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Certified Debt Reduction Notice – Utter BS

Written by Steve Rhode

So this Certified Reduction Notice arrived in the mailbox of one of my amazing readers. I have no clue what make this notice “certified.” Certifiable is more like it.

The sales letter, that’s what it is, arrived in a plain envelope with little identifying information The letter inside doesn’t even say who the company is behind this.

The claims made in the bold and large print are interesting. In big red numbers is the amount of unsecured debt that is past due. In this case, $19,236. That creates a problem for a couple of reasons. If this is a true reflection of the current debt past due for this reader then how did the company obtain this information to send the mailer? Others have been sued for accessing credit reports fraudulently to get debt information.

Or maybe this is just a number to scare you and has no bearing on reality. The fine print at the bottom says, “Any financial information contained herein is for example purposes and does not reflect any actual debt you may or may not owe.”


So if are to even begin to believe the letter, the records which may or may not be accurate or pulled out of thin air, say the reader owes some debt to “several credit card agencies.” Now what in the world is a credit card agency. I know what a credit card company is or a debt owner, but how do you owe credit card agency?

Next we get to the claims and promises. You have to love this line, “it has been determined you may resolve this distresses debt for $6,732.” So the potential fictional debt can MAYBE be resolved? When will the bedtime story stop?

Again back to the fine print. The important information says “Consumer may be referred to a non-profit or for profit debt relief agency upon detailed analysis of current financial state.” That tells me this is just a sales letter from a possible lead generating company.

So knowing that, how would a lead generating company have a freaking clue what the performance results expected are from a company they don’t yet know who the consumer will be referred to? More logic defied.

So now lets turn to the benefits section. The most likely companies a consumer would be referred to would be a credit counseling program, debt settlement company, or bankruptcy attorney. But the benefits sold to the consumer don’t apply to all options. And I am totally lost in how someone would avoid “costly debt management programs” when consumers are to be referred to a “debt relief agency.”

Now the only program that most likely meets the benefits of stopping collection calls is bankruptcy. But the mailer says bankruptcy will be avoided.

From a consumer point of view I can see how this sales letter might look like something they’d call, but from the point of view of anyone who has experience in the debt relief world it would be recognized as pure BS.

My best advice to anyone who gets one of these letters would be to do a little homework. I would recommend that anyone considering using such a company should read the 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

Oh, and here is the generic envelope.

Screen Shot 2016-03-31 at 9.30.48 AM

If you receive a credit or debt relief offer in the mail, do some good and let me pay you for it. Click here.

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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.


  • Got it here, once in June and again in September; same amounts, same resolution amount — it’s designed to look a lot like the notices I get from my insurance company when they need “support documentation” for a claim, so I’m sure something like that was the model for the layout.

  • Just got the almost identical letter today, is there some way to report this obvious scam? I looked at the options on the FTC web page and none seem correct. It’s pretty depressing to think of anyone giving these jerks money.

  • I got the same letter and with the numbers and amount today, mailing envelope are the same as above, Please be careful and don’t call or give any of your info

  • It just hit Katy Texas. Got it. Looked up Certified Benefits Statement and found you guys. Thanks for the post and saving me from running a free credit report. (I only have one left for the next 6 months, and it would have been a shame to waste it otherwise).

  • I got the same number and was given the name John M. Thompson – who is a great attorney who practices in this field – however, he is in Oklahoma. I did receive a direct line to “Brenda”, but she never answers or returns calls. I obviously told them I wanted some time – I will probably never hear back from them again. It sure looks too good to be true – which means it probably is. They said once you pay this off in 2 years your credit would be restored – just doesn’t make sense.

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