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Ringing Endorsement from Minneapolis Federal Reserve Bank

A new report just released by the Minneapolis Federal Reserve Bank offers a ringing endorsement of non-profit credit counseling generally and the NFCC specifically.

Some excerpts from the report:

“As conversations with some of the major nonprofit consumer credit counseling providers in the Ninth Federal Reserve District reveal, the industry’s aim is to deliver services that are grounded in knowledge, quality, and compassion, whether in good economic times or bad.”

“No matter what form they take, all NFCC member agencies must meet rigorous quality and accreditation standards. In addition, all financial counselors at NFCC member agencies must become certified by passing an industry-standard, six-module course on credit and personal finance. Many counselors complete additional coursework to gain certification in foreclosure, bankruptcy, or reverse mortgage counseling.”

“We’re extraordinarily fierce about focusing on a nonjudgmental, nonbelittling delivery of high-quality, empathetic services,” says Dan Williams. “When you talk to us, we’re not going to judge or ridicule you. We’re going to offer an objective, supportive way to figure out your financial situation and come up with a game plan.”

Stuart Baker, a counselor with GreenPath Debt Solutions in Marquette, Mich., adds, “We’re not some kind of drill sergeant who’s going to yell at you for what you’ve done. It’s not about assigning blame. It’s about finding the options that will work.”

“The lack of visibility and advertising resources also means legitimate nonprofit counseling agencies have a hard time competing with well-funded, unscrupulous companies that present themselves as kindhearted debt-assistance providers but are actually out to fleece consumers. These scammers advertise heavily on the Internet and late-night television. They prey on desperate, debt-ridden consumers who are trying to do the right thing.”

You can read the full report at:
http://www.minneapolisfed.org/publications_papers/pub_display.cfm?id=4600

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