- The agency strives to provide a non-profit community service dedicated to providing confidential and professional financial and debt counseling at a low cost.
- CCCS will aid and rehabilitate financially distressed families and individuals, regardless of race, creed, national origin, color, sex, social position or financial status.
- The organization will develop and foster community education programs on family money management, budgeting, and the intelligent use of credit.
- The agency will maintain a broad community based representation on its governing board, with not more than 40% representing the credit grantors of the community.
- CCCS shall limit their counseling to financial matters and refrain from giving legal advice. Non-financial problems should be referred to other appropriate agencies.
- The organization shall deposit client funds in a trust account and shall maintain a separate operations account.
- All agency employees are bonded in an amount appropriate to cover potential loss.
- CCCS shall adequately insure all funds, provide for an annual audit to be certified by an independent CPA or accounting firm.
- Where state law permits, the organization will provide a debt liquidation program based on client fees, which may not exceed state and NFCC guidelines.
- CCCS shall provide credit counseling for a nominal fee, which may not exceed state and NFCC guidelines.
- The agency will provide a debt liquidation program, where required, which is equitable to all creditors and which is most advantageous to the client family.
- CCCS shall develop and maintain a positive working relationship with the credit community, employee assistance programs, labor counselors and social service agencies within the community and maintain professional relationships at all times.
- The organization ensures informed consent and client participation in decisions about service.
- The agency respects the right of all clients to refuse participation in studies or other research.
- CCCS ensures the decisions made about services are based solely on the needs and preferences of the individual.
Counselor Code of Ethics
Counselors will maintain high standards of ethical conduct and behavior in accordance with the objectives of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling Standards include, but are not limited to:
- Fiscal responsibility in dealing with client funds
- Consistency in word and deed
- Respect for the integrity of the client
- Promotion of the client’s best long-term interests
- Avoids situations leading to potential conflicts of interest
- Maintains professional counselor/client relationship
- Conducts oneself in a professional manner at all times
- Strives for continuous improvement in oneself and the profession
- Acknowledges personal limitations
- Empathizes without being enabling
- Refrains from giving legal advice
- Refers to others when a client’s problem is beyond the scope of one’s expertise
- Stays abreast of economic changes, creditor policies, etc. which will affect clients and the counseling process
- Provides a proper documentation of cases
- Works toward and maintains certification
- Contributes to the professionalism of the field
- Holds the respect and cooperation of colleagues
- Respects client’s privacy
- Provides information to those outside of the agency on a need-to-know basis with the client’s permission
- Handles client files with due diligence for safekeeping
- Takes considerable care in internal discussions to maintain the client’s privacy regarding their situation and possible outcomes
Fairness & Objectivity
- Unbiased and non-judgmental
- Serves as a reliable third party in the relationship between client and creditor
- Establishes Debt Management Plans when necessary based on the equitable treatment of creditors
- Provides clients information with which to make informed choices of service
- Recognizes and respects differences in client’s value systems, cultures, and decision-making process
- Non-discriminatory with regard to age, gender, race, creed, national origin, sexual orientation, social position or financial status
- Forthright in discussions pertaining to agency funding, policies and procedures, the services provided and fees charged