Wednesday, March 25, 2009


Credit counseling participants reveal how the economy has changed their lives.

Tremendous losses in 401(k) balances, historic numbers of foreclosures, and increasing credit card rates – it all sounds like a Hollywood screenplay about a financial apocalypse, but this is the reality that millions of Americans are experiencing today. Last week, Cambridge Credit Counseling president Christopher Viale reached out to a sampling of the tens of thousands of consumers his agency has counseled over the last six months, encouraging them to share their stories. Dozens responded, revealing how the economy has dramatically altered their lives. Many of these consumers would welcome the opportunity to speak with the media.

“The initial purpose of this outreach was to demonstrate that not enough is being done to help millions of hardworking Americans, and that we have a solution, Home Sweet Home, that deserves serious consideration,” stated Christopher Viale, President and CEO of Cambridge Credit. “In response, we received a number of very moving accounts from everyday people who will continue to struggle, despite the administration’s efforts.”

Cambridge sent the following message to individuals who had previously reached out to the agency for counseling.

“Over the last few weeks, our Home Sweet Home initiative has generated a good deal of interest in the news media. Within that time, I have worked to gain support for the initiative and to create awareness about the financial strain many of you and your loved ones may be experiencing. On St. Patrick's Day, I traveled to Manhattan to speak with reporters about the reforms we are championing, as well as the services Cambridge provides every day.

Several reporters have requested to speak with you, our clients. Specifically, the media would like to interview people who have experienced any of the following circumstances:

  • The inability to qualify for the Obama Administration's housing program
  • The inability to understand the requirements of the Obama Administration's housing program
  • A reduction in your credit limit on your credit card(s), resulting in diminished credit scores, higher interest rates, and/or reduced access to credit
  • The inability to maintain payments as a result of changes to the terms of your credit card account(s)
  • Overtime, bonus or other wage reductions that resulted in difficulty keeping up with increases in the cost of living

If you've experienced any of these situations, please send me an e-mail outlining your circumstances. My address is I will read each and every one of your responses and do my very best to reply to you in a timely fashion. Additionally, I will share some of your stories with the reporters who reached out to us for information. Some members of the media may wish to conduct a brief telephone interview with you, so please indicate your willingness to speak about your circumstances, as well as the best time and telephone number to reach you, if you'd like to participate. I will provide you with advance notice in the event that your story is chosen.

I thank you in advance for your time and effort in helping us to bring focus upon the issues that are affecting you most in these trying economic times. Your participation is greatly appreciated and will help provide insight into the plight of struggling Americans.”

If you are writing a story about how the economy is affecting everyday people and wish to speak with any of those who responded to Cambridge’s query, please contact Christopher Viale at 413-821-6919 or

Cambridge Credit Counseling Corp. is a professional debt counseling agency dedicated to educating young adults on the importance of sound financial management, and to providing financially distressed Americans with education and debt management services appropriate to their needs. For more information on this article or to schedule an interview, please call 413-821-6919.

Visit Cambridge Credit Counseling Corp. online at To learn more about Cambridge and the community, visit