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Credit Counseling FAQs

Listed below are questions received by the Department concerning the credit counseling licensing forms with their suggested answers.

 
Q.
What constitutes a “Location” under Question #7 of the Credit Counseling Organization License Application?
   
A.
The Credit Counseling Organization License Application requires the applicant to list all locations within South Carolina and all locations outside the state that are soliciting or contracting with debtors located within South Carolina. A Supplemental Form B must be completed and $100 submitted for each location listed.
   
A location is a business/ office location and must be reported when anyone of the following events occurs at the location:
   
1.
the licensee enters into a written contract or agreement with the debtor;
2.
the licensee receives payment from the debtor;
3.
records are kept on the premises.
   
The time spent at the location and the circumstances surrounding the use of the location (ie: donated space, etc) do not have a bearing on whether or not the location must be declared.
   
Q.
Do voluntary board of director members, who hold no financial interest in the organization, have to be listed under Question # 11 on the Credit Counseling Organization License Application, fill out a Supplemental Form A, and submit a credit report and criminal background check request?
   
A.
The Credit Counseling Organization License Application requires the applicant to list every owner, every partner, every member, every officer, and every director. Such individuals must then complete a Supplemental Form A and submit a credit report and criminal background check request.
   
Directors sitting on a voluntary board of directors who:
   
1.
do not receive compensation directly or indirectly from the corporation and
2.
do not hold any financial interest in the corporation must be listed under Question #11, but do not have to complete a Supplemental Form A, submit a credit report, or request a criminal background check.
   
Q.
Can a credit counseling organization use the bonding obtained for the United States Trustee Program to satisfy the South Carolina Consumer Credit Counseling bonding requirement?
   
A.
Each credit counseling organization must obtain a bond in an amount that equals or exceeds the total amount of South Carolina clients’ funds in the applicant’s/ licensee’s trust account at the time of application/ renewal. This bond must at least be in the amount of twenty-five thousand dollars ($25,000).
 
The Credit Counseling Organization Special Deposit Bond Form must be used. Because of this requirement, the bonding obtained for the US Trustee CANNOT be used for the South Carolina requirement.
 
The United States Trustee, however, does allow an organization to use bonding obtained for a State in full or partial satisfaction of the US Trustee bonding requirement. For more information please visit the US Trustee website at www.usdoj.gov/ust/ or go directly to the Bonding Requirements page at www.usdoj.gov/ust/bapcpa/BondingRequirements.pdf.
 
Q.
Several sections of the Credit Counseling Organization License Application require information of “every owner, partner, member, officer, and director” of the organization. Who is this referencing exactly?
 
A.
Question #11 of Credit Counseling Organization License Application and Supplemental Form A reference this phrase. The designation that will apply to your organization depends on the organization’s business type. “Owner” refers to that of a sole proprietorship, “partner” refers to all partners of a partnership, every “member” of a member-managed limited liability company, every “officer” of a corporation, and every “director” on a corporation’s board of directors.
 
Q.
Does a credit report from Equifax, Experian, or Trans Union satisfy the composite credit report requirement?
 
A.
No. Those individuals required to submit a Supplemental Form A must submit or have sent a composite credit report to the Department. A composite credit report contains information from all three credit bureaus. The report must be less than 90 days old. Also, the credit counseling organization’s name and “SCDCA-Credit Counseling” must be on the face of the report. If the credit reporting agency cannot oblige this request, type out a mailing label with the required information and attach it to the report.
 
Q.
Does a state criminal history check ordered or obtained from the internet satisfy the criminal record check requirement for owners, partners, members, officers, directors, and counselors?
 
A.
Supplemental Form A and the Credit Counselor Application require the applicant to request a State Criminal History Check. The check must come from the State Police of the Individual’s Place of Residence and be forwarded directly to the Department from the State Police. If you are having difficulty satisfying this requirement, please contact the Department.
   
Q.

If all of the information required for the Creditor Consent Form is maintained electronically, is that sufficient to satisfy the Form requirement?

   
A. NO. The Creditor Consent Form must be on paper and list all creditors sent proposals with the other information required under Section 37-7-109(B)(1) through (7). The Form must be placed in the client's paper file, along with other documents such as the Budget Analysis and Debt Management Agreement.
   
  If the electronic database can print the information in a list form, containing all of the required information, simply print this table and place it in the client's file.
Contact Information
 

Deborah Friday
Program Coordinator
(803) 734-4209

Martha S. Phillips
Staff Attorney
(803) 734-4241

Fax: (803) 734-4299