Credit Counseling for Katrina Victims
by: Rod Rice, September 12, 2005 5:09:00 am
The physical damage following a hurricane is obvious, but there is damage of another kind too, unpaid bills and delinquent accounts can hurt your financial life. The first step in keeping or getting your financial house in order is to contact your bank, your creditors and your insurance providers--all of the people to whom you owe money. Kelly Rote is with Consumer Credit Counseling Services, a non-profit that offers free credit counseling and debt management assistance. She says in times like these you may not be certain who has personal information about you, so you should also contact the credit bureaus.
If you have not gotten a free credit report in the last year you can get one online. That and an on-line look at your banking records will let you know where your money goes and who must be contacted. Rote says don't forget those automatic withdrawals too.
As far as mortgages go, Rote says it's up each company to decide what to do about Katrina affected customers.
And again Rote stresses it is vital that you contact each creditor. Any help that is extended will only be offered after you make the initial contact. Kelly Rote also offers this advise, be wary of anyone who contacts you about fixing potential credit problems.
Rote says Consumer Credit Counseling Services 713-923-2227 will be glad to answer any questions or provide any help you may need.