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.

  • The Consumer Federation of America (CFA) is an association of nonprofit consumer organizations that was established in 1968 to advance the consumer interest through research, advocacy, and education. Today, nearly 300 of these groups participate in the federation and govern it through their representatives on the organization's Board of Directors.
  • The National Council of Higher Education Resources (NCHER) is the nation’s oldest and largest higher education finance trade association. NCHER’s membership includes state, nonprofit, and for-profit higher education service organizations, including lenders, servicers, guaranty agencies, collection agencies, financial literacy providers, and schools, interested and involved in increasing college access and success. It assists its members in shaping policies governing federal and private student loan and state grant programs on behalf of students, parents, borrowers, and families.

  • Since 2007, the Homeownership Preservation Foundation (HPF) has served as a trusted, neutral source of information for more than eight million homeowners. They are partnered with, and endorsed by, numerous major government agencies, including the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Department of the Treasury.

  • The mission of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all. HUD works to strengthen the housing market in order to bolster the economy and protect consumers; meet the need for quality affordable rental homes; utilize housing as a platform for improving quality of life; and build inclusive and sustainable communities free from discrimination.

  • The Council on Accreditation (COA) is an international, independent, nonprofit, human service accrediting organization. Their mission is to partner with human service organizations worldwide to improve service delivery outcomes by developing, applying, and promoting accreditation standards.

  • The National Foundation for Credit Counseling® (NFCC®), founded in 1951, is the nation’s largest and longest-serving nonprofit financial counseling organization. The NFCC’s mission is to promote the national agenda for financially responsible behavior, and build capacity for its members to deliver the highest-quality financial education and counseling services.