Books

  • Jeff Michael: Repair Your Credit and Knock Out Your Debt

    Jeff Michael: Repair Your Credit and Knock Out Your Debt
    I highly recommend this book because I wrote it.

  • Edie Milligan: Tips from the Top: Targeted Advice from America's Top Money Minds

    Edie Milligan: Tips from the Top: Targeted Advice from America's Top Money Minds
    I have about a dozen entries in this book.


  • DISCLAIMER: The opinions presented on this weblog are solely those of its author, and do not represent the opinions of my employer or clients. I cannot guarantee that the materials presented on this site will be error-free, or that any errors will be corrected. I make no representations as to the accuracy, correctness, or reliability of the information presented here; this site reflects only the personal opinions of its author and is for entertainment purposes only. * Further, this site is not responsible for any comments left in response to weblog posts, and we neither endorse nor guarantee any content contained therein, nor do we endorse any materials, websites, or services linked to in comments left by blog readers. I reserve the right to remove comments at will, but accept no obligation to do so.

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Comments

I thought the comments you posted earlier from Darrien Nayz were interesting. I've heard from some very credible sources that they expect "mass revocations" of nonprofit status for many agencies to happen soon. Others say that this won't happen; that agencies will fight to the death in court with the IRS to challenge revocation. Which is it? I don't know, but it does make sense that targeted agencies would pull out all their legal guns. I have to say, they would have to pry my agency's nonprofit status from my COLD DEAD hands...

I have to agree with what I think Darrien is saying about how our industry being too creditor oriented - we've drunk that creditor koolaid for too long. But that's not to say that a Debt Management Plan is not a good tool and the creditor subsidy is supposed to keep the cost down.

How come nobody ever talks about our HUD counseling certification and that part of our service activity? I'm wondering if that will count for anything. Jeff, what thoughts do you have about bk reform coming alive again and any possible impacts of this on our industry's IRS and other regulatory scrutiny?

BTW, thanks for the nice words about our agency on your blog. Now that blogads are all the rage, will we have to start paying for this?

Great to hear from you, Dianne.

HUD, huh?
"How come nobody ever talks about our HUD counseling certification and that part of our service activity? I'm wondering if that will count for anything."

One thing I know from my time at Springboard, and you can back me up on this, Dianne, is that getting HUD certification is a pain in the ass. I seem to remember some of our big competitors in the SoCal market decided it wasn't worth it, and started charging for housing counseling services and homebuyer ed. (One of the things that makes HUD certification more difficult is you actually have to be a non-profit organization in more than name only.)

So will it have an impact? It should. Will it, though? I'm not sure. The big agencies who have all the money to spend on lobbyists probably aren't HUD certified (somebody go ahead an find an example where I'm wrong; I'm sure I am), so they certainly won't bring that to the table in the IRS fight. The TRUE nonprofits who've worked their tails off to get HUD and COA status can't afford to wage the kind of campaign it would take to make HUD certification an issue.

Of course I'm probably wrong about this too, but that's my initial reaction.

"Jeff, what thoughts do you have about bk reform coming alive again and any possible impacts of this on our industry's IRS and other regulatory scrutiny?"

Now it seems BK reform is on the short list of things the new congress wants to address in its next session. We could see movement on BK reform within the next couple of months. I still think the Democrats will do whatever they can to stop it, but they may have bigger fish to fry and BK reform might just squeak through.

If BK reform passes, and includes provisions for non-profit credit counselors to do means testing and bankruptcy education, then the status of many agencies' non-profit will be secure. Congress will NOT hand off the nation's bankruptcy seekers to a for-profit industry.

But they will regulate. They'd have to. If you're going to compel people to see a counselor before they file bankruptcy (still a good idea, I don't care what anyone says) then you've got to hold that counselor's feet to the fire and make sure they aren't trying to take advantage of someone who is at his/her most vulnerable.

And any agency that can survive HUD audits can handle whatever congress might throw at them.

"BTW, thanks for the nice words about our agency on your blog. Now that blogads are all the rage, will we have to start paying for this?"

Of course not; just keep selling my book. I wrote it as Springboard's Director of Education, so it's no secret that I have had a formal relationship with the best CCCS in the business. I've seen the sales figures on the book, and they're less than inspiring, I have to admit. (And yes, I started this blog solely to promote the book-no secrets!)

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