Should you file for Bankruptcy?

talking over finances

BANKRUPTCY PRE-FILING COUNSELING DISCLOSURE

Welcome. We understand that you are experiencing financial problems and that you may be considering filing for bankruptcy and that you are required to receive counseling before you file for bankruptcy. CCCS is approved to issue certificates in compliance with the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. Approval does not endorse or assure the quality of an Agency’s services. EOUST has reviewed only the counseling services related to bankruptcy, and the agency may disclose information to them at their request.

CCCS of Northeastern Pa. has over 35 years of experience in helping people with financial difficulties. Our role is not to be judgmental, but to provide assistance to you. Specifically, we will do a budget analysis that will examine your financial situation, discuss the factors that may be the cause of your problems and explore options for developing a reasonable plan for dealing with them. We will provide you with information about bankruptcy, including its process and possible consequences. We will also provide alternatives to bankruptcy. Alternatives to bankruptcy could include but are not limited to Debt Management or Debt Settlement or direct repayment by the client. These programs, like bankruptcy, can have a negative impact on your credit report. It is our view that the purpose of this session is provide you with the information so that you may choose the option that you think is best. At the conclusion of this session, you will be provided with a certificate within one (1) business day that you will need should you decide to file for bankruptcy. The certificate is valid for up to 180 days of completing counseling. No certificate can be issued if a full counseling session isn’t completed.

CCCS of Northeastern Pa. is a member of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC). The NFCC has high standards for quality credit counseling and financial education. We are accredited by the Council on Accreditation (COA), an independent third-party organization that reviews and monitors social service agencies. We are a non-profit agency in accordance with Section 501 © (3) of the IRS code.

The credit counselor conducting or supervising this session has been trained and certified in accordance with NFCC standards. Our counselor has expertise in helping those with financial problems but they cannot provide you with legal advice. 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. CCCS will provide bilingual counseling or professional interpreters to any limited English proficient client at no cost to the client.

In order to assist you, it is essential that you provide us with information that is accurate. For that reason, we may ask you to authorize us to access your credit history. Please be assured that any information concerning your financial condition that you provide during the session will be held in the strictest confidence. Such information would include, but it 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. 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. We will not disclose or provide any information about this session to a credit-reporting agency.

To help cover the cost of providing the counseling session, CCCS of Northeastern Pa. charges a fee of $50.00. An adjustment in the required fee will be provided to any client whose income is under 150% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines or if you are receiving representation from legal aid services. You should contact CCCS of Northeastern PA, Inc. to determine your eligibility. CCCS will not deny counseling to any client if they can demonstrate an inability to pay, due to income level or hardship. Support for CCCS comes from a variety of sources including the state and federal government, foundations, grants, creditors and partners. CCCS is prohibited from entering into any referral agreement, for cash or in kind compensation, with attorneys, creditors or other organizations.

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DEBT MANAGEMENT TIPS

Deposit part of your income into a savings account to meet emergency expenses.

Review your statements regularly from your creditors while on the DMP. Report any unusual fees or activity to CCCS Operations Department, and send a copy of each of your statements every three months for official review.

Make the budget a family project. Everyone must be involved in order for it to work.

Refrain from using your credit to subsidize your income.

No more than 25% of your monthly income should go towards installment debt – credit cards, loans, car payments, etc.