Credit Counseling Update - Consumer Alert
Debt Management Plans
 
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Credit Counseling Update - Consumer Alert
Are Americans Enrolled In Debt Management Plans
With Credit Counseling Agencies That Have Tanked
In Danger of Losing Their Money or Privacy?

San Diego, CA.  The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) visits the high profile debt settlement operator The National Consumer Council and shuts them down. Ameridebt, another large credit counseling
firm who also delves in debt settlement, announced its filing bankruptcy. Ameridebt has stated that
they have 90,000 clients (industry observers believe the number is closer to 70,000).

This leaves thousands of consumers across the country will find themselves at risk, having spent a lot of money at these firms who either can no longer fulfill their obligations to manage their debts or who are seriously impaired in being able to continue.

"We're very concerned about consumers whose accounts are in some sort of legal status or who may
getting there fast due to the impairment or shutdown of their agency" said Dianne Wilkman,
President of Springboard Nonprofit Consumer Credit Management (www.credit.org).

Client cases at some of the card issuers are being heard by national independent arbitrators and their
decisions are binding. Dependent on several factors, outcomes could include lien, judgment,
garnishment or bank attachment. Customers may have the opportunity to make arrangements to repay the loan contractually or through a Debt Management Plan prior to these potential outcomes being filed.

Another option consumers can take is to contact a sector certified, reputable credit counseling agency to get their Debt Management Plan transferred over.

This is a tricky issue since getting approved into a Debt Management Plan entitles one to re-aging of
their accounts with most creditors - a significant benefit, but federal rules allow creditors to re-age only once in 5 years.

The ICFE recommends the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (nfcc.org) and Association of
Independent Credit Counseling Agencies (aiccca.org) networks.

Credit card issuers are telling these credit counselors that they will be standing by to help
consumers transfer over to good agencies as best they can.

Calling the NFCC toll free number at 800-388-2227 will connect you to the nearest agency. The
Association of Independent Credit Counseling Agencies also has a toll free referral number: 800-450-1794.

Consumers should tell the new agency they should not be charged another enrollment fee for
transferring and they should hang up if the new agency does not want to help out in this way.

Consumers should be advised to keep in touch with their creditors. Many highly reputable counseling
agencies, such as Springboard, based in Riverside, CA., will not charge any consumer with another agency an enrollment fee and in many cases should be able to lower their monthly fees for debt management plan administration since it has a very low fee structure.

For more information about transferring a debt-payment-plan (DMP) or credit and debt
counseling contact:

Paul S. Richard
Executive Director
Institute of Consumer Financial Education
PO Box 34070
San Diego, CA 92163

619-239-1401

www.financial-education-icfe.org

Email Reply: info@icfe.org 

 

About the ICFE:

The Institute of Consumer Financial Education (ICFE) was founded in 1982 by the late Loren Dunton (creator of the Certified Financial Planner (CFP) designation).  The ICFE is dedicated to helping consumers of all ages to improve their spending, increase savings and use credit more wisely. 
The ICFE is an award winning, nonprofit, consumer education organization that has helped millions of people through its education programs and Resources. It publishes the Do-It-Yourself Credit File correction Guide, which is updated annually. The ICFE has distributed over one million Credit/Debit Card Warning Labels and Credit/Debit Card Sleeves world wide.

The ICFE became an official partner with the Department of Defense/Financial Readiness Campaign in June of 2004.The ICFE was an active partner in the California Student Debt Resource Awareness Project (CASDRAP) which resulted in a new web site: (studentdebthelp.org).  CASDRAP disbanded in 2010, shortly after the web site project was completed.  In 2011 the ICFE assumed the single sponsorship of the (studentdebthelp.org) web site and is now responsible for its content and operation.

The ICFE is also an on-line help for consumers who spend too much.  ICFE's spending help was featured in PARADE Magazine in the Intelligence Report section. The money helps and tips are from the ICFE's Money Instruction Book, our course in personal finance.

Visit the ICFE's other web sites at: www.financial-education-icfe.org and studentdebthelp.org.  Both sites helps consumers and students with mending spending, learning about the proper use of credit, budget and expense guidelines, how to set up and implement a spending-plan and also how to access financial education courses and how to teach children about money. Other ICFE services include: Ask Mr. G,  a free eNews, and an online resource center for students, parents and educators, plus financial education learning tools and a book store.

About the ICFE:

The Institute of Consumer Financial Education (ICFE), founded in 1982 by the late Loren Dunton (creator of the 'certified financial planner' (CFP) designation) and it is dedicated to helping consumers of all ages to improve their spending, increase savings and use credit more wisely. The ICFE trains and certifies Personal Finance Instructors for its own curriculum. It also trains and certifies Credit Report Reviewers and Identity Theft Prevention Specialists.

The ICFE is an award winning, nonprofit, consumer education organization that has helped millions of people through its education programs and Resources. It publishes the Do-It-Yourself Credit File correction Guide, now in its 16th printing and has distributed over one million 'Credit/Debit Card Warning Labels' and 'Credit/Debit Card Sleeves' world wide.

The ICFE became an official partner with the Department of Defense/Financial Readiness Campaign in June of 2004.

The ICFE is also a partner in the national Jump$tart Coalition for Financial Literacy and the California Jump$tart chapter. The ICFE staff is also active with San Diego Saves, an offshoot of America Saves, and the California Student Debt Resource Awareness Project (CASDRAP) (studentdebthelp.org).

The ICFE's on-line help for consumers who spend too much was featured in PARADE Magazine in the Intelligence Report section. The money helps and tips are from 'The Money Instruction Book,' a course in personal finance, positioned to become among the premier programs in the new bankruptcy and debtor education initiatives.

The ICFE Web site at: www.financial-education-icfe.org helps consumers with mending spending, learning about the proper use of credit, budget and expense guidelines, how to set up and implement a spending-plan and also how to access financial education courses and videos and how to teach children about money. Other ICFE services include a free eNews, and an online resource center of financial education learning tools, including videos, books, software and personal finance courses.

 
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San Diego, Ca 92163
Paul S. Richard, Executive Director
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