A notice just out to credit counseling groups was sent in by a great tipster (send in your tips here). Apparently Citibank, an initial supporter of the NFCC and Consumer Credit Counseling Service program called Call to Action, is terminating their participation.
An email sent out to AICCCA members says:
Due to resource limitations and required compliance with policy, February 11, 2011 will be the final day that Citibank will accept CTA proposals for ANY of their billers, including those for CitiCards (Macys) and Citi – CTA Billers. Please see below for more information.
If I have clients already on a CTA program, will they be taken off?
No. Accounts that have already been accepted into the DMP program will remain on the program at the CTA terms until they either pay off the debt or terminate from the program.
What happens if a proposal has already been submitted?
Any CTA proposal that is pending decision on or before February 11th will be decisioned based on the information included in the proposal.
New proposals received after this date will no longer be eligible for CTA terms.
If I have a client who is transferring agencies, will their CTA program also transfer over?
Yes. Please follow correct procedures when transferring clients from one agency to another. Failure to follow Citi policies for re-enrollment of eligible accounts may have an adverse impact to the program’s successful completion.
If my client is dropped from a CTA program, will they be able to go back on?
No. Accounts can only be on a DMP once in the lifetime of the account.
If you have questions about a specific account, please use the appropriate portfolio toll free number for information.
Thank you for your continued support in helping our card holders have a healthy financial future.
The Call to Action program was heralded as a great benefit for consumers.
It was promoted as “a more affordable “Standard” DMP and a “Hardship” DMP (together, the “Call to Action” DMPs) for consumers who are seeking to avoid bankruptcy, but who do not have sufficient income to qualify for a traditional DMP. The key elements of these two new DMPs will allow consumers to maintain a reasonable monthly budget, establish a savings account for economic emergencies, make fixed monthly payments more affordable, and be out of debt within 60 months.” – Source
The exciting benefit of the plan was the reasonable ability to allow consumers to dig their way out of debt and also make room to save at the same time to protect themselves from a future financial disaster. Citibank apparently does not want to help consumers do that anymore.
It will be interesting to see if credit counseling groups can find a way to exercise any power over Citibank to bring this back. I would be very surprised to seem them speak out aggressively about this. They fear irritaing big funding sources like Citibank.
Citibank Closes Credit Counseling Call to Action Program by Steve Rhode
I can always use your help. If you have a tip or information you want to share, you can get it to me confidentially if you click here.