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CCCS Soliciting New Customers

CCCS Soliciting New Customers

Posted - Apr. 16, 2004 at 7:34 a.m.



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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- The Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Utah has been soliciting new customers and it shouldn't be, said Francine Giani, director of the state Consumer Protection Division.

She met Wednesday with James Bradshaw, attorney for CCCS Chief Executive Scott McCagno, and said she made it clear that CCCS was not permitted to accept new clients and was only allowed to serve existing ones.

"They are not bonded or registered," she said. "They do not even have a board of directors in place."

The state on March 30 seized CCCS to probe alleged financial mismanagement and reports that more than $64,000 in client funds was missing from a trust account used to hold the money of CCCS customers. The company's financially troubled customers send money to CCCS, which sends payments to their creditors.

A week later, 3rd District Judge Frank Noel lifted the temporary restraining order and returned control of CCCS to McCagno. The judge ruled that the evidence state investigators presented that CCCS' clients were not having their bills paid was "scant indeed."

Giani said that since then the state has received up to 50 reports a day from CCCS clients who say checks sent by CCCS to pay their bills were late or bounced.

"Our investigation is continuing and we're in the process of trying to resolve victim losses," Giani said.

Bradshaw said that by the end of business Friday, CCCS will have met all of the state's requirements necessary to continue in business.

Giani said that "is going to be absolutely impossible. We still have issues with them and even if they submit all the required documents, it will still take time for us to review what is sent in."

(Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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