Consumer Bankruptcy Counseling
Consumer Bankruptcy Counseling through ACCC
American Consumer Credit Counseling (ACCC) offers two types of consumer bankruptcy counseling, as approved by the Executive Office for the United States Trustees (EOUST). If you decide to file for bankruptcy, this pre- and post-bankruptcy counseling is mandatory under the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005. EOUST requires that you complete bankruptcy counseling before you file and also near the end of the process. You must submit a bankruptcy certificate to the court to prove that you completed each counseling session.
Receiving Consumer Bankruptcy Counseling before Filing
The first type of consumer bankruptcy counseling ACCC offers is pre-bankruptcy counseling, also known as a budget briefing. During this session, your counselor will:
- Analyze your financial situation and its causes
- Discuss alternatives to filing bankruptcy, such as consolidation of debt
- Help you develop a budget that allows you to pay your bills without incurring more debt
Pre-bankruptcy must be completed before you can file for bankruptcy. The bankruptcy certificate must be submitted at the same time that you file.
Receiving Consumer Bankruptcy Counseling after Filing
You must complete the second type of consumer bankruptcy counseling, called post-bankruptcy counseling or debtor education, after you file for bankruptcy but before your debts are discharged. EOUST requires that you spend two hours with your credit advisor during this course.
ACCC's Post-Bankruptcy Debtor Education Course covers these topics, which are mandated and approved by EOUST:
- How to develop a budget. The credit advisors help their clients create a workable, manageable budget.
- How to manage money and use credit wisely so that you will not fall deeply into debt again
- Additional resources that that will help you maintain control of your personal finances
The certificate for the credit counseling post-bankruptcy (link to: "credit counseling bankruptcy" page) must be submitted to the court before the 45th day after the creditors meeting in Chapter 7 cases. If you filed for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, the most common form of cases, your certificate must be submitted no later than the date of your last payment under the repayment plan or the date the Motion for Discharge is filed.
ACCC Offers More than Consumer Bankruptcy Counseling
ACCC can assist you in a variety of money management matters, ranging from housing counseling to advice on the best way to consolidate debt. We also have many free education resources on our website, such as financial advice for military families, tips for teaching your children about money management, and financial calculators. So when you call us to inquire about consumer bankruptcy counseling, also ask about our other services.