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WASHINGTON – The Department of Justice US Trustees program is looking for a few good credit counselors. According to NAFCU Director of Compliance Anthony Demangone, to qualify as a credit counseling agency, a credit union would have to: * Have a board of directors not employed by the counseling agency and that would not benefit from the financial outcome of counseling; * Charge a reasonable fee that may be waived (guidance from the Trustees suggests free on up to $50); * Provide safekeeping of client funds; * Provide the necessary disclosures; * Provide adequate counseling that does not create negative amortization; * Provide trained and experienced counselors; and * Provide support services for the life of the plan. The U.S. Trustee Program provides a webpage dedicated to Credit Counseling at: http://www.usdoj.gov/ust/eo/bapcpa/ccde/credit_counseling.htm, with links to the application, FAQs, and other useful information. A list of already approved credit counselors, which did not include any credit unions at press time, is located at http://www.usdoj.gov/ust/eo/bapcpa/ccde/cc_approved.htm. -

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