As you found out, it is a MINEFIELD out there when it comes to credit counseling services! I don't have the answers to your questions BUT you local *non-profit* credit counseling service is probably your BEST bet for information and advice.
Here is the name and 800 phone number of OUR local consumer credit counseling service. They may be able to answer your questions directly or at least point you toward your own local equivalent agency who can assist:
Consumer Credit Counseling Services of Central New York
49 Court Street
Binghamton, NY 13901
Good luck and please come back to share your experiences for the benefit of anyone else who might be in a similar quandary!
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