2012-10-19 / Top Stories

Financial Counseling Available From City

Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) Commissioner Jonathan Mintz has announced the launch of You Can Tackle Your Debt, a public awareness campaign that highlights how the City’s Financial Empowerment Centers can help New Yorkers take control of their debt, deal with debt collectors, improve their credit and create budgets.

The campaign, which is the fifth in DCA’s “Protect Your Money” series, emphasizes personal experiences: “You can negotiate with your creditors,” “You can answer your phone without worrying it’s a bill collector,” and “You can sleep through the night.” Campaign ads will run on subway cars and buses, bus shelters and telephone kiosks.

The campaign’s website features video testimonials of eight New Yorkers who highlight how the free, one-on-one financial counseling at the City’s Financial Empowerment Center helped them.

All New Yorkers are encouraged to share their stories on DCA’s social media sites using the hashtag #YouCan at @NYCDCA or by posting on DCA’s Facebook page. A video about the Financial Empowerment Centers’ services is also posted on YouTube.

“More than half of the New Yorkers who come to the Financial Empowerment Centers come because they are struggling with debt,” said DCA Commissioner Jonathan Mintz. “Too often they are afraid to answer their phones or open their mail and can’t sleep at night. This campaign lets New Yorkers know that they can tackle that debt and that we’re here to help them do it…that we, as a number of our clients have said, can help you ‘see the light at the end of the tunnel.’ We hope our message resonates with people in debt and motivates them to pick up the phone and call 311 to make an appointment at one of our Centers or to share their own #YouCan story.”

The City’s network of nearly 30 Financial Empowerment Centers, operated by DCA’s Office of Financial Empowerment, offers free one-on-one professional financial counseling in multiple languages. Financial counselors have helped more than 17,000 New Yorkers reduce their debt by more than $7.5 million. Operating partners include: Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corp., East River Development Alliance, Financial Clinic, Neighborhood Trust Financial Partners and Phipps Community Development Corporation.

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