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Debt Relief – California

Welcome to Golden Financial Services (GFS), an A+ Better Business Bureau rated debt relief company that assists people in California. Debt relief, settlement, and consolidation programs will all be explained on the following page. If you have a question or want to apply for a program, simply call (866) 376-9846. California residents can get a free consultation from an IAPDA certified counselor.


Is GFS an Accredited BBB Debt Settlement Company in California?

Table of Contents: (click chapter that you want to read)


Top 5 California (CA) Debt Relief, Settlement, and Consolidation Programs & Options

  1. A Validation Program challenges the validity of an account where if proven to be legally uncollectible, you may not have to pay the debt. These plans can take around 36 months to complete. You can include most unsecured accounts in a validation program, including credit cards, medical bills, repossessions, and unsecured personal loans. There are restrictions like certain creditors and locations are not eligible. For example, Discover credit cards do not qualify.
  2. CA Debt Settlement Programs can negotiate your credit card balances and unsecured debts down by approximately 30% (including all fees, by an A+ Accredited Debt Settlement/Negotiation Law Firm). Become debt-free in 24-48 months. Discover credit cards, and all major credit card debts will qualify for debt settlement in California. You can have almost any type of account resolved with a settlement plan, including repossessions, medical bills, unsecured personal loans, and more.
  3. CA Non-Profit Consumer Credit Counseling Programs consolidate credit card payments into one payment, reducing the amount of interest a person pays and getting them out of debt in under five years (GFS is not a licensed credit counseling company but can refer you to one)
  4. Low interest “Debt consolidation Loans” in California can be obtained through a local credit union. GFS does not offer consolidation loans but we do recommend this option if your primary concern is to preserve a high credit score and escape high-interest accounts. Another benefit of using a loan to consolidate your bills is that you can include secured and unsecured accounts. A home equity line of credit can also be used to consolidate because they often include the lowest monthly payment and interest rate, but the risk of going this route is that you could end up losing your property if you fail to make all of your payments on time.
  5. For Bankruptcy Debt Relief in California, you must consult with a California bankruptcy attorney. We only mention bankruptcy because it can help a person that is dealing with extreme financial problems that cannot qualify for debt relief programs. What are “extreme financial problems”? An example of a situation that would disqualify someone for a debt relief program in California is if a person has two credit card judgments and is on the urge of having their home foreclosed. In this case, chapter 7 bankruptcy could result in the judgments getting dismissed and wiped-away clean. A chapter 13 bankruptcy could result in an affordable debt repayment plan that allows the consumer to stay in their home and pay off their bills over five years. So as you can see, some cases will require bankruptcy debt relief, but most of the time Golden Financial Services (GFS) counselors can assist consumers in avoiding having to file for bankruptcy.

Compare Pros and Cons of California Debt Relief Programs

Best California Debt Relief Programs as of 2020

How to Sign Up For Debt Relief, Settlement & Consolidation Programs in California

Through GFS, you can choose from the best debt relief programs in California. We’ve been servicing San Francisco, Chula Vista, Oxnard, Imperial Beach, and all of California since 2004 and maintain an A+ rating through the San Diego Better Business Bureau.

Credentials & California Debt Relief Program Reviews


A+ BBB Rating for California Debt Relief, Settlement and Consolidation Company

Don’t delay the pain that your bills are causing you. Take action today and let Golden Financial’s IAPDA certified counselors show you the light at the end of the tunnel.

If you live in California and need help with over $7,500 in debt, start by talking to a San Diego IAPDA certified debt enrollment specialist at (858) 605-6196. Find out what programs you may be eligible for and see how much money you can save. 

Shopper Approved 200+ Positive Reviews - California Debt Relief Company

If your income has been affected by Coronavirus, you may only need “temporary relief.” Learn about Coronavirus-related debt relief by visiting this page next.

The following page explains each program in detail and talks about CA debt relief laws that can help you out. Simply click on the chapter that you are interested in learning more about or call at any time for your free consultation.

California Debt Statistics

Credit Card Debt Statistics & Debt Relief Programs in California

The Statute of Limitations on a Debt (California Laws)

Did you know that the Statute of Limitations in California on a credit card debt is only four years, compared to six to seven years for most of the other states? If it’s been over four years since you last paid a debt, your creditor can no longer sue you, and legally you may not have to pay the debt.

This image explains the Statute of Limitations on Delinquent Debt in California, by Debt Relief Company - Golden Financial Services

The clock starts ticking after you become delinquent on your payments. From 30-days after you stopped making your monthly payments on a credit card or personal loan, your creditor only has up to four years to sue you over the debt.

However, if you make any payments during those four years to the collection agency, this could re-age the expiration date of the statute of limitations. If it’s been a few years since you last paid a debt, before paying the debt collection company, consider debt validation. Debt validation will dispute the validity of the debt, to make sure the debt collection company has the legal authority to collect on t

California Debt Relief & Settlement Laws

A new debt relief law in California called the Debt Settlement Consumer Act (Senate Bill 708) –could limit how much debt settlement companies charge. If you have $100,000 in credit card bills and a credit card settlement company reduces these bills to $50,000, that means $50,000 of the $100,000 of debt gets forgiven – wiped away clean! The new law would prevent the settlement company from charging more than 15% of the amount forgiven, so if a settlement company saves you $50,000 – they cannot charge you more than $7,500.


Best California debt relief, settlement and consolidation programs

Debt Relief Programs in California

Struggling to pay your minimum payments? Have debt collection accounts? Need help with your debt?

What is the best California debt relief program? Debt settlement, credit card consolidation, consumer credit counseling, student loan consolidation, and validation, are all viable options depending on each person’s specific needs and goals.

We make debt relief simple for you!

  • Start with a free consultation to learn your options, comparing the pros and cons of each
  • Pick an affordable monthly payment
  • Start on the path to getting out of debt

To start, CALL (866)-376-9846!

Is GFS accredited? California BBB Debt Settlement.Negotiation.Consolidation.Iapda.Accredited

Find a Debt Relief Office Near You

If you are looking to schedule a Face to Face appointment where you can sit with an IAPDA Certified Debt Relief Specialist — SIMPLY CALL 866-376-9846 NOW. Get help from one of our experienced enrollment specialists in the state of California. Debt relief appointments do need to be scheduled to ensure an IAPDA certified representative will be able to assist you without any interruptions. Call Now To Schedule Your In-Office Appointment at 866-376-9846.


California debt settlement example:

California debt settlement program negotiates a credit card bill down from $4,216.14 –– $1,475.75. (results vary and this is before debt negotiation company fees get added in)

debt settlement california (example letter)

Consumers in California can choose from multiple programs to help them get rid of all their debt.

In some cases, consumers may need more than one program to address all of their bills. For example, you may need a consumer credit counseling program to consolidate your credit cards and settlement program for your third-party collection accounts.

Federal Student Loan Consolidation, California:

Golden Financial Services can provide you step by step instructions on how to consolidate your federal student loans into an income-driven repayment plan, where your new monthly payment would be close to zero dollars per month. Every year you would then recertify your income-driven plan so that you can keep the lowest monthly payment also ensuring you keep track of when you’re eligible for loan forgiveness.

If you work in a public service job like teachers and police officers, you could be eligible for loan forgiveness in as quickly as ten years. Here is the step by step guide on how to consolidate federal student loans, reduce your monthly payment, and get loan forgiveness. 

All of your existing loans will get paid in full with student loan consolidation, leaving you with one consolidated loan to pay back. Keep in mind; these are government student loan consolidation programs that you can do on your own and don’t need to hire any California debt relief company to assist you with this option.

Example of a student loan consolidation case, where the consumer was approved for a zero-dollar payment

See California student loan relief & consolidation success case example -- client gets approved for a zero dollar payment after consolidating loans! The government makes these low payments available for consumers who are experiencing financial hardship.


Alaska debt relief

California Credit Card Debt Settlement & Validation

For delinquent credit card debt, Golden Financial Services could personalize a plan for you to get out of credit card debt much quicker than when paying minimum payments on your own, depending on your goals and budget. We would recommend using debt validation if accounts are in “third-party collection status.”

Accounts get proven to be “legally uncollectible” in many cases because creditors can’t provide complete and accurate records that they are legally required to maintain.

A legally uncollectible debt is one that doesn’t have to get paid and subsequently cannot legally be reported on your credit report.

A California debt relief client used validation services to walk away from paying a Barclays Bank Credit Card (example case)

ERC- Barclays Bank Credit Card Debt Gets Proven Invalid With Debt Validation

 Debt Settlement – California

California debt settlement programs can be used as a second alternative to dealing with credit cards if the consumer is current on their payments but on the urge of falling behind or if the validation doesn’t solve the problem.

For a settlement program to work, the account needs to be with a third-party debt collection company. Collection companies buy the debt for less than 50% of what it was initially worth in many cases, which is why they’re willing to settle for such a reduced amount.

Does debt settlement California programs hurt credit scores?

Since accounts need to be with a collection agency before they can get settled, credit scores are negatively affected.

Downsides of Settlement Programs Include

  • Credit card companies are not required to settle at a certain amount but usually will settle, so no settlement company can guarantee any type of savings
  • You could also owe taxes on the amount that gets forgiven on a settlement as the IRS sees the “savings” as “income.”
  • Although it’s rare, creditors also have the right to sue a person over an unpaid credit card.
  • Not all clients will finish the program successfully, some clients can’t afford to make all of their monthly payments and are forced to cancel the program.

Does validation also have all of the downsides that come with settling debt?

A validation program does not come with all of the same downsides as a settlement program. Here are a few differences:

  1. For starters, if an account is invalidated and you don’t have to pay it, there are no potential tax consequences.
  2. If an account is invalidated, it can’t legally remain on credit reports, where with a settlement program late and collection accounts can stay on credit reports for up to seven years
  3. With validation, all of the accounts are disputed immediately after they are sent to collection, but with a settlement program, only one account at a time is negotiated on and dealt with. Consequently, some accounts will sit untouched for over a year with a settlement program.

Credit scores are negatively affected over the first year of the program with validation as accounts must age and get sent to third-party collection status before they can get disputed. Consequently, there is a chance that creditors can issue a summons to go to court, like with a settlement program.

The debt validation program recommended through Golden Financial Services includes a money-guarantee ensuring if results are not achieved the consumer pays nothing and if a summons is received while on the program there is a full refund provided.

Consumer Credit Counseling – California

Consumer Credit Counseling Programs are designed to lower a person’s interest rates and consolidate all credit card payments into one.

Accounts are easier to manage when only having to deal with one monthly payment.

With consumer credit counseling, you can become debt-free in 4.5 – 5 years (average).

A consumer credit counseling company will often tell consumers that there won’t be any adverse effect on their credit from the program, but the truth is there’s always a negative effect on credit when using any type of debt relief. California consumer credit counseling programs will result in credit cards getting closed out at the end of the plan, consequently, credit scores go down towards the end of the program.

Do California consumer credit counseling programs lower credit scores?

Consumer credit counseling does put a consumer credit counseling third-party notation on a person’s credit report. Some creditors look down upon this mark because it appears that “you couldn’t manage your bills on your own”.

Additionally, there is a negative effect on credit scores at the end of a consumer credit counseling program due to credit cards getting closed out at the end of the program.

Can credit scores improve with credit counseling plans?

At the beginning of a credit counseling plan, credit scores may actually improve due to late payments getting re-aged to show current, and overtime balances will go down which can also improve scores.

How much can you save with California credit counseling?

A person’s monthly payment on a credit counseling program is usually around the same as what it would be when paying “minimum payments” on their own. However, you can save money on interest, as credit counseling plans lower credit card interest rates.

Learn more about credit card consolidation here.


Bankruptcy Debt Relief California:

California Bankruptcy Debt Relief Options have the worst negative effect on credit. With chapter 7 bankruptcy, consumers can walk away from all of their debt, including secured debt, where they end up paying nothing aside from attorney fees.

With Chapter 13 bankruptcy, consumers end up paying back their debt, but over about five years on average, and their payment is based on what the judge determines they can afford. Bankruptcy should always be considered a person’s last option. Read more about debt settlement vs. bankruptcy.

California Debt Relief Disclosures and Scams – What you need to know

California’s debt scams prey on consumers who are struggling with their finances. Some debt settlement companies in California will try to charge consumers up-front fees before settling their debt; this action is illegal. A company can only charge a fee for debt settlement in California after an account is settled, and at least one payment has been made on the settlement.

The average fee for debt settlement is 15%-25% of the total amount enrolled in the program, so any company trying to charge you more than that is overcharging you. Some companies will also charge 15% of what they save you; this is also OK as long as it’s only charged after the account is settled and paid off, not one day sooner.

With debt negotiation & settlement programs in California, consumers are set up with an FDIC insured savings account. Your payments go into this account and accumulate until enough is available to settle and pay off one of your bills for around half of what is owed (not including the settlement fee for the company). Any company trying to draft from your bank account and direct the funds into their own “company account” is a red flag and could be a scam, unless of course, it’s a consumer credit counseling program. With credit counseling, you pay the credit counseling company, and they will then disburse the funds to your creditors but at a lower interest rate.

Any time you sign up for a program to help with your bills, check to make sure you know exactly how much is being drafted, what fees are included, and where the funds are being kept. You should remain in “full control” of the funds at all times until a debt is settled and you agree to the deal with debt settlement. California companies are also legally required to explain all of the downsides that come with a settlement program.

Reputable debt relief companies in California will be transparent and forthright with you about each program’s downsides, as all programs include pros and cons. If you run into a company that doesn’t disclose the downsides with you upfront, before asking you for bank information, that right there is a big red flag.

You need to understand what the game plan is if one of your creditors decide to sue. You need to know how the program will affect your credit score and what the plan will be to rebuild it. You need to know what plan B will be if Plan A doesn’t work. For example, what if an account is proven to be valid with a validation program, what’s Plan B?

The debt validation program recommended by GFS comes with a money-back guarantee. If a creditor issues a person a summons to go to court, the client is fully refunded on that account. The client is then referred to a law firm that settles the debt for a much smaller amount than the total owed.

Some salespeople work for debt relief companies in California that are paid a commission for every sale they make. Some of these salespeople don’t operate most ethically and are not being monitored by company compliance teams. Consequently, they may lie to people on the phone just to make a sale and fail to disclose the negatives. People get scammed this way every day in California, signing up for the wrong program that they don’t need!

Here are a few words of advice for you to consider before hiring a company to help you with debt relief. California consumers can search on the Better Business Bureau website for a highly rated debt settlement company. Check the BBB reviews and make sure they are mainly positive reviews that go back many years. Check for reviews about any company on Google. And make sure the debt settlement company is either licensed in your state or IAPDA certified.

Is Golden Financial Services one of the best California debt relief, settlement, and consolidation companies?

Golden Financial Services can refer you to what we feel are the best debt relief programs in California, depending on your specific financial goals and needs. We don’t actually offer the California debt relief services in-house.

Our IAPDA certified counselors are trained to explain each program to consumers and go over the pros and cons of each. We help people make an informed decision about how to get out of debt. You truly have the power to make a choice based on what suits you best, rather than us offering only one option and trying to sell everyone that one plan.

We offer multiple options and explain how each one works, and allow you to decide what route to take.

GFS is an A+ Rated debt settlement company by the BBB and has had this high rating since 2004. GFS was also the top California debt relief company on TCR’s Top 10 Debt Relief Companies (for 2020). 

Learn about how debt validation could help you.


More Helpful Resources:

Here is a recent Bankruptcy Debt Relief Infographic that teaches people about the different types of bankruptcy. Teach your children about money and raise them to be financially savvy. (This is a must-read for anyone that has children, grandchildren, nephews, or even friends with kids.) If you live in San Diego, then visit our San Diego California Debt Relief Page next. Hours of Operation: Monday – Saturday 8 am – 8 pm Address:



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