Standards for private organizations

2020 Edition

Financial Education and Counseling Services (FEC) 9: Creditor Relations

The organization demonstrates credibility and accountability to the credit-granting entities that have agreed to participate in a debt management plan.

Interpretation

When the creditor’s policy is in conflict with the requirements of these standards, the organization should act in accordance with creditor requirements and with the client’s best interest in mind.

Interpretation

An organization that uses a third party electronic payment provider is responsible for all of the standards in this section, and should:
  1. ensure that the standards are reflected in the contract; and 
  2. establish a process to confirm that contract obligations are being upheld.
NA The organization does not provide debt management plans.
2020 Edition

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VIEW THE STANDARDS

Purpose

Clients who receive Financial Education and Counseling services learn to solve financial problems and gain personal financial management skills.
1
All elements or requirements outlined in the standard are evident in practice, as indicated by full implementation of the practices outlined in the Practice Standards.
2
Practices are basically sound but there is room for improvement, as noted in the ratings for the Practice Standards; e.g.,
  • Minor inconsistencies and not yet fully developed practices are noted; however, these do not significantly impact service quality; or
  • Procedures need strengthening; or
  • With few exceptions, procedures are understood by staff and are being used; or
  • For the most part, established timeframes are met; or
  • Proper documentation is the norm and any issues with individual staff members are being addressed through performance evaluations and training; or
  • Active client participation occurs to a considerable extent.
3
Practice requires significant improvement, as noted in the ratings for the Practice Standards. Service quality or program functioning may be compromised; e.g.,
  • Procedures and/or case record documentation need significant strengthening; or
  • Procedures are not well-understood or used appropriately; or
  • Timeframes are often missed; or
  • Several client records are missing important information; or
  • Client participation is inconsistent. 
4
Implementation of the standard is minimal or there is no evidence of implementation at all, as noted in the ratings for the Practice Standards; e.g.,
  • No written procedures, or procedures are clearly inadequate or not being used; or 
  • Documentation is routinely incomplete and/or missing.      
Self-Study EvidenceOn-Site EvidenceOn-Site Activities
  • Procedures for informing and communicating with creditors
  • Documentation that describes fair share contributions
  • Financial records
  • Interviews may include:
    1. Program director
    2. Relevant personnel
    3. Clients
  • Review client files

FEC 9.01

The organization provides electronic funds transfers at the creditor’s request.

FEC 9.02

The organization:
  1. promptly informs the creditor upon discovery of a posting problem;
  2. promptly refunds to the client or creditor any improperly credited amount; and
  3. either bills the creditor for its fair share and remits the client’s gross payment, or deducts the fair share contribution from the client’s payment, according to the creditor’s requirements.

FEC 9.03

When a DMP is discontinued, the organization is responsible for providing notice of discontinuation to the creditor within identified timeframes, as per creditor requirements.