CCCS-SF Commends Credit Counseling Investigations
Light Shed on Poor Practices Separates Good Agencies From Bad

April 20, 2004 – Recent investigations by the IRS, Federal Trade Commission, and Senate Subcommittees into the credit counseling industry have resulted in a lot of negative press about credit counseling and debt repayment organizations. And rightly so, according to Joanne Budde, President of Consumer Credit Counseling Service of San Francisco (CCCS-SF).

"Many newcomers to the industry are debt management mills, making millions by promising financial freedom to people in crisis," said Budde. "In reality they are channeling people into unaffordable repayment plans – and charging exorbitant fees. Victims of these unscrupulous credit counseling organizations sometimes have no option but to file bankruptcy."

Those seeking a trustworthy counseling service should make sure the agency:

  • Has a long, reputable history in the local community
  • Requires counselor certification
  • Never "hard sells" a debt repayment plan
  • Is accredited by an objective outside agency
  • Is education oriented
  • Offers a variety of services, including housing and credit report programs
  • Provides free money management counseling
  • Ensures that essential living expenses are met prior to arranging a debt repayment plan
  • Charges a monthly debt management plan administrative fee that complies with state law (up to $20 in California)

"This year we celebrate 35 years of helping the community overcome obstacles and achieve financial success," said Budde. "CCCS-SF has never charged for counseling, and our repayment plan fees have always been compliant with state law. We strongly believe the investigations will shed light on those agencies that are more interested in padding their pockets than helping Americans succeed, and will help everyone distinguish between good and bad agencies."

Copyright © 2005 CCCS of San Francisco
close window