Choosing Credit Counseling Firms
Questions consumers should ask before choosing a credit counseling firm, according to the National Foundation for Credit Counseling. New bankruptcy overhaul legislation passed by the House and Senate would require people to participate in a counseling program before filing for bankruptcy protection:
_Is the credit-counseling organization not-for-profit? How is it funded? Is it accredited by any outside agencies?
_What training do counselors receive? Are they certified?
_How is money dispersed to creditors? What policies are in place to ensure protection of clients’ funds?
_What fees, if any, will I be charged? Will the counselors work with all my creditors, regardless of whether they financially support the organization?
_Is confidentiality assured?
_Can I receive counseling in person or over the telephone, whichever I prefer?
_What effect will working with the organization have on my credit rating?
On the Net:
National Foundation for Credit Counseling: http://www.nfcc.org