Consumer Credit Counseling Service
20 years in business409 N Jackson St
Albany, GA 31701-5128
Additional Phone Numbers
- (800) 309-3358
Find a Location
BBB File Opened: 04/01/1997
Business Started: 04/01/1997
- Principal: Ms. Irma Whitten, CEO/Executive Director
- Credit & Debt Counseling
- The following comments provide general information for consumers, and do not necessarily reflect the practices or record of any particular company. According to information provided by the Internal Revenue Service dated 10/14/2003-IRS, FTC and state...
The following comments provide general information for consumers, and do not necessarily reflect the practices
or record of any particular company.
According to information provided by the Internal Revenue Service dated 10/14/2003-IRS, FTC and state regulators urge consumers to be cautious when choosing a credit counseling organization. Many credit counseling organizations provide valuable advice, education and assistance to those seeking to better manage their debt. But an increasing number of complaints to federal and state agencies indicates that some organizations are engaging in questionable activities which may include seeking tax-exempt status in order to circumvent state and federal consumer protection laws. State and federal statutes regulating credit counseling agencies often do not apply to Section 501(c) (3) tax-exempt organizations.
Many of these groups provide a valuable service, but some use the codes laws to skirt consumer protection laws. Consumers need to be wary of the"quick fixes" offered by some organizations.
Consumers can protect themselves from deceptive credit counseling practices by following these tips:
*Make sure the organization will help manage your finances better through counseling and education.
*Carefully read agreements. It should describe in detail the service to be performed; the payment terms for these services, including their total cost; how long it will take to achieve results; any guarantees offered; and the organizations' business name and address.
*Beware of high fees or required "voluntary contributions" that, with high monthly service charges, may add to your debt and defeat your efforts to pay your bills. It is illegal to represent that negative information, such as bankruptcy, can be removed from your credit report. Promises to "help you get out of debt easily" are red flag.
*Make sure that your creditors are willing to work with the agency you choose. If they are, follow up with those creditors regularly to make sure your debt is being paid off.
*Check with state agencies and your local BBB to find out about a specific credit counseling organizations' record.
To address some of the concerns, the IRS has stepped up its enforcement efforts to ensure that existing Section 501(c) (3) organizations are complying with the applicable rules and regulations. Further information and background can be found in Fact Sheet 2003-117.
If consumers believe that they have been victims of credit improvement fraud, they should immediately file a complaint with the FTC by calling toll-free: 1-877-FTC-HELP, or go online at the Federal Trade Commission Web site.
Additional Media Contacts:
Cathy MacFarlane, Office of Public Affairs
Federal Trade Commission
Mark Pacella, President
National Association of State Charity Officials
Fact Sheet 2003-117
Federal Trade Commission-Become familiar with the latest
scam alerts; file complaints.
Tax Information for Charities & Other Non-Profits-Determine
whether the organization is tax-exempt and what an
organization must do to maintain that status.
National Association of State Charity Officials-Obtain a list
of state charity official offices.
Office of Financial Education-To find more information on
federal financial education programs and resources.
These are some helpful tips from your Better Business Bureau.
Alternate Business Names
Number of Employees:6
BBB Reason for Ratings
Licensing information is provided in the BBB Business Profiles to inform the public about industries that may require professional licensing, bonding, or registration. Better Business Bureau encourages you to check with the appropriate agency to be certain any requirements are currently being met.
BBB promotes truth in advertising by contacting advertisers whose claims conflict with the BBB Code of Advertising. These claims come to our attention from our internal review of advertising, consumer complaints and competitor challenges. BBB asks advertisers to substantiate their claims, change ads to make offers more clear to consumers, and remove misleading or deceptive statements.
BBB reports on known significant government actions involving the business's marketplace conduct.
Out of Business
BBB reports on a company that is out of business for one year from the date the company closes its doors or ceases to do business.
Misuse of Better Business Bureau Name/Logo
BBB reports on unauthorized use of the Better Business Bureau's name and/or logo for as long as the business continues to use it in any advertising, or for one year after the business ceases any repeated unauthorized uses.
BBB reports on a business’s bankruptcy as long as the business remains in bankruptcy.
BBB reports when mail sent to the business was returned by the Postal Service.