Sandra Yi ReportingClients who paid the Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Utah to help pay off bills are anxiously awaiting the outcome of a state investigation of the company and its president.
You may remember the investigation of the CCCS began after consumers complained of bounced checks. KSL’s Sandra Yi talked with one woman who also had some trouble with the company. She says her experience, taught her a costly lesson.
Merry: "It's been a nightmare. It really has been a nightmare."
And it's not over yet. Merry says she's still fighting her financial battles.
Merry: "I still owe 651 dollars."
Merry says she had good credit. She paid her credit card bills on time, but needed some help paying the finance charges. So she called The Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Utah. The company lowered her bills and set up monthly payment plans.
Merry: "For a while they were doing that fine and then I noticed, pretty soon I noticed, I was getting late charges on one or another credit cards."
She says she alerted the company.
Merry: "I called on that and they said, 'We'll take care of it.’"
But Merry says that didn't happen. The late fees accrued. Soon she got charged for going over her limit. Eventually her 250 dollar bill tripled, to nearly 600 dollars.
Merry: "I would like to see them pay me, not pay me, but pay off that bill and clear up the credit for all of those cards somehow, so that I'm not in the mess that I'm in because now, my credit is ruined."
Merry is now paying her own bills and trying to pay off the creditor. It's not easy, she says, for someone on a fixed income.
Merry: "Actually, the bill should be completely wiped off by now, so it just makes me angry."
CCCS is back in operation after a judge lifted a restraining order this week. CEO Scott McCagno says the accusations against him are unfair and claims illegal bank fees caused the account deficit.
But whatever the reason, former clients like Merry suggest others look for a company that's bonded; that's the advice she got from the State Consumer Protection Agency.