Do your research; a disreputable counselor can actually do more harm than good.
Call 888-995-HOPE to get help. If you are researching agencies on your own, consider the following:
- Most HUD-approved housing counseling services are free, so if an agency charges a fee, look very carefully at what type of services you are being charged for.
- Is it accredited by a recognized accreditation organization?
- How long has it been in business?
- Does it have audited financial statements?
- Does it have community presence? In other words, does it have branches that are open to the public?
- Does it have the required licenses to do business in the state where you live?
- Have complaints been filed with the Better Business Bureau in the community where it is located?
- Does it provide a written "Action Plan" after each counseling session?
You can find a credit counseling agency in your local phone book or by contacting the U.S Department off Housing and Urban Development (HUD) at (800) 569-4287 on weekdays between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Eastern time. You can find a list of HUD-approved agencies on their Web site.
Information courtesy of Freddie Mac