Disclosures for Bankruptcy Pre-filing Credit Counseling Services

Please read the following statements carefully so that you will understand the procedures for this session. You must acknowledge that you have read these disclosures before you can continue with online counseling.

If you are seeking to file bankruptcy and would like to speak to someone in person,  please call and us at 661-324-9628.

Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Kern & Tulare Counties (CCCS) has been educating consumers and clients about money and credit since 1966. Our counselors have completed the certification program with the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC) and are required to continue their education yearly to maintain this highly regarded certification. Our agency is a member of the NFCC.  The NFCC has high standards for quality credit counseling and financial education, and our agency complies with those standards. In addition, our agency is accredited by Council on Accreditation of Children and Family Service (COA). COA is an independent third-party organization that reviews and monitors entities who provide social services.

CCCS is a non-profit agency. It is organized and operates in accordance with Section 501(c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code. CCCS receives funding in the form of grantsand fair share from banks and other financial institutions that support financial counseling. We do not pay or receive fees or other considerations for referrals of debtor students to our agency. CCCS is obligated to provide your certificate promptly upon completion of counseling/instruction, and it  will do this within one business day upon the completion of your course. You will only receive your certificate upon completion of counseling. The Executive Office for the United States Trustee (EOUST) can potentially review client information as needed. The EOUST has only reviewed and approved Pre-filing credit counseling and Post-filing debtor education services.

If you are completing this process in-person or by phone your counselor will ask you questions about your budget, assets, creditors, and factors that led you to consider bankruptcy.  After reviewing all your information, your counselor will conduct an analysis of your financial situation and explore your options with you and develop an individualized action plan for dealing with them. If you complete this counseling in person your counselor will provide you copies of all this information.  If you are completing this process by phone your counselor will email, fax or send you copies of this information.

If you are taking this program online, the program will ask questions about your budget, assets, creditors and factors that led you to consider bankruptcy. There is a requirement by law that you must have interaction with your counselor in the counseling process. Your counselor will contact by phone, chat or email to ask questions about the information you provided. Your counselor will discuss the factors/reasons leading you to why you are considering bankruptcy, and review your budget, creditors and assets. Your counselor will conduct an analysis of your financial situation, explore all alternatives to resolve your credit problems, and develop an individualized written action plan for dealing with your situation. The quality of your counseling session does not depend upon whether you decide to file for bankruptcy or not.

In addition the quality of the counseling session will not be diminished if you are completing the counseling session by telephone. Once this is complete you will be notified by email to log back into the program where you can print copies of all this information.

At the conclusion of the counseling, you will be provided with a certificate that you will need, should you decide to file for bankruptcy. The certificate of completion will be issued no later than one business day after you complete the counseling session. You will only receive the certificate if you complete the entire session. There is no charge for generation of the certificate.  As an approved agency, this certificate is valid for 180 days after the date and time the counseling is completed.

A CCCS certified consumer credit counselor will be conducting this session. While he/she has expertise in helping those with financial problems, he/she cannot provide you with legal advice. In fact, this session is designed to provide you with information and alternatives; it is not intended to take the place of a consultation with an attorney to explore your legal rights and options.

To help cover the cost of providing this session to you, this agency charges a fee. The cost is $45.00 whether you file single or joint,  payable by debit card, cash or money order. The fee is the same for both internet and phone counseling. You may be eligible for a waiver of this fee based on your lack of ability to pay.  A waived fee is based on 150% of poverty guidelines updated periodically by the US Department of Health and Human Services. If you think you qualify for a waiver please call 661-324-9628 or Contact Us. If you are charged a fee and during the counseling process we find that you should have had your fee waived, then the counselor will notify you and a refund to you will be issued within one week. The $45.00 fee includes any fees associated with generation of the certificate.

FEE WAIVER CALCULATOR

Upon completion of your bankruptcy counseling session, you will be provided a certificate (within one business day after completion of the session) that you need for the next step in your process. The bankruptcy counseling certificate is valid for up to 180 days from the completion of the counseling session.

You can choose to complete your session online or in-person.  The session will take at minimum 60 minutes in duration. CCCS requires verification of the person who is taking this session prior to session commencement.  During the session, whether online or in-person, you will have personal interaction with one of our certifiedcounselors who will review with you the factors that caused your current conditions and help you develop a plan to respond to any further financial problems.

In order to assist you, it is essential that you provide us with information that is as accurate and complete as possible. For that reason, we may ask you to authorize us to access your credit history.  Your credit report is not impacted by obtaining counseling through our agency and our agency will not disclose or provide any information about this counseling session to a credit reporting agency.  Rest assured that the information concerning your financial condition and status that you provide during this session is strictly confidential.  Such information would include, but is not limited to, income, debts, credit accounts, earnings, assets, and employment data.  We will not disclose any such information that you provide orally or in writing to anyone, except as authorized by you in writing or as required by law, such as in response to a subpoena or to the United States Trustee in their oversight of this agency or during the investigation of complaints, during on-site visits or during quality service reviews.

We may compile data and aggregate information that you give us, but this information will not be disclosed in any manner that would personally identify you.

As one of your options, you have the opportunity to negotiate an alternative payment schedule with regard to each unsecured consumer debt. If you should decide to enter into a Debt Management Plan ("DMP"), which our agency can provide, (which will be explained in the course of this session) you will be provided with separate agreement and disclosure forms. If you choose to use a DMP you may incur additional fees which would be explained to you should you be interested in this program.

If you choose to file for bankruptcy, you should know that your bankruptcy will affect your credit report. A bankruptcy does not delete accurate information off of your credit report regarding your past delinquencies. A bankruptcy is a matter of public record and will be reported in the public section of your credit report. A bankruptcy will have a negative effect on your credit report and credit score. A potential creditor, landlord, or employer in the future may view this negatively. Depending on the type of bankruptcy you file, a bankruptcy may remain on your credit report for 7 to 10 years.

If, after your session, you choose to enroll in a Debt Management program (DMP), participation in a debt management program may change information which is already on your credit report. If your credit report shows that you have paid your accounts as agreed in the past, a Debt Management Program could have a negative impact on a creditworthiness decision by a potential creditor, landlord, or employer in the future.

Our agency has a policy of prohibiting it from paying or receiving referral fees for the referral of clients, except under a fair share agreement. No fees are either paid or received by our agency for the referral of a client to a bankruptcy attorney or any bankruptcy alternative agency.

We do provide counseling in both English and Spanish, should you require another language please visit the US Trustee site.

If you are dissatisfied with the service provided by our agency you can utilize the Complaint Resolution Process.

The United State Trustee has reviewed only our credit counseling and personal financial management instructional course pursuant to 11 U.S.C 111(d) and the US Trustees has neither reviewed or approved any other services we provide to clients.

If at any time you need to speak with one of our certified bankruptcy counselors please call 661-324-9628 or email your question to us.

Before you proceed any further you must enter your information into the FEE WAIVER CALCULATOR.  If you have not already done so please click here to enter your information FEE WAIVER CALCULATOR, once this is complete you can continue on.

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SERVICES PROVIDED FOR CALIFORNIA RESIDENTS ONLY