Video 1 Introduction to CCA
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I love credit. I like talking about credit. It’s a passion of mine so I appreciate some ears and hopefully we’ll walk out of the room a little smarter than we walked in, Like John said, I am with Consumer Credit Auditors. I’ve been doing credit since 1998. We also have a commercial division which is Commercial Credit Advisors that we started up to help people with small businesses to get funding and help to diversify their credit lines and segregate them from commercial and personal.
I’ll start with a little bit with my story and how I got into this business.
Back in the 90s I was involved with another business and had the misfortune of running into some car accidents, 3 of them to be exact. None of them were my fault, insurance companies unfortunately did not see it that way. I found myself sitting in a very large financial hole that took me about 8 years to grind my way out of and I did what I thought was the right thing to do. You know, you roll up your sleeves, you work it, you pay everybody back, it wasn’t their fault that you got in an accident and I found out at the edge of that hole that maybe that wasn’t the wisest decision cause it was 8 years down the road and my credit still sucked. I was just at the point where I could start rebuilding my credit again. Hind sight being 20/20 I probably would’ve gone bankrupt if that happened again and just start rebuilding right away but that was my story. Then in the course of that, as we got to the edge of that hole, I had a wife who didn’t have the same credit problems I had. And we decided to go buy a home and found out that she had an evil twin in Seattle with the same maiden name and a social security number that was a digit off and their credit files had done this. It was a real interesting conversation when I looked at that credit report, it was like, “Honey, is there something that I need to know here”.(laughter)
So that lady didn’t have very good credit and so I thought well, honest mistake, it should be easy to fix and I started working with credit bureaus to get that fixed and I found out that it was not easy at all. They were just kind of designed to make you go away. They’re not really concerned with helping you fix those problems and so at that point I decided well maybe I need help with this project and I sought out another gentleman who does what I do now and we hit it off pretty well and he helped me fix the credit and in the course of that he said, “Hey, I’d like you to open up an office for me”, and I said, “No I can’t do that, you know I’m still paying off the rest of this debts and I got a cash flow here. I can’t walk away from this business and start something new.”
And that was that until about 2 weeks later one of my key employees came to me and said, “Gee, Derek, I’d like to buy this business from you”. So I said, “Hmmmm, this is a sign”, and so I sold that business and I went into the credit business. That was in 1998.
A couple years after that, I realized that the company I was working with I had learned a lot from them and I thought there was a lot more that could be done to help clients. Raise the level of customer service and perform better for our clients. And they weren’t willing to make those changes and move in that direction and so I got together with Damian, who John mentioned, and he was running another branch office for them at that time and we decided we should just branch off and do our own thing. We could do it better and that was 2001 and Consumer Credit Auditors was born. Now we used to be right around the corner here up on 112th and Stark. We moved about a year ago to SW Portland because it’s a little closer to where I live and Damian wasn’t traveling to the office anymore. So, that was Consumer Credit Auditors, that’s how we were born. It was created for a higher level of customer service and we keep striving for that to this day. Customers are number 1. You take care of the customers and the books take care of themselves.
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