Credit Counseling Center is pleased to announce that the organization received payment from a 2006 payday lending lawsuit along with 3 other non-profit credit counseling services to help educate Pennsylvanians about financial planning and counseling.
“This funding will help more people get the tools and knowledge to make better decisions about their finances for themselves and their families,” said PA Department of Banking’s Robyn Wiessmann. “A strong sense of financial capability allows Pennsylvanians to build their financial independence.”
In 2006, the department filed a lawsuit against NCAS of Delaware, LLC, which did business as Advance America Cash Advance Centers, and Advance America Cash Advance Centers, Inc. for violations of the Consumer Discount Company Act. A restitution fund was created for the company’s customers. The Commonwealth Court is allowing the department and Pennsylvania Attorney General to distribute funds remaining after all eligible restitution was paid with four charitable organizations to educate and protect Pennsylvanians.
“I am pleased that our joint settlement with this payday lender will result in monies going to these worthy organizations dedicated to helping the consumers who are most in need of financial and credit counseling,” said Attorney General Josh Shapiro. “These distributions announced by the Secretary of Banking and Securities will go a long way to helping consumers and their families get back on their feet financially.”
Credit Counseling Center, a non-profit organization with offices is Levittown, Richboro and Doylestown. We provide life changing financial literacy and counseling services to help our clients, their families, employees and the community at large.
Over the past 25 years, CCC has served over 41,000 predominantly low- to moderate- income individuals with a variety of programs to help financially educate and stabilize individuals and families in our communities. 84% of our clients are low/moderate income. In addition, CCC has supported nearly 1,400 debt management clients and has dispersed $14 million back to creditors.
Consumers can contact the department with questions about financial issues or to file a complaint at 1-800-PA-BANKS or online.
While there is no set definition of a payday loan, it is usually a short-term, high cost loan, generally for $500 or less.
The loan is usually repaid in a single payment on the borrower’s next payday, or when income is received from another source such as a pension or Social Security. The due date is typically two to four weeks from the date the loan was made. The specific due date is set in the payday loan agreement.
Many state laws set a maximum amount for payday loan fees ranging from $10 to $30 for every $100 borrowed. A typical two-week payday loan with a $15 per $100 fee equates to an annual percentage rate (APR) of almost 400 percent. By comparison, APRs on credit cards can range from about 12 percent to about 30 percent. In many states that permit payday lending, the cost of the loan, fees, and the maximum loan amount are capped.
Payday loans are marketed as a one-time, “quick fix” for people facing a crash crunch. But the loan terms are designed to trap borrowers into long-term debt that causes a host of harms.
In 2021, Paula was named Executive Director of Credit Counseling Center. She joined the organization in 2008 as a Credit Counselor and was quickly promoted to Director of Housing Counseling in 2009. Paula is a firm believer that each client is a representation of a family whose lives, financial challenges, and needs are important.
She developed and still leads the Center’s Foreclosure Prevention program; and has partnered with the Bucks County Court of Common Pleas Foreclosure Diversion Program. Her keen focus on making a positive impact in the community has generated numerous program collaborations with the United Way of Bucks County and a multitude of social service organizations in the region.
Previously, Paula served 21 on Active Duty in the US Air Force. Initially serving as a combat photographer and finishing the second half of her career as a recruiter, leading to the position of Flight Chief. Highly decorated, she has received awards from the Air Force and the Department of Defense.
An active leader in the Bucks County community, Paula donates her time annually as a board member for the annual Congressional Service Academy Nomination Interviews under the office of Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick. She is an active Chamber member in Lower Bucks, BucksMont, and Upper Bucks, advocates for financial literacy education opportunities at venues servicing low/moderate income consumers and senior citizen organizations.