The Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Maryland, a non-profit group that helps people straighten out their finances, is expanding its suburban operations by opening offices in Owings Mills and Columbia.
"We're trying to be where the need is," said Russ Bohlman, director of the service.
Although Owings Mills and Columbia traditionally have been among the more affluent areas in the Baltimore area, Mr. Bohlman said white-collar workers face the same budget crises other groups do.
The Columbia office, which opened March 16, is at 3 Lakefront North, Suite 204, at 5570 Sterrett Place across from the Columbia Mall.
The Owings Mills office, which opens tomorrow, is in Owings Center, Suite 1023, at 10220 S. Dolfield Road.
The additions bring to nine the number of offices administered by Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Maryland. Others are in Catonsville, Dundalk, Laurel, Bel Air, Salisbury, Perry Hall and Wilmington, Del.
CCCS of Maryland is affiliated with the National Foundation for Consumer Credit.
CCCS of Southeast Maryland Inc., a separate affiliate of the national foundation, covers Anne Arundel County.
The services provide debt-reduction counseling, help clients write budgets and structure payment plans, and offer educational programs.
The service is free, but clients are asked to donate $5.
CCCS is supported primarily by big credit companies, which stand to benefit by recovering consumer payments that could be lost.