Source

Is Michael C Fallon representing you as your attorney and is he licensed to practice law in the state you live in?

And then who is really responsible for you as a client: Validify, Fresh Start Credit Services, or Michael C Fallon?

Once we get past all of that then if you are being sold a debt validation approach we don’t seem to know what their success rate is for accomplishing that goal or if these folks are charging you and advance fee for services.

The safe route, given the number of unanswered questions, would be to follow those guides I linked to at the start of my answer and get more clarity about exactly what is going on here.

I’d look very carefully at the client agreement you were asked to sign and find out exactly what you are being asked to agree to before you sign on the line. Right now for me, it is clear as mud.

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About the author

Steve Rhode

Steve Rhode is the Get Out of Debt Guy and has been helping good people with bad debt problems since 1994. You can learn more about Steve, here.

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