Afraid to open your mailbox or answer the phone? Now that the end of January has arrived, some Iowans are finding their December spending exceeded their budgets and the bills coming due can’t be paid. Brian DeLaney is operations manager of Consumer Credit of the Quad Cities and says his call volume has dramatically increased in the past week.He says it’s a good time of year for people to assess their situtations and to improve themselves physically and fiscally — to shed some pounds and some debt. DeLaney and other affiliated consumer counselors in offices across Iowa can assess your financial obligations and the first step is to create a budget. He says a lack of a budget is why most people are in excessive debt to begin with. The second step is to set up a debt management plan where they can get lower payments and many of the creditors will reduce or drop the interest they’re being charged. For help, call 800 838-8830 or consult “www.toomuchdebt.com”, with Consumer Credit offices in Ames, Council Bluffs, Cedar Rapids, Waterloo, Fort Dodge, Des Moines, Algona and Storm Lake.