I Feel Cheated by Debt Validation of America and The Firm. Help! – Bonnie

“Dear Steve,

Several years ago I contracted with Debt Validation to negotiate and pay off my debts. Over two years, I gave them $400 per month, totally about $9,000. I have not been able to get info from them for awhile, and now I just found out they went bankrupt, are being picked up by The Firm, who did not get any money from them.

I don’t know what to do. I have no money. I have been a teacher for 40 years and now make $68,000 in California, where I pay $2600 per month for my mortgage which is 40% below market because I am a teacher and divorced and (when I got it) had two dependents. I am 61, will receive about $3000 in my pension per month. (I rent out rooms to make ends meet and will continue to do so) and no social security, because in California, teachers cannot receive both pension and social security, even if they paid in.

I am panicked about this debt. I have about $30,000 debt with DVA (now the Firm); plus I have about $2500 other debt. I don’t know what to do. I have about $5000 in savings. I also owe the IRS money because we had family support and made some errors on my returns because the family support construct became outlawed and I didn’t realize what happened and the ramifications. Don’t know how much I owe the IRS yet — could be $10,000 or more. HELP!!!!!

Should I continue having The Firm negotiate with my creditors when I have so little to pay debt with? Is there some action to take against Debt Validation? Should I sell my house (no equity because it’s below market rate – I could get $10,000 back, but it would probably take that to get it fixed up and sold back to the city). Should I try to declare bankruptcy? I feel like an idiot. What should I do?


help womanDear Bonnie,

See also  Debt Validation of America Files Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

Unfortunately Debt Validation of America has appeared on this site a number of times. You can read past articles here.

My personal opinion is this is all going down in flames and people will recover little to no money back in the bankruptcy.

Based on what you shared I think it is clear your first stop should be with a local bankruptcy attorney.

You can click here to find a local bankruptcy attorney and talk to them for free about your specific situation. Get the facts and then you can make an informed and educated decision if bankruptcy is right for you.

Based on your age it is so much more important to start today to fix the future than worry about the past.

We need to get you lined up to have the best chance of moving forward safely.

Depending on how old the IRS debt is, it is possible it can be discharge in the bankruptcy as well.

Go talk to a local bankruptcy attorney and let me know what they say.

These links will help you in your journey.

Please post your responses and follow-up messages to me on this in the comments section below.


You are not alone. I'm here to help. There is no need to suffer in silence. We can get through this. Tomorrow can be better than today. Don't give up.

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Damon Day - Pro Debt Coach

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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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