Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Cambridge Responds to Inaccurate Blog Posts

We would like to thank those bloggers who posted after Cambridge was mentioned by noted personal finance author Jordan Goodman on the ABC program The View. One of the most endearing qualities of the online community is its passion for sharing information. Unfortunately, the absence of accepted journalistic and investigative standards is also common in the online world, which often makes a casualty of the truth. This was definitely the case yesterday, when a few individuals posted defamatory and terribly inaccurate entries on their blog sites about our agency.

Several posters reported that Cambridge was currently involved in litigation with the Illinois attorney general. The lawsuit mentioned in those postings resulted from the business practices of our organization's previous management, from whom we separated at the end of 2004. In fact, the Illinois suit, which was satisfactorily resolved in 2007, was the last item that new management had to deal with when it assumed control of the agency. All other actions were resolved previously.

Some other bloggers repeated old accusations about inappropriate fee structures, back-office business arrangements with the long-defunct Brighton Credit agency, and the absence of third-party accreditation. We would like to assure the thousands of people contacting us each month for assistance that these assertions are entirely without merit.

  • Cambridge is licensed or exempt from licensure in 45 states. Our fees are capped at $75 initial and $50 monthly, and are compliant with the fee limits in all states where we do business. At present, our average initial fee is just $46 and our average monthly fee is just $25. Approximately 7% of our clients pay no fees whatsoever, and a significant number receive more modest reductions.
  • Brighton Credit was a subsidiary of Cambridge's former management. All ties to that company were severed when the new Cambridge separated from the aforementioned team in 2004.
  • All of Cambridge’s counselors and client services representatives are nationally certified by the Institute for Financial Literacy or the Association for Financial Counseling and Planning Education, the two most widely recognized independent accrediting bodies. Certification by the IFL or AFCPE is required in many states prior to licensure. Our staff also receives at least 10 continuing education credits annually to maintain their certificates.
  • Recognition of Cambridge’s comprehensive approach to effective financial counseling came last summer, when we were unanimously recommended for membership in the Association of Independent Consumer Credit Counseling Agencies (AICCCA), a universally respected national membership organization established to promote quality and consistent delivery of credit counseling services.
  • Cambridge is ISO 9000 registered and audited annually to the AICCCA Code of Practice.

The dedication of Cambridge’s new board and management team has helped us expand our educational offerings and re-establish confidence in our commitment to quality service. A testament to this dedication was Cambridge’s recent approval by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to provide housing counseling services. Furthermore, through the efforts of our exceptional staff, our financial literacy education programs continue to reach a wide variety of social service agencies, including our local chapter of Habitat for Humanity, the Job Corps, several VA facilities for homeless veterans, and a number of family shelters.

We would like to apologize for any confusion caused by these postings and are hopeful that the individuals involved will retract the defamatory statements they’ve placed on their sites. Anyone interested in learning more about Cambridge’s community services is encouraged to contact our agency’s president, Christopher Viale, at 413-821-6919.


Kent said...

Hello. Thank you for leaving your comment at my blog. I have taken down the statements, and replaced them with an excerpt as well as a link. I am sorry for the misinformation I helped spread and will be more careful in the future.

James Arthur said...

Thank you for leaving your information at my blog. I have taken down the incorrect information and replaced it with an excerpt and a link to your correct information. I am sorry for helping spread the misinformation and will take much more care in the future.

Cambridge Credit Counseling said...

Thank you Kent. We appreciate your cooperation. Have a great day.

Cambridge Credit Counseling said...

James. Saw your post earlier, thanks a lot. Appreciate the help. Enjoy the day.