MMI reaches 85,000 consumers due to CARD act provision

Money Management International (MMI) supports the positive consumer benefits gained from the Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act of 2009 as described in a recent study by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Although not highlighted in the findings, one important aspect of the Act’s requirements is that card issuers are now required to include a toll-free number to access information about credit counseling services on cardholder account statements.

“MMI alone has received 85,000 calls since 2010 as a direct result of the CARD Act requirement to include a phone number for credit counseling,” said Joanne Kerstetter, vice president of government relations for MMI. “We believe that the phone number appearing on consumer statements encouraging the use of credit counseling and financial education assistance has also contributed to the positive results seen since the enactment of the CARD Act.”

Many of the calls MMI receives from the CARD Act toll-free number are from consumers simply seeking financial education and other information. However, about 30 percent – roughly 27,000 calls – has resulted in counseling sessions covering financial issues such as debt and budget analysis, delinquent mortgage assistance, bankruptcy counseling and reverse mortgage counseling.

“MMI appreciates the lawmakers responsible for enacting this requirement and the creditors who allow us to help consumers through their hotline,” said Kerstetter.

MMI is proud to join the many other credit counseling organizations receiving calls in support of this important service offered by credit card issuers. Many consumers who receive help with their finances from MMI as a result of calling the number on their credit card statements are able to repay their creditors and learn how to better manage their finances today as well as in the future.

Tanisha (Warner) Smith is a former communications manager at MMI.