Should You Sign Up For A Genus Debt Management Plan?
What Is Genus Debt Management?
Genus Credit Management classifies itself as a non-profit credit counseling organization that provides confidential and competent credit psychoanalysis, debt management and financial education to its clients overwhelmed by debt and their finances across the country. It aims to assist borrowers (its clients) in reining in and paying off debt, and creditors in being able to collect debt from its clients. The Genus Debt Management Program is one of the main services it offers for free and is supported through voluntary contributions from clients and contributors. They assert that they provide the same degree of service regardless of whether or not the client can make a donation.
The Genus Debt Management Program has been under the guidance of the American Financial Solutions or AFS since 2001. This program guides clients a strategy of how to pay off their unsecured debt by paying one entire combined payment for all the debts. From there, Genus/AFS will be responsible for apportioning payments to each of the client’s creditor. The debt management company will also negotiate, on the client’s behalf, for lower APR’s, to waive fees, as well as to stop collection calls. All these are expected to help the client keep their finances under control and eventually settle unsecured debt, which usually takes 48 to 60 months.
Should You Sign Up For a Genus Debt Management Plan?
When considering debt solutions providers to sign up for, make sure that you take the time to get to know the company. One way to do that is to check the Better Business Bureau for its background and history of success in helping clients pay off their debts, whether there has been complaints and formal actions filed against them and whether or not these complaints and lawsuits have been properly addressed. Credit Management Corporation, also known as National Credit Counselling Services, Inc., is not accredited by the Better Business Bureau, while the American Financial Solutions is BBC accredited. However, there are more than one companies listed under this name engaged in this nature of business. None of these bear the same address as that of Genus Credit Management. So it is difficult to pinpoint which is the organization affiliated with Genus.
Moreover, it has been noted that the Internal Revenue Service had cancelled its determination that Genus is tax exempt under sections 501(c) and 170(c) of the Internal Revenue Code, but AFS claims that it is registered as a 501(c) not-for-profit company.
Organizations that are not BBB-accredited are not necessarily ineffective or shady. Although organizations are not obliged to be accredited by the BBB, however, accreditation is one way for consumers to check a group’s background. AFS is also accredited by the Council on Accreditation and profess that they adhere to the best practices and Code of Standards of the Association of Independent Consumer Credit Counseling Agencies.
Class Action Filed Against Genus Credit Management Corp.
Genus is among the companies that had class actions filed against them for alleged violations of consumer protection laws, such as making false and misleading statements about debt management plans or programs, such as promises that the Genus debt management plans would restore credit, credit scores or credit records without furnishing the necessary disclosures. Although the organization had already reached settlement for this class action and is liable to pay certain amount to clients involved in the case. Interestingly, the AFS is also among the firms which faced class action together with Genus. The negative report about the two organizations will make consumers think twice of whether or not to sign up for their services.
The Verdict For Genus Debt Management Plans
Genus Credit Management failed the test for legit and competent debt management companies on three counts: it is not BBB accredited, it had a negative record of facing a class action, and the IRS has revoked its determination of its being tax exempt as a charitable institution.