In the USA, from what I have seen and read, the Consolidated Credit Counseling Service seems to be a useful organisation. The CCCS aims to help families end financial crisis by offering guidance and money management education.
Not being an American or having debts in the US, I have no firsthand experience of their work. However, they do claim that their size offers bargaining power with lenders which they use to have fees and penalties waived on your behalf. On it;s own, that could be a big reason to speak to them.
As I said, I’m no expert, but they look like a worthwhile group. I’m sure you could do much worse than to speak to them.
In the UK, the main debt management non profit organisation isn’t actually a specialist debt consultancy. Instead they offer free legal guidance and a number of other services.
The Citizens Advice Bureau is manned by volunteers across the UK. These volunteers are sometimes qualified specialists and sometimes not.
Several years ago, before I left the UK, I helped a friend for a few evenings. Like me, he worked in the financial advice / mortgage industry. He volunteered one evening per fortnight (as I recall) and I joined him to help out on a few occasions.
I can’t lie, I found it difficult. Not the advice, I did that sort of thing all day anyway. No, I mean meeting people that were in a desperate situation and didn’t know where to turn for help.
It’s tough being objective when people are in such mental turmoil. So it wasn’t much experience, but a little. And I’m afraid that I doubt I changed anyone’s life. But one does one’s best.
What I know for sure is that the few people I met that volunteered for the Citizens Advice Bureau were genuine, caring people that wanted to help others. It was quite humbling to meet them. I’m sure that they can offer assistance to you should you choose to ask them.