State of California California Department of Consumer Affairs

Credit Counseling Service

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CREDIT COUNSELING SERVICE

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(Civil Code §§ 1789.10, 1789.26.)

A professional nonprofit credit counselor can help consumers manage and reduce their debt. The Consumer Credit Counseling Service (CCCS) has 450 offices nationwide offering personal financial counseling, credit, and debt management counseling. CCCS also assists consumers in removing fraudulent claims from a credit report, and acts as a liaison between creditors and consumers to establish repayment schedules.



A for profit "Credit Service Organization" (CSO) must:

  • File a registration application with, and receive a certificate of registration from, the Attorney General's Office before doing business in California. (Civil Code § 1789.25.)
  • Obtain a $100,000 surety bond from an admitted surety in favor of the State of California for the benefit of any person damaged by any violation of the Act. (Civil Code § 1789.18.) (The bond must be maintained for two years after the CSO stops doing business in California.)
  • Give the buyer before the contract for services is signed, an information statement that complies with Civil Code Section 1789.15. (Civil Code §§ 1789.14, 1789.15.)
  • Not provide any service to a buyer except pursuant to a written contract that complies with Civil Code Section 1789.16. (Civil Code § 1789.16.)
  • Complete the agreed services within six months after the date the buyer signs the contract for services. (Civil Code § 1789.13(b); see Civil Code § 1789.16 (a)(3).)
  • Maintain an agent for service of process in this state. (Civil Code § 1789.13(j).)


Consumer Credit Counseling Service
4636 Watt Ave. Ste # 200
North Highlands, CA 95660
(800) 736-2227
www.bydesignsolutions.org

CCCS offers one free counseling session. Call 1-800-388-2227, for additional locations. Nationwide number will automatically route you to the nearest office by zip code.



FIFTEEN MAIN CCCS OFFICES WITH OVER 90 BRANCH AND SATELLITE OFFICES:


Kern and Tulare Counties
Bakersfield, CA

Central Valley, Inc.
Fresno, CA

Los Angeles
Los Angeles, CA

Twin Cities
Yuba City, CA

The East Bay
Oakland, CA

The North Valley
Redding, CA

Inland Empire
Riverside, CA

Sacramento, Inc.
Rancho Cordova, CA

San Diego and Imperial Counties
San Diego, CA

San Francisco
San Francisco, CA

Santa Clara Valley, Inc.
Santa Clara, CA

Orange County
Santa Ana, CA

Mid-Counties
Stockton, CA

Ventura County, Inc.
Ventura, CA

The North Coast
Arcata, CA


To register or verify a Credit Service Organization or to report fraud, contact:

Department of Justice (DOJ)
Office of the Attorney General
Public Inquiry Unit
1300 I Street
Sacramento, CA 95814
(800) 952-5225 (CA Callers)
(916) 322-3360 (Out of State)
(916) 323-5341 Fax
(800) 952-5548 (TDD in CA)
(916) 327-5564 (TDD Out of State)
www.caag.state.ca.us


To file a copy of the surety bond required for registration, contact:

Secretary of State
1500 11th Street, 6th Floor
Sacramento, CA 95814
(916) 653-4984
www.sos.ca.gov


A "Debt" or "Credit" Counselor is certified through the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC). A college degree or equivalent experience in finance, banking, credit, home economics, or counseling is desired. Debt Counselors are not licensed by a state agency in California but may need a business license to operate. A Debt or Credit Counselor does not provide credit and is not a lending institution.



National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC)
801 Roeder Road, Suite 900
Silver Spring, Maryland 20910
(301) 589-5600
(301) 495-5623 Fax
(800) 388-2227
www.nfcc.org



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