What is Pre-Bankruptcy Credit Counseling?
Pre-bankruptcy credit counseling is a legally required first step before you can file for bankruptcy. As mandated by the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005, pre-bankruptcy credit counseling is a counseling session that you complete with a credit counseling agency approved by the U.S. Department of Justice. After completing the session you will receive a bankruptcy certificate, which you must submit to the court when you file for bankruptcy.
A pre-bankruptcy counseling course typically cost about $50. Credit counseling agencies are required by law to provide the counseling for free if you are unable to pay. After you finish the pre-bankruptcy credit counseling session, you will receive a credit counseling certificate that’s valid for six months (180 days) if you decide to proceed with filing for bankruptcy.
What to Look for in a Credit Counseling Agency
If you’re in need of pre-bankruptcy credit counseling or other types of credit counseling, here are some things to check for when you’re choosing a credit counseling agency:
- Look for a non-profit agency that has been in business for 7-10 years.
- The agency should be willing to waive fees if you simply can’t afford them.
- Make sure that the agency’s counselors are certified by an independent agency.
- Check with the Better Business Bureau to see what information the BBB has on file about the agency.
- The agency should belong to either the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC) or the Association of Independent Consumer Credit Counseling Agencies (AICCCA).
- In the specific case of pre-bankruptcy credit counseling, the agency must be approved by the Department of Justice to perform this service.
ACCC Offers Professional Pre-Bankruptcy Credit Counseling and More
Do you believe that pre-bankruptcy credit counseling is right for you? If you are considering filing for bankruptcy, contact American Consumer Credit Counseling (ACCC) today. We can help you to fully understand bankruptcy and what it may mean for you.
Choosing bankruptcy is a big step, and while it relieves you of debt obligations, it also has negative consequences. A bankruptcy remains on your credit report for up to 10 years, and during that time, it may be difficult to get new credit. A bankruptcy may even disqualify you from getting certain jobs. Completing pre-bankruptcy credit counseling with ACCC, or taking one of our credit counseling courses, allows you to explore alternatives to bankruptcy and determine whether bankruptcy is truly the best decision for you.
ACCC is a nonprofit debt consolidation company, a member of the NFCC, and accredited through the Better Business Bureau with an A+ rating. As one of the top credit counseling agencies in the nation, we offer a wide range of consolidated credit counseling services to fit your needs including:
- Credit counseling
- Debt management
- Pre-bankruptcy certificates
- Post-bankruptcy credit counseling courses (debtor education course)
- Housing counseling
- Financial education