You’d have to be living under a rock to not know that the economy is sputtering and showing little sign of improving at the moment. As I tuned in to CNBC this week and watched the play-by-play of the Lehman Brothers bank collapse, Merrill Lynch being swallowed up by Bank of America, and AIG rescue, I found myself thinking about the millions of Americans who are confused about what all the brouhaha on Wall Street means to them.
The media has had a field day with watching the demise of the so-called Masters of the Universe – big investment bankers who’ve dominated Wall Street for decades. Financial reporters and commentators on a variety of news shows adopted the appropriate tone of seriousness when they solemnly looked into the cameras and pronounced that America is experiencing “financial Armaggedon.”
Pennsylvania’s State Legislature is poised to pass a bill that would allow for-profit companies to offer credit counseling services in the state. Those opposed to the bill claim that it will lead to consumers being advised to enter into debt management programs when its not appropriate.
Patricia Hasson, president of the Consumer Credit Counseling Service of the Delaware Valley, claims that consumers are best served by non-profit firms according to a Philadelphia Daily News article. She explains that “disinterested” parties, such as non-profits, are more likely to explore other options for a consumer prior to entering into a debt management program.
Supporters of the bill claim that the legislation will bring more credit counseling and debt consolidation choices to consumers as well as licensing and consumer protections to the industry.
Chris Rocks is the Regional Director of the National Credit Federation (NCF). NCF is a nationwide membership-based organization that assists consumers recovering from a financial difficulty and those who need a significant increase in their credit score.
Chris began his financial services career as a Financial Advisor helping young families with risk management and asset accumulation strategies. It was during that time that Chris realized that many of these young families also needed someone to guide their choices with regards to debt management.
He made the transition into the mortgage industry where he first worked as a loan originator and later the Vice President of a small mortgage company. As Chris came across clients who had suffered through financial challenges and saw the difficulty they had in re-entering our credit driven economy, he discovered there was a real opportunity to leverage his unique background and help others.
He can be contacted by visiting his personal site, GoodCreditLiving.com.
Francine L. Huff is the Publisher and Editorial Director of Super Savvy Publishing, LLC, which provides editorial and publishing services. She is a gifted author, freelance journalist, and motivational speaker who has entertained and motivated a variety of audiences through workshops, panels and keynote addresses. Francine is the author of The 25-Day Money Makeover for Women, which has inspired and motivated many readers to rein in poor financial habits, become good stewards over their money and work toward a debt-free life. She has appeared on a variety of TV and radio shows. Francine previously worked for the Wall Street Journal, where she was the spot news bureau chief, a news editor and a copy editor. She has interviewed a variety of financial professionals about financial issues and strives to present information about managing money in an easy-to-understand format that is accessible to people of all backgrounds and income levels.
Karen Lawson is a freelance writer with more than 15 years of experience working in mortgage banking and loan servicing. She holds BA and MA degrees in English from the University of Nevada, Reno. She enjoys writing informative articles about debt management and personal finance.