- Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Greater Atlanta
Consumer Credit Counseling Service (CCCS) of Greater Atlanta, based in
Atlanta, Georgia, is a full-service, nonprofit credit counseling agency. It provides confidential counseling for anyone seeking help to pay down excessive credit card debt, avoid foreclosureon their home and determine if they need to file for bankruptcy. Counseling is provided to people in all 50 states over the telephone and the Internet in English and Spanish. CCCS of Greater Atlanta is the headquarters for the CredAbility Network, a family of agencies serving consumers from across the country. CCCS of Greater Atlanta maintains offices in Central Mississippi, East Tennessee, South Florida, and across north Georgia, in addition to its headquarters in Atlanta. The agency is a United Way partner.
Atlanta business and community leaders headed by Mills Lane, president of Citizens & Southern National Bank, led the effort to establish CCCS of Greater Atlanta in the early 1960s. The agency was created as credit cards gained popularity to provide help for consumers having trouble managing debt. Incorporated in 1963, CCCS of Greater Atlanta opened its doors in Atlanta in 1964 as one of the first few such counseling services in the country. CCCS of Greater Atlanta is governed by a community-based board of directors. For most of its history, the agency focused on in-person counseling in the Atlanta area. In recent years, it expanded its reach, offering counseling over the phone and Internet. [A CNN article on increased calls to the foreclosure hotline http://money.cnn.com/2008/01/07/news/companies/cccs/index.htm?postversion=2008010717]
* Budget Counseling: Professional, certified counselors offer individual advice for developing and balancing budgets, managing money, using credit wisely, and building a savings plan.
* Debt Management: Counselors work with creditors to develop reduced payment programs for individuals who are overextended. In many cases, debt repayment plans provide a sound alternative to bankruptcy.
* Housing Counseling: CCCS of Greater Atlanta is certified by the
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Developmentas a comprehensive housing counseling agency. [Directory of HUD certified housing counselorshttp://www.hud.gov/offices/hsg/sfh/hcc/hcs.cfm] The agency helps consumers with pre-purchase counseling, foreclosure prevention, reverse mortgage counseling, rent delinquency, post-occupancy counseling and loan declinations. [An Atlanta newspaper article about how the agency helps homeowners avoid foreclosurehttp://www.ajc.com/opinion/content/news/stories/2007/08/26/counsel0826.html?cxntlid=inform_sr] CCCS of Greater Atlanta also serves homebuyers through community organizations and government agencies.
* Bankruptcy Counseling & Education: CCCS of Greater Atlanta is among a select group of agencies approved by the Executive Office for United States Trustees to provide budget and credit counseling for bankruptcy filers nationwide. The
Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Actof 2005 requires potential bankruptcy filers to undergo credit counselingand budget analysis counseling through an “approved nonprofit budget and credit counseling agency” prior to filing for bankruptcy. [Official 2005 U.S. Bankruptcy Law basics http://www.uscourts.gov/bankruptcycourts/bankruptcybasics.html] Chapter 13, Chapter 7, and Chapter 11 filers must also complete a course in “personal financial management” after filing the bankruptcy but before the bankruptcy is discharged.
* Education: CCCS of Greater Atlanta provides money-management and housing finance education classroom seminars for consumers. Consumers can also participate in online bankruptcy-related classes. CCCS of Greater Atlanta offers online education classes on various consumer finance topics through “CredAbilityU.”
CCCS of Greater Atlanta counselors are certified by the National Foundation for Credit Counseling and the agency is accredited by the Council on Accreditation. The agency is also certified by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
* [http://www.nfcc.org National Foundation for Credit Counseling ]
* [http://www.coanet.org Council on Accreditation]
* [http://www.hopenow.com Homeowner’s Hope Hotline]
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