CredAbility sheds jobs as debt-ridden consumers recover

CredAbility, the Atlanta-based credit counseling service, continues to be somewhat of a victim of its own success, shedding more jobs now that the economy is improving and consumers once overwhelmed by debt are getting back on their feet.

The nonprofit group said Thursday it will reduce staffing by 35 workers, leaving it with about 300. The group employed 563 people at the peak of the foreclosure crises in 2010.

Between 2008 and 2010 at the height of the recession, CredAbility said it was assisting 100,000 households a year that were trying to avoid foreclosure. That number is expected to drop to 55,000 to 60,000 this year, according to spokesman Scott Scredon.

More consumers are also getting their credit card debt under control, another major counseling area for the group, even if they are taking on other debt as the economy improves. According to an Equifax report in June, for example, consumer debt in metro Atlanta dropped 1 .29 percent in the first quarter of this year to around $207.9 billion from $210.6 billion in the same period in 2012.

“As the economy has improved and people have paid down their debt and more people have their finances under control, the need for some services has declined,” Scredon said. “We need to make sure as a nonprofit that our expenses meet our revenues.”

The group’s funding comes from foundations, federal and state governments and it gets $25 to $50 in proceeds from debt repayment plans it works out with lenders on behalf of clients.

In addition to Atlanta, CredAbility has offices in Orlando, Tampa and West Palm Beach, Fla.; Knoxville, Tenn.; Jackson, Miss.; and Greenville, S.C. The group also conducts credit counseling over the phone and Internet.

The group was formerly known as the Consumer Credit Counseling Service but changed its name three years ago to CredAbility.

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