What is a debt validation program?
Debt validation is a potent consumer protection measure allowing individuals to challenge the validity of debt claims using a strategic approach guided by federal laws. This empowering right ensures collection agencies provide accurate records to verify the authenticity of the debts they aim to collect. By using debt validation, individuals shield themselves from errors, deceptive claims, and consumer rights violations, paving the way to a more secure financial future.
Watch Short Introduction Video on How Debt Validation Works:
Debt Validation Program Reviews: Understanding the Process and Its Implications
This page is designed to provide a comprehensive overview of how debt validation programs operate, featuring illustrative examples of successful cases.
However, it’s crucial to bear in mind that debt validation should not be mistaken for a debt relief or settlement program. It does not entail payment to your creditors.
Do Debt Validation Letters Really Work?
Debt validation letters are an effective tool that can be used to dispute a third-party collection accounts.
Debt Validation Letter Template (Free)
To dispute a third-party debt collection account you can use the following free debt validation letter template. Simply copy and paste this letter into your own document and update the content with information pertaining to your situation.
[Your Name] [Your Address] [City, State, ZIP Code] [Date]
[Collection Agency’s Name] [Collection Agency’s Address] [City, State, ZIP Code]
Subject: Debt Validation Request for “Account Name and [Account Number]”
To Whom It May Concern,
I am writing to formally request verification of the alleged debt associated with the account referenced above. This letter is being sent within my rights under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) and other applicable consumer protection laws. I dispute the validity of the debt and demand that you provide me with accurate and comprehensive documentation to substantiate your claim.
Please provide the following information as part of your debt validation process:
- The original signed contract or agreement bearing my signature, demonstrating my consent and agreement to the terms and conditions of this debt.
- Detailed account statements showing the full transaction history, including all charges, payments, fees, and interest calculations, from the inception of the account until the present date.
- Proof of ownership and authorization to collect this alleged debt, including documentation showing that your agency has the legal right to collect on this account.
- The complete chain of custody of the debt, including all records of transfers, assignments, and any relevant documentation indicating that the debt was assigned to your agency.
- Documentation demonstrating compliance with applicable licensing requirements in my state to engage in debt collection activities.
- A breakdown of any additional fees or charges that have been added to the original debt amount, along with an explanation of the legal basis for these charges.
- Proof that the statute of limitations has not expired on this debt in accordance with the laws of [Your State].
Failure to provide the requested information within [30 days from the date of this letter] will be construed as an acknowledgment that this debt is not valid and does not have appropriate documentation to support its legitimacy. In such case, I expect you to cease all collection activities related to this debt, and any further communication regarding this matter should be restricted to confirming receipt of this dispute letter.
Additionally, I hereby request that all communication concerning this alleged debt be carried out in writing only. Any attempts to contact me by phone or in any other manner will be considered a violation of my rights under the FDCPA.
Please send all correspondence and documentation to the address listed above. I am aware of my rights as a consumer and intend to exercise them to ensure that any actions taken by your agency are in strict accordance with the law.
[Your Signature] [Your Printed Name]
Include any proof that you want to include with this letter backing up any of your statements.
Please remember that this letter serves as a template, and you should modify it to accurately reflect your situation and specific details. It’s also recommended to send this letter via certified mail with a return receipt requested to ensure proper documentation of your communication. If you have any legal concerns or uncertainties, it’s advisable to consult with an attorney or consumer protection agency before proceeding.
Debt Debt Validation Programs Really Work?
Certain companies offer debt validation programs as a solution for individuals grappling with unmanageable debt. Nonetheless, heeding this advice is likely to lead to legal repercussions, including potential lawsuits that can swiftly deteriorate your credit score.
Debt validation is not a way to pay off debt.
Debt Relief, Settlement and Consolidation Alternatives to Debt Validation
If your outstanding unsecured credit card and loan debt exceeds $10,000, and you seek effective means of reduction and repayment, debt settlement presents a more viable alternative. There is also a program known as consumer credit counseling that can assist you in reducing credit card interest rates and consolidating payments into one.
For individuals looking to both consolidate debt and enhance their credit scores simultaneously, a personal loan presents a viable alternative for debt consolidation.
It’s important to note that debt settlement and validation programs have the potential to reduce credit scores. This is because these options require the debt to become past due and subsequently be sold to third-party collection agencies before being settled or disputed. Therefore, if you are aiming to achieve these goals, these alternatives might not be the suitable choices for you.
- Credible offers exceptional personal loan options worth considering. In a matter of minutes, you can compare rates from highly regarded lenders, catering to both good and bad credit situations. To learn more about Credible’s personal loans, READ THIS REVIEW.
What Constitutes Debt Invalidation?
Consumer protection laws mandate collection agencies to uphold comprehensive and accurate records. Debt validation, often referred to as “debt verification,” encompasses a consumer’s right to contest a debt’s validity.
Leveraging these consumer protection statutes, debt validation programs employ strategies to compel collection agencies to substantiate the integrity of their records. When a collection agency fails to establish their legal authority to pursue collections on an account, the debt in question becomes invalidated.
What does debt invalidation mean?
Consumer protection laws require collection agencies to maintain complete and accurate records. Debt validation, or “debt verification,” refers to a consumer’s right to challenge a debt. Debt validation programs use these consumer protection laws to force collection agencies to prove that they are maintaining complete and accurate records.
After a collection agency fails to prove that they are legally authorized to be collecting on an account it becomes invalidated.
Debt invalidation companies make it easy for consumers to deal with multiple accounts at once and only having to pay one low monthly payment.
Who qualifies for debt invalidation services?
It does not matter if you live in New York, Pennsylvania, or California; consumers have the option to utilize debt validation to challenge third-party collection accounts. Regardless of whether you suspect a debt is inaccurately reported, fraudulent, or has surpassed the statute of limitations, debt validation provides a mechanism to dispute such debts. However, it’s important to note that the approach to validation may differ depending on the state of residence, often due to variations in statutes of limitations or the laws that restrict what debt collection agencies can and can’t legally do.
For instance, the statute of limitations varies from one state to another. If you find yourself pursued by collection agencies for a debt that exceeds the applicable statute of limitations, debt validation can prove to be immensely advantageous. By initiating a dispute through debt validation, you effectively compel the collection agency to substantiate both their legal entitlement to collect on the debt and its alignment with the statute of limitations. Given their inability to fulfill this burden of proof, the debt in question can be invalidated. This outcome signifies that the debt is no longer legally enforceable for payment, and the collection agency is prohibited from persistently reporting the debt on your credit report post-invalidation.
Although certain state-specific limitations exist, it is noteworthy that, as of 2021, the debt validation program is available in at least 30 states. To qualify for participation, your cumulative unsecured debt should amount to a minimum of $7,500. We invite you to reach out to us at (866) 376-9846 to determine your eligibility today. By doing so, you can engage with an IAPDA certified counselor who will guide you through the process and assist you in finding effective strategies to alleviate your high debt burden.
What does it mean to validate a debt?
Validating a debt means that the collection agency proved the debt is valid and the collection agency is legally attempting to collect it.
Unbelievably, collection agencies can rarely prove a debt is valid after it gets disputed with a debt validation program. Even debts that have a large balance can easily get invalidated.
Example of a $15K+ Credit Card Debt (formerly American Express) agreeing to stop collection on the debt & remove it from Experian, Equifax & Transunion
Capital One Credit Card That Went to Collection Invalidated
This next example illustrates a Bank of America credit card debt with a balance of over $8,000 getting invalidated with a debt validation program
Example of a Synchrony Bank Credit Card, Getting Invalidated & Removed From Credit
How Debt Validation Programs Work
A debt validation program extends its benefits to eligible applicants by offering an affordable monthly payment structure, derived from their existing payments towards creditors.
This program aims to replace the prevailing payments with a single, reduced payment under the program’s umbrella. However, it’s worth noting that these companies frequently impose substantial fees that primarily benefit the company itself, rather than directly benefiting your creditors.
Over time, as accounts transition to third-party collection agencies, the debt validation program embarks on a process of challenging each collection account with the objective of nullifying the associated debt. While this approach can yield success, it also carries the risk of creditors initiating legal actions against consumers in the form of summons.
Debt validation programs leverage up to fourteen federal laws, including the FDCPA, FCRA, Credit Card Act, and FCBA, among others, to dispute collection accounts effectively.
Eligible Debt Types for Validation Plans
Virtually all types of unsecured debt, regardless of whether they originated as credit card debt or medical expenses, can undergo the dispute and invalidation process. While credit card debt tends to be the most prevalent candidate for enrollment in a validation program, not all accounts meet the necessary criteria for qualification.
To ascertain your most suitable debt relief avenue, reaching out to an IAPDA Certified Counselor at (866) 376-9846 is advised. Through expert guidance, you can tailor a personalized plan designed to address your financial challenges and pave the way toward achieving lasting financial independence.
Illustrative Case: Successful Debt Validation Program Resolution of a Medical Debt Leading to Removal from Credit Records.
Case of a credit card debt that gets invalidated after getting challenged on a debt validation program
Technical Insights into the Debt Validation Process
From a technical perspective, let’s delve into the mechanics of a debt validation process:
When an individual falls approximately 4-6 months behind on a credit card payment, a collection agency steps in to take control of the account. At this juncture, credit card companies classify the delinquent credit card debt as a loss on their balance sheet. This strategic move enables them to seek reimbursement through tax credits and banking insurance mechanisms.
If you’re pondering how banks can seemingly allow debts to go unpaid, it’s important to recognize that banks have devised contingency measures to ensure they recuperate payments, even if the debt cannot be settled in full.
Upon the original creditor selling the account, the collection agency appends additional fees to the debt. Since you never explicitly agreed to these fees, challenging their validity through dispute can often lead to the collection agency’s inability to substantiate the debt’s legitimacy. Notably, creditors are legally constrained from altering the terms of the credit card contract originally signed without your explicit authorization.
Banks frequently offload multiple accounts simultaneously, sometimes without conducting meticulous due diligence to ensure the comprehensive and accurate transfer of documentation to the collection agency. As a result, it becomes exceedingly challenging for a collection agency to establish the validity of a disputed debt. In certain instances, banks even provide a disclosure in the sale order itself, acknowledging the potential difficulty in validating the account post-dispute.
Once a debt is contested and the collection agency falls short of substantiating its validity, the consumer is typically sent a letter indicating the collection agency’s agreement to cease collection efforts for that account. (Refer to the provided examples of this letter elsewhere on this page.) This letter can serve as a substantial piece of evidence in court, affirming the invalidity of the debt. The collection agency’s cessation of debt collection is an acknowledgment of its inability to verify the debt’s authenticity. In subsequent scenarios, should a new collection agency assume control of the account and unlawfully endeavor to collect the debt, the debt invalidation letter serves as proof of its uncollectibility. This validation letter retains its evidentiary value until the debt exceeds the statute of limitations.
Furthermore, once the collection agency fails to validate the debt, it no longer holds the legal right to report the account on the consumer’s credit report. Consequently, as a byproduct of debt validation, consumers can potentially have the debt expunged from their credit records. In cases where the collection agency fails to remove the debt independently, a debt dispute program utilizes credit restoration strategies to contest the debt’s presence on the consumer’s credit report.
What happens if a collection agency refuses to validate debt?
It’s a violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act for a debt collector to refuse to send a validation notice. If the collection agency fails to respond to a verification letter, the debt becomes legally uncollectible and does not have to get paid. If you encounter such behavior, you can file a complaint with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
If you owe above $10,000 in credit card balances and are struggling to stay current on monthly payments, call Golden Financial Services today for a free consultation at (866) 376-9846.
According to the federal law: 15 U.S. Code § 1692g – Validation of debts.
“If the consumer notifies the debt collector in writing within the thirty-day period described in subsection (a) that the debt, or any portion thereof, is disputed, or that the consumer requests the name and address of the original creditor, the debt collector shall cease collection of the debt, or any disputed portion thereof, until the debt collector obtains verification of the debt or a copy of a judgment, or the name and address of the original creditor, and a copy of such verification or judgment, or name and address of the original creditor, is mailed to the consumer by the debt collector. Collection activities and communications that do not otherwise violate this subchapter may continue during the 30-day period referred to in subsection (a) unless the consumer has notified the debt collector in writing that the debt, or any portion of the debt, is disputed or that the consumer requests the name and address of the original creditor. Any collection activities and communication during the 30-day period may not overshadow or be inconsistent with the disclosure of the consumer’s right to dispute the debt or request the name and address of the original creditor.”
Source: Cornell Law
Keep in mind; this is just one of fourteen consumer protection laws that can be used to dispute a debt. The validation program that GFS recommends to clients uses multiple laws inside the dispute paperwork and is a proprietary dispute package. These laws include the FDCPA, FCRA, Credit Card Act, FCBA, and more. The disputes that go out while on the validation program can be over twenty-five pages long.
Why can’t so many collection agencies prove a debt is valid?
Collection agencies quickly agree to stop collection on debt in many cases without providing a reason. How is this possible? Is it more costly for a collection agency to invest sufficient time into proving a debt is valid? Is it because the collection agency can’t prove that they are legally authorized to collect on a debt due to missing documentation or inaccurate information? Could the collection agency have been involved in some fraud in the past?
There are many reasons why collection agencies can’t prove a debt is valid. Before paying on a credit card debt or collection account that you believe is invalid, inaccurate, or affiliated with fraud, consider using debt validation to dispute it.
Debt validation programs allow you to force the collection agencies to prove that they are legally authorized to collect on an account.
Is debt validation a new program?
Debt validation is nothing new; it’s been around for over a decade. Just as of late, it’s becoming news to the public.
USA Today just reported:
“Chase Bank closed all credit card accounts in the country in March 2018. … Originally, customers were told to continue paying their debt, but the company confirmed Friday to USA TODAY that the debt was now canceled.”
“Chase filed more than 528,000 debt collections lawsuits against consumers and provided more than 150,000 sworn statements to debt buyers for their collections lawsuits against consumers, often using robo-signed documents. In doing so, Chase systematically failed to prepare, review, and execute truthful statements as required by law. Chase is also accused of collecting on so-called zombie debts — accounts that were either already settled or too old to collect on. (You can see what your state’s statute of limitations is on this map.) … Chase sold faulty and false debts to third-party collectors, including accounts with unlawfully obtained judgments, incorrect balances, and paid-off balances,” the CFPB alleges. “Chase also sold debts that deceased borrowers owed.”
The New York Times reported another example of debt validation:
“Billions of dollars in student loans may be wiped out for tens of thousands of borrowers in the US because a lender didn’t keep track of the paperwork verifying ownership of the loans, according to The New York Times.”
A recent Daily Finance report quoting a New York Times article states that:
“Financial companies like American Express, Citigroup, and Bank of America have committed fraud in financial dealings, are using erroneous paperwork, have incomplete records, and their legal processes are faulty; this includes the information sent to debt collectors. Many debt collectors are using erroneous information to collect on debts, are acting as creditors when they are not, or are not in a position to legally collect the debt for lack of a state license, incomplete records, or other reasons.”
More Debt Validation Letters
We could show you example after example of how hundreds of debts have been invalidated over the last year alone. The following debts have become legally uncollectible. Legally uncollectible debts do not need to get paid and can no longer “legally” remain on credit reports.
This Citibank credit card was sold to Midland Funding and then disputed on a validation program, resulting in it becoming legally uncollectible and removed from all three credit bureaus.
This next Bank of America credit card debt was over $10,000. The debt was disputed, and the consumer was able to walk away from it without paying legally.
Next, a financial company debt that exceeded $12,000 gets proven to be invalid, and the consumer walks away without paying.
Just like a speeding ticket gets dismissed, credit card debt can get proven to be legally uncollectible.
Even though you may have been speeding, it does not mean that the police officer can prove the ticket to be valid.
A debt validation dispute is not saying that you never spent the money on your credit card. It’s disputing whether or not the collection agency is abiding by federal laws and attempting to collect on a debt lawfully.
Examples of what a debt validation program requests:
- a copy of the original contract
- a statement showing how the interest gets calculated
- the collection agency’s debt collector license that is legally required to collect on a debt
- a 14-page debt collector disclosure statement, questioning the collection agency on information such as when the statute of limitations expires on a particular account, how the outstanding balance was calculated, what fees were added in since the debt was sold, along with private details that the collection agency is legally required to know
In the debt validation program that we recommend at Golden Financial Services, over 30-pages of documents get sent to your debt collectors. They must go through each page, line by line, and send in everything being requested laws require. The case managers and debt defense team continue challenging a debt until the debt is “fully disputed” and remain with the consumer until the statute of limitations on a debt expires. Every legal debt relief angle is used to force your creditors to play by the rules.
Credit Restoration Included with a Debt Validation Program
You get credit restoration included with the debt validation program for “No Extra Cost.” The credit restoration begins at the beginning of the debt validation program, where random credit mistakes appearing on your credit report get disputed.
CALL (866)-376-9846 TO FIND OUT HOW FAST YOU CAN GET BACK ON TRACK!
Here is a short video teaching you about the FDCPA, which is one of the laws used to challenge your debt in a debt validation program
Debt Validation Program Disclosures
- Consumers have to be delinquent on monthly payments before a debt validation program can do its job, resulting in late marks and collection accounts on credit over the program’s first year. Accounts are not disputed until they are with third-party collection agencies. This downside is also true with credit card settlement programs.
- Creditors can issue a credit card summons to go to court after a person stops paying monthly payments as agreed and the debt becomes past-due.
- Creditors don’t get paid every month with financial hardship programs, including settlement and validation. In fact, creditors don’t get paid any of the monthly payments you pay into the program with validation. Instead, these payments cover the cost and fees of the plan. Validation is less expensive than a settlement because creditors don’t get paid anything with validation. Debt validation programs are not a loan, consolidating your bills or settling the debt. Fees are included in all plans, including settlement and validation. If a client fails to make the agreed-upon payments for the program, they can be terminated from the plan.
- Debt validation programs are not designed to repair a person’s credit and can’t guarantee a debt will get removed from credit reports. After a debt gets invalidated, credit restoration will dispute the accounts, and as a result, it could get removed from credit reports. Additionally, collection agencies can no longer legally continue reporting a debt on a person’s credit report after it’s invalidated.
- A person’s debt could increase after joining a debt validation program due to late and collection costs incurring. Therefore, it’s imperative that if you join a debt validation program, you stick with the plan until the end so that all of the processes can be completed. When you receive collection letters and correspondence from third-party collection agencies while enrolled in a validation program, you must send all documentation to the debt validation company assisting you. The company will then proceed with using lending laws to deem the accounts invalid and not collectible.
- Not all clients make it through a debt validation program successfully due to many possible reasons, including the possibility of the client not being able to afford to pay all of the agreed-upon payments.
- After a debt is fully disputed and invalidated, there is still a chance that it could get transferred/sold to a new collection agency or sent back to the original creditor, where collection activity continues. For that reason, the validation company stays with clients until the statute of limitations on a debt has expired and will follow up with any new collection agency that takes over the debt, providing proof that the account was invalidated. Additionally, the company will follow up with the credit reporting agencies disputing invalidated accounts from the clients’ credit reports.
- Golden Financial Services does not offer debt relief services. As of 2023, we only offer education on debt relief, settlement and consolidation options, including company reviews.