I recently had the privilege of discussing credit card counseling with a local banker. Among the things he mentioned one of them stand out in the report. After review it became know that people in debt are seeking credit counseling programs to seek debt relief.
The problem however is the long time frame associated with the programs. The monthly payments remain the same as well causing the same issue to arise being the strain of the monthly payments on household budgets. Many people have even enrolled in CCCS programs paid the fees and then dropped out. This is where the problem lies.
Ethics should come into play in this scenario. When dealing with an indebted consumer many credit card counseling companies act like debt collecting sharks to gain enrollments. Pushing the consumer by pointing out the non-profit status of the company to enroll in the program. After this shaky enrollment process they deduct the first monthly payment that goes entirely to fees for the service.
If the next month the client fails to make a payment there is no follow up done to see why. The reason being that the credit counseling company is paid for and sponsored by the credit card companies themselves. The IRS has done much research into the non-profit CCCS programs but have had little success with completely eradicating predatory credit counselors. Additionally the credit counseling firm is paid a "fair share" usually between 7-12% of the debt directly back to the credit counseling agency.
Consult with a banker or an attorney to see if credit counseling or debt settlement is best for your financial needs.