Aside from declaring bankruptcy, there are other options available if you find yourself buried in debt. Over 10 million people have gotten help from debt consolidation companies. One of these companies, Consolidated Credit Counselors, Inc. (CCCS), is nationally known to be helpful in negotiating with creditors to ease their terms of repayment and to help find ways for you to live within your means.
Formed almost 20 years ago, CCCS is now one of the largest company of its type in the United States, with a presence in all 50 states. Unlike other companies, CCCS assigns a counselor to each of its clients so that their people can establish a relationship with clients and arrive at the best possible solution based on their specific needs.
If you have been considering bankruptcy, CCCS can be especially helpful. The company will help you establish a budget and teach you how to live within your means. In addition, CCCS will work with your creditors to arrive at repayment terms that you can accept. If you follow your counselor's lead, over time, your credit score will improve.
People call upon CCCS because they find it difficult to manage their debts on their own. After taking all the appropriate personal information, your counselor will contact each of your creditors--credit card companies, insurance carriers, student loan administrators and others--to reduce interest rates, lower monthly payments and even reduce the amount outstanding by doing away with penalties. After doing that, CCCS will help the client consolidate all his debts into one with a more affordable payment. The client then will pay that amount to CCCS each month, and the company will pay each creditor the amount that has been negotiated.
While CCCS gets much of its income from creditors, the fees it will charge to contact each of your creditors is substantial. Before asking CCCS to represent you, think about making those contacts yourself. It's easier than you imagine, because each creditor will probably be agreeable to take a lesser amount than have you declare bankruptcy, where they will probably receive nothing. Many of them will be eager to work out an arrangement that is satisfactory to you.
CCCS has been targeted by thousands of customers who have complained about various aspects of its service. Since many of the complaints relate to the lack of supervision of personnel on a local basis, you are advised to check complaints filed with the Better Business Bureau (see Resources below).