Budget & Credit Counseling Services, or BuCCS
(212-675-5070 or buccs.com)
Method: One-on-one counseling. BuCCs negotiates with creditors to reduce monthly payments and interest charges and waive late fees. Clients agree to make monthly payments for four years. Cost: $50 counseling fee.
(800-MYVESTA or myvesta.org)
Method: Twenty-two programs, including One-Pay, which consolidates your bills and deals with creditors on the creditors’ terms (no additional fee); AllPaid, which deposits your money in an insured account and uses that to pay your bills ($395 for setup and $60 or more per month); and DebtTectives, which negotiates with creditors to get your debt down ($399 per account). For the completely destitute, there’s CBA, or Comprehensive Bankruptcy Alternative, a $2,900 (onetime) jump-start to a new life in which Myvesta counsels you for 30 to 40 hours and helps you find a new house, a new job, even a lawyer if you need one.
(781-453-2743 or debtorsanonymous.org)
Method: Support groups and twelve-step program derived from Alcoholics Anonymous. Regular meetings, sponsorship by members in recovery.
Also: Cover Story: Spending Sickness