Todd Ossenfort consulted with Liquid Communications to launch A New Day, a SAAS product aimed at improving the bankruptcy certification process. Ossenfort is confident the solution provides agencies with more tools to manage their bankruptcy client portfolio.
Online PR News – 04-June-2012 – Rapid City – Todd Ossenfort of Pioneer Credit Counseling consulted with Liquid Communications Company to produce A New Day, a Software Application to aid Consumer Credit and Debt Management Agencies in managing their Bankruptcy Client Portfolio.
Nearly one year after Todd Ossenfort began consulting with Liquid Communications to produce the software, the product was in the hands of credit counseling agencies nation wide. To date, over 250,000 consumers have received certifications, required by the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection act.
According to Ossenfort, there are various reasons why consumers file for bankruptcy. "People file for bankruptcy for a great many reasons. Obviously, most people file for bankruptcy when they don't have enough money to pay their bills, some incur too much credit card debt while others have problems stemming from loss of employment such as being laid off or fired from a job. Some lose their employment because their business has downsized. Others, may be indebted in various areas, such as student loans and to the IRS, which debts cannot be discharged through a bankruptcy proceeding."
Ossenfort, who is the Chairman of the Membership and Compliance Committee for the Fairfax, VA based Association of Independent Consumer Credit Counseling Agencies (AICCCA) indicated that in 2011 approximately 1.5 million consumers faced with mounting credit and debt problems filed for bankruptcy.
Beginning October 17, 2005, consumers filing for bankruptcy were required to go through a government-approved credit counseling program within six months before they file for bankruptcy protection. After completing the government approved credit counseling program consumers are required to participate in a continuing education course, known as a Debtor Education or a Personal Financial Management Course. After each phase of the counseling is complete, consumers must obtain a certificate as evidence that they completed the course work required by law.
According to Ossenfort, these regulations placed a requirement on the consumer to receive education, as well as a requirement on government approved credit counseling agencies to deliver the education to the consumer. Agencies were forced to quickly adopt programs aimed at delivering counseling sessions in person, over the phone, by mail.
"This presented a substantial change in the way that non-profit credit counseling agencies conducted their business," said Ossenfort.
Ossenfort wants to remain focused on providing quality credit counseling services.
The volume of filers required agencies to develop new methods of delivering high quality credit and debt counseling through non traditional methods. "The power of the internet has vastly improved our ability to offer consumer credit counseling courses while not having to increase the fees charged to filers for receiving the counseling," notes Ossenfort.
Accordingly, A New Day (AND), was developed to facilitate the delivery of credit counseling and debtor education courses online, while not sacrificing the quality of the educational content and maintaining the educational guidelines required by the Executive Department of the United States Trustee.
Within the AND software platform, consumers are guided through courses in a methodical step-by-step fashion, requiring them to demonstrate their understanding of the course content and materials along the way. In the credit counseling course, consumers are required to enter their monthly expenses and revenues and guided to a better understanding of their alternatives to filing bankruptcy. Within the post filing course or Personal Financial Management Course, consumers learn ways to better manage their finances and ideally, avoid filing for bankruptcy again in the future.
Todd Ossenfort Believes AND Bankruptcy Software Provided Cost Reductions in Agency Operations:
"The software has provided our agency with the ability to provide a high quality education to our clients, while at the same time, reducing our overall costs of delivery," said Todd Ossenfort.
Most, if not all, credit counseling agencies are non-profit organizations with many of their revenues delivered back to the consumers they serve in the form of enhanced credit counseling services or community outreach programs.
The AND platform allows agencies to deliver certifications 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, without the reliance on direct communication with the consumer. This dramatically reduces the number of individuals that could only be counseled through traditional delivery methods, and allows credit counseling agencies bankruptcy departments to spend more time delivering outreach programs or community education programs as a result of the cost savings to the agency.
The software works well for our agency, and allows our agency to remain focused on delivering quality products and services and not on how much time we spend with our clients. Our clients remain our top priority and the AND platform allows us to remain focused on the work that we do in our own community and nationwide, says Ossenfort.