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Indiana Foreclosure Prevention Network to assist Consumer Credit Counseling clients

Consumer Credit Counseling Services in Merrillville has closed, and the Indiana Foreclosure Prevention Network will help its foreclosure prevent clients.

Merrillville-based Consumer Credit Counseling Services of Northwest Indiana abruptly closed after falling behind on bills, but the Indiana Foreclosure Prevention Network will take over to provide foreclosure prevention counseling to its clients.

Consumer Credit Counseling offered many services including financial education, a debt management program and counseling on how to avoid foreclosure. The 44-year-old nonprofit had been a member of Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority in Indianapolis.

"To provide assurance to those individuals and families that were receiving foreclosure prevention counseling from Consumer Credit Counseling, I wanted to let you know that we acquired each of these files and will have another member of the IFPN get in contact with them very soon," Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority Marketing and Communications Director Brad Meadows said. "Other homeowners facing foreclosure can visit www.877gethope.org or call 877-438-4673.

"They can see if they qualify for our mortgage reinstatement program and see other resources available to them," Meadows said.

All the clients will be referred to new agencies that can help them.

"We are taking physical possession of those files of families and individuals that have worked with Consumer Crediting Counseling regarding foreclosure prevention counseling only," Meadows said. "We are going to review those files and immediately distribute those to other similar organizations in our foreclosure prevention network to ensure those families can get the foreclosure prevention counseling they signed up for and need. We want to reassure those families and individuals their files will be reviewed in the next few days, and will be transferred to other providers within the network."

The statewide nonprofit is only helping Consumer Credit Counseling's foreclosure counseling clients — and not those getting credit counseling or debt management services — because that's its area of expertise.

The Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Northwest Indiana board is still working to find a new agency to take over its debt management service, in which it negotiated consolidated debt payments on behalf of more than 150 clients. Chairwoman Loretta Minor said someone will be in touch with those clients and they should contact their creditors directly about making November payments.

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Business Reporter

Joseph S. Pete is a Lisagor Award-winning business reporter who covers steel, industry, unions, the ports, retail, banking and more. The Indiana University grad has been with The Times since 2013 and blogs about craft beer, culture and the military.