Debt Validation

I Noticed Golden Financial Services is Working With Actify Solutions on Debt Validation

Written by Steve Rhode

Question:

Dear Steve,

I noticed Golden Financial Services is pushing their “Debt Validation” as a way to save more money compare to debt settlement with various internet marketing. I did more research and found they use a company called Actify Solutions for this debt validation. By reading through the BBB complaints of Actify Solutions, I noticed some pretty serious complaints. They appear to be very close to losing their BBB accreditation since the lowest grade an accredited member can have is a “B” and the complaints just seem to keep rolling in.

Do you believe Actify Solutions is purposely being deceptive to classify their company as a “Legal Document Help” company when it is clear that all of their complaints are related to debt relief? I also find it deceptive that Golden Financial is a Debt Relief company marketing Actify Solutions as a Debt Relief service.

Ella

Answer:

Dear Ella,

Nine days ago I received a similar question and sent an email to Paul Paquin, the head of Golden Financial Services. I said, “I got this as a reader question and wanted to give you a shot at answering it first.”

I have not received a reply from Paul or Golden Financial Services at the time of this answer. If I do get an answer I’ll update this posting.

I’ve been in the debt relief space since 1994. I’ve given up being shocked or surprised by anything.

I’m not sure there is more I can add other than just some commonsense advice.

Debt relief companies are trying to sell a product. There is no requirement that any of those products are the best solution or effective for the consumer. In general, for most companies and commissioned salespeople, the focus seems to be on closing the sale. Sometimes it seems people do more homework when buying a vehicle than they do to purchase debt relief help.

Debt validation alone as a strategy to eliminate debt is not a given nor does it automatically have the power of law behind it as a consumer bankruptcy does. It is a tool that a consumer can attempt to use to gain more clarity about a debt claimed to be owed.

READ  Actify Solutions is a Credit Repair Company, Right?

There are good times to attempt to validate a specific account that the consumer does not recognize or is grossly in error. In my opinion, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) offered up some good advice on this subject.

In response to the question about determining if a debt collector is legitimate who calls, the CFPB said, “Tell the caller that you refuse to discuss any debt until you get a written “validation notice.”

This notice must include:

You can consider sending the collector a letter requesting the information by using one of the CFPB’s sample letters. You can also submit a complaint to the CFPB or you can contact your state Attorney General’s office. – Source

I have said over-and-over-and-over that before purchasing any debt relief services, people should do their own research to make sure they are comfortable with the vendor they are hiring. As a sample of the type of research that can be performed I publish these guides online.

  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

If you or anyone else has questions like you did, I invite them to be directly ask the companies they are thinking of working with to make sure the answers are satisfactory before they move ahead.




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.

7 Comments

  • Steve, please remove my personal email address from the published version of my last post. I must have made a mistake when I sent it to you.

    I believe that after 30 years you are probably fine with disclosing your previous bankruptcy. I am sure most people would be. But it is 30 years old. What if it was only 11 or 12 years old? For most people that would be hard to confess.

    Steve, I don’t mind people filing BK who truly need one. I do have a problem with people doing it for selfish reasons like “saving for retirement” or because they have a good lawyer who maneuvers them out of their obligations. I view bankruptcy kind of like welfare. If someone really needs it give it to them. It is different when they could be working but choose not to work because it is easier for you and I to pay their way.

    Nearly half a million Chapter 7s are filed each year in America. That is half a million people who simply walk away without paying a dime to their creditors. Does that hurt me? Absolutely it does. The price of credit for all of us suffers as a result of those decision to just walk away from their obligations and hit the reset button like life is a video game. Is it right for my loans to cost more because others just don’t want to pay theirs? What if they were irresponsible spenders and savers all their life but now file BK to help their future? Is it my responsibility to help pay their debts so they can retire more comfortably?

    It is far too easy to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy in this country and Americans need to take a real stand against it.

    JM

    • Removed.

      I’m not advocating bankruptcy is the only solution but it is the only solution backed by the power of law to forgive debts tax-free and give presumptive protections to consumers. It should be examined by debtors when considering their options.

      When people hit a financial wall they have two choices, they can attempt to repair the past and sacrifice the future or they can close the door on the past and do better moving forward. Besides, there is no disputing that a Chapter 7 bankruptcy is the fastest way out of debt in the shortest time and for the least cost.

      Thinking of saving for retirement is not a selfish concern because those who do not will wind up needing public benefits and that costs everyone tax dollars. You can’t make ends meet on Social Security alone. Pensions are a thing of the past. People not responsibly saving today will be a public burden in the future when they are out of time.

      Immediately after my bankruptcy, I struggled with it. But once I bought the house and got the market rate mortgage I began to realize that my emotional issues and feelings about my bankruptcy were my feelings and had nothing to do with reality. Again, the facts back up that reality.

      If people have negative thoughts about filing bankruptcy then they should also have negative thoughts about things like debt settlement or debt validation or any other approach other than repaying their creditors.

      But the reason creditors don’t want payment after bankruptcy is that it is a legal black hole for them. It’s just like the reason creditors charge off debts after 180 days. It is a requirement and regulation.

      If you really want to learn more about the reality of bankruptcy I invite you to become familiar with why the Founding Fathers of America made it part of the U.S. Constitution. Bankruptcy is an extension of English common law that had proven financially prudent to give merchants a fresh start when in impossible situations. If you want to look even further back, ancient religions even advocated for the forgiveness of debts every seven years.

      Believe me, I completely understand the positions and statements you are making and held some of them myself one time. Some of the statements sound like the bankruptcy myths I talk about at https://getoutofdebt.org/48847/so-you-are-going-to-file-bankruptcy-thats-good-news-congratulations

      Thank you for taking the time to comment.

  • Steve let me tell you something. Lawyers are also SELLING their bankruptcy services just the same as any other debt relief service provider. Even worse they wear this apparent halo of “being a lawyer” to manipulate consumers into thinking they are the most trustworthy and their product the best option. There are some giant flesh eating monsters in the debt relief industry who hold law licenses. They deceptively tell consumers they can quickly get their credit score back up after filing bankruptcy but they fail to tell them that the score only gets the consumer in front on an underwriter but doesn’t get them through the underwriting. They also fail to tell the consumer how the BK will haunt them for life. Steve, do you know it is very common for loan applications to ask if a person has ever filed a BK? It doesn’t ask if it is still on the credit report. Answering no to this question because the BK is no longer on the credit report is still dishonestly and probably fraud. How many BK lawyers have heard tell their clients about that? I am guessing very, very few at most. I would also argue it is more wrong to file and BK and never even try to pay anything to the creditors than it is to pay them less via other debt relief methods. The bankruptcy laws were never meant for people to buy their way out of paying their obligations by hiring a good attorney. I believe a high number of people filing Chapter 7 could pay their creditors if they really wanted to but the truth is they don’t want to pay them.

    I love your site, Steve! JM

    • After my bankruptcy decades ago I felt the same way you do. But over the years I came to realize I had an emotional opinion and the more I studied the issue and lived a life after bankruptcy I came to a different opinion. I think the Federal Reserve summed things up nicely in this article from them. https://getoutofdebt.org/86125/those-that-file-bankruptcy-do-better-than-those-that-dont

      The experience I had and that thousands of people I’ve witnessed since 1994 are that it is easy to rebuild a new financial life once you close the door on the old one. In my experience, I qualified for my very first mortgage within two years after my bankruptcy and at market rates.

      All that being said, there are good and bad bankruptcy attorneys just like there are dentists, doctors, etc. I have no problem disclosing my bankruptcy in 1990 if asked and it has never been an issue once I learned to embrace my truth.

      One of the issues that opened my eyes was when I tried to repay my creditors after my bankruptcy and they told me to “please don’t.”

    • I forgot to add that I have no issue what path people take to deal with their debt as long as they have all the facts and not the assumptions like I once held. My biggest concern in 2020 is the looming retirement crisis coming and the millions in lost retirement savings people will throw away by making an emotional rather than a mathematical decision about how to deal with their debt. See https://getoutofdebt.org/51244/debt-repayment-calculator-retirement

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