Many, if not most, credit counseling
services are designed to reduce the
consumer’s debt by settling with creditors. This results in increased costs for goods and services for everyone as the creditors seek to offset their losses. It’s plain wrong for the majority who repay their debt to be penalized by higher costs generated by others who don’t pay what they owe.
Consumer Credit Counseling Services of Orange County has been actively working to right this wrong since 1966, evidenced by their clients repaying 4.6 million dollars of debt to Orange County creditors in 2009 alone.
Beyond helping clients pay their debt, Kelly Rogers, Director of Education explained that CCCS-OC is unique in other ways. First, they have no loans, credit cards, negotiation or mediation services to sell, so their instruction and counseling services are offered with the purest of motives-to help those who are suffering financially to recover. CCCS-OC also adheres to the highest of industry standards as a member of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling that requires them to keep their accreditation current and that all their educators and counselors are certified. And, they are a non-profit business that receives the vast majority of their operating capital from various grants available through banks and other private foundations.
“It’s in the best interest of everyone for debt to be managed this way,” stated Rogers. “Banks and other lending institutions don’t want to settle debts with their clients by reducing the principle. That’s why they willingly offer grants to help educate people how to manage their debt to successfully pay it off.” The fact that debt is repaid to any given community helps strengthen the local economy, not to mention that paying one’s own debt is the right thing to do.
Through free classes and seminars offered throughout the county by nine different certified instructors and one-on-one counseling provided by eighteen additional certified counselors, CCCS-OC nearly 34,300 people in 2009; 20,346 people with 717 different educational classes and 13,936 with direct counseling. One staggering reality is that their clients needing counseling regarding their homes, increased by more than 60%, compared to last year-evidence of the housing and job market conditions in Orange County alone.
Additionally, they offer services to help a debtor stay on track with the repayment program, sometimes acting as the go-between for their client and creditors. According to Rogers, “The average client has 9 different credit cards they juggle. We can establish a program for a low one-time set-up fee, allowing the client to pay one payment to their creditors, through us which we distribute. Having a repayment program with only one check to write alone brings relief to our clients.” CCCS-OC’s reputation as a repayment service, rather than a settlement negotiator, affords them an excellent working relationship with creditors, which in turn is a big help to their clients. “We are in a better position to get the creditors to agree to adjustments in repaying debt when they know their client is working with us,” Rogers concludes.
To help increase their presence in north county, CCCS-OC will be represented as a sponsor of a day-long intensive seminar to be hosted by Yorba Linda Friends Church, February 6, 2010 developed to offer various pro-active help to those under and unemployed. The seminar is open to the pubic, however pre-registration is requested. Walk-ins will be welcome to the extent the space and supplies permit. Register on line at www.ylfc.org under Events at Friends, then on the calendar date.
CCCS-OC can provide a free class or seminar for any service organization, school, college, church, book club, mom’s group, essentially any group interested. Persons interested may visit their web site at www.cccsoc.org or call them direct at 714 547-2227.
Pam Christian is an advocate for those under and unemployed. More at www.wydk.org