TULSA, OK--(Marketwired - Oct 14, 2013) - Widely acclaimed CFS2, the national debt collection agency run by legendary consumer advocate and CEO Bill Bartmann, is sending a financial life preserver to over two million Federal employees impacted by the current Federal Shutdown. The Shutdown-Affected Forbearance Relief program, otherwise known as SAFR, will benefit all Federal employees who are not receiving a paycheck for their jobs through no fault of their own. The company sponsoring this program is CFS2, the frequently covered ethical debt collection agency, just lauded by CBS Evening News and the Harvard Business Review for going the extra mile to help customers get back on their feet via an array of free social services.
400,000 Americans in "non-essential" Federal posts have now been placed on furlough for an indefinite period of time and an additional 1.7 million "essential" employees have been forced to continue working without receiving a paycheck until the shutdown ends. Despite the shutdown, the US Postal Service remains in business and will continue to deliver bills to hundreds of thousands of American families without the means to pay them.
At this point, no one knows how long this shutdown, now in its 11th day, will last. If the furlough lasts for weeks, 2.1 million employees will have empty pay envelopes and yet a full list of bills. As a result, these employees will suffer a deteriorating FICO score, which can negatively impact their family's finances for years.
For every Federal worker who signs up for the free Shutdown-Affected Forbearance Relief program, CFS2 will contact each of the unpaid employee's creditors and persuade them to:
- Stop the interest meter on any obligation
- Stop the principal requirement on any obligation
- Stop reporting the obligation to the credit reporting agencies
Until such time as the furlough has been rescinded and the employee is back to work, all three conditions will remain in place.
CFS2 is following the lead of several Federal agencies who are encouraging financial institutions to work with customers affected by the shutdown, including the Federal Reserve, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the National Credit Union Administration and the Office of the Comptroller of Currency.
Bill Bartmann, consumer advocate and CEO of CFS2, said, "The National Forbearance Program was initially created to alleviate financial stress for families who have lost their homes or business to hurricanes, tornadoes or others Acts of God. The program's newest extension, SAFR, has been designed to relieve victims of a different kind of disaster: Congressional Inaction." Bartmann continued, "Even if Congress does not, CFS2 is a company that appreciates federal employees' service to this nation. If your family has been impacted by the government shutdown, give us a call so that we can help you, for free."
Beginning today, Federal employees can sign up for the SAFR program by phone at 877-772-0953.
About Bill Bartmann and CFS2:
In the 1990s, Bartmann built CFS, the world's largest debt collection agency, and became recognized as a national authority on fair debt collections practices. Inc. magazine credited CFS with "remaking one of the ugliest industries" due to the zero-abuse policy Bartmann demanded of his staff. His firm helped 4.5 million consumers resolve over $15 billion in credit card debt, without initiating a single lawsuit. The Harvard Business School published a case study on CFS.
Bartmann is a best-selling author and was named national "Entrepreneur of the Year" by NASDAQ and the Kauffman Foundation. He has been called the "No. 1 Collection Industry Consumer Advocate" in the world and was referred to by USA Today as the "Patron Saint of the Second Chance." Recently, Bill Bartmann was nominated for the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize.
In 2013, CFS2 was honored by the American Consumer Council as "Friend of the Consumer," the first time a debt collection agency has received the prestigious award, and a "Stevie" award -- the "Oscar" of the business world -- for superior customer service. This month, CEO Bill Bartmann was featured on the CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley and CBS Sunday Morning as the debt collector who "thrives with a simple strategy: kindness."
Bill Bartmann is available for interview.