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Apprisen offers financial and credit counseling to consumers as well as community outreach.
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A BBB Accredited Business since
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Type of Entity
Business ManagementMs. SHARON MILLER Mr. Victor Russell, Regional Manager Mr. Jim Zeier, Vice President
CREDIT & DEBT COUNSELING
Alternate Business NamesCCCS Consumer Credit Counseling Service of the Midwest, Inc Consumer Credit Counseling Services
The organization does business nationally as Apprisen, and in local communities the organization also continues to do business as Consumer Credit Counseling Service (CCCS).
Services are available in person at the headquarters in Columbus, Ohio, and in approximately 21 local offices in 8 states - Ohio, Florida, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Missouri, Tennessee and Washington.
Services are also available through counseling over the telephone and via the internet nationwide.
CCCS does not charge a fee for the initial counseling session.
If a consumer chooses to sign up for the Debt Management Program (DMP), CCCS asks for an initial sign up contribution and a small monthly contribution to help defray the cost of the program.
The Debt Management Program services are also available if the consumer is unable or prefers not to contribute.
CCCS Provides financial education workshops and seminars to community groups and organizations on a variety of topics such as budgeting, using credit wisely, understanding credit reports and scores, ID theft, and correctly managing checking accounts.
CCCS is a HUD approved housing counseling agency and provides pre-purchase, delinquency and foreclosure prevention counseling.
Reverse Equity housing counseling is also available.
CCCS offers several other services and products to consumers and does charge for these services, including:
- Credit Report Review during which a certified counselor will help them understand what is in their credit report.
- Bankruptcy Counseling and education (Pre and Post) approved by EOUST (Executive Office of the U.S. Bankruptcy Trustees) as required by the new bankruptcy legislation.
- Contingency Planning for anyone contemplating bankruptcy to learn exactly what to expect.
- Financial Health Kit which is a software based budget kit.
- Identity Theft Session for clients who want to make sure no one has stolen their identity, and to learn what to do in case it has already happened.
The purposes of Consumer Credit Counseling Service are:
- To educate and counsel on budgeting and money management.
- To help persons with debt problems develop a plan for repayment within their means and with cooperation of their creditors.
- To help prevent money management problems by fostering education on the use of credit, on budgeting and money management.
The following is an outline of procedures mostly used:
- Step One. The potential client is informed of CCCS existence by friend, relative, social service agency, creditor, T.V. spot, or other interested organizations.
- Step Two. The potential client calls CCCS for more information to schedule an appointment for an interview.
- Step Three. When the prospective client calls, an appointment is scheduled at the earliest convenient time. He or she is told what to bring to the counseling session and given directions to the office. If the client prefers, a phone session will be scheduled and the counselor will call him or her back at that time.
- Step Four. The counselor meets with the individual and obtains full information on the financial picture. This is a cooperative interview with much exploration and questioning.
The counselor educates the individual on basic money management concepts pertinent to the situation and jointly develops an action plan that identifies options for resolving the financial picture that are in the person's best interests.
The plan may include referrals to community resources.
For some, the Debt Management Program may be an option and the counselor will work with the client to set up a reduced payment plan that complies with the creditors' requirements. A budget is established for the client that mirrors the income and expenses they presented to the counselor.
If they have insufficient funds to enter into a DMP, they are given suggestions about how to reduce their expenses and ways to increase their income.
If unable to establish a DMP, and if the client is still interested in CCCS's assistance, the counselor will work with them going forward until a DMP can be established.
It is important to note that the repayment plan pertains not only to the existing principle, but also to the interest on their unsecured debt that will continue to accrue, so that when the DMP is successfully completed, the creditors included in the DMP will be paid in full.
- Step Five. Upon completion of the interview, the counselor advises the applicant of the alternatives. If the applicant decides to participate in the CCCS program, he or she signs a voluntary agreement.
- Step Six. On any involved cases requiring pro-rating in Debt Management Program, the creditors are contacted electronically and by mail and the situation explained to obtain their cooperation in acceptance of the plan set up. Most creditors want to be helpful and based on their established creditor policies, will accept a revision of payment if recommended by the counselor as part of a definite composite plan. After agreement, arrangement is established whereby the client deposits the agreed weekly, bi-weekly, semi-monthly, or monthly amount directly to the CCCS office.
- Step Seven. On a suitable disbursement date, the clients' funds are primarily disbursed electronically. In the event that the creditor does not accept electronic funds, CCCS makes out and mails checks to each of the creditors.
*BBB Note: At this time, BBB has determine that a Business Review report is more applicable than a Charity Wise Giving Report evaluation for Apprisen / CCCS, because the organization's primary source of income is related to voluntary contributions from creditors who participate in the organization's debt management plans, donations from financial institutions, and client fees, rather than solicitations of the general public for charitable contributions.