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The FCAA mission is to promote quality and professional delivery of financial counseling services. FCAA member agencies assist hundreds of thousands of consumers annually with financial counseling services of all kinds as well as debt management services. Find out more about joining the FCAA.


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Bankruptcy Counseling

Our Member Agencies employ bankruptcy counselors to assist you  and provide  online courses  that assist you with the pre bankruptcy counseling certification and the post bankruptcy course, so you can make well-informed decisions with your legal counsel. Our Agencies' certified, experienced counselors review your budget and present information to prepare you for the future.

Our Agencies provide speedy counseling certificate delivery with convenient access to their counselors as well as 24 x 7 online courses that allow you to start, stop and resume courses at your convenience.

   Frequenty Asked Questions

Which type of bankruptcy should I file?
In general, there are two main types of consumer bankruptcy. The first is called “Chapter 7,” “liquidation,” or “straight bankruptcy.” Most of your assets are sold to pay your creditors. The assets you are allowed to keep will partly depend on the state where you live. The second type is called “Chapter 13,” “reorganization,” or “wage earner’s plan.” You can usually keep most of your assets in return for a court-approved repayment plan. The particular type of bankruptcy you file will depend on your circumstances. A competent attorney can help you make the decision.

How long does bankruptcy take?
The length of time to complete the bankruptcy process will depend on what type of bankruptcy you file and on your particular situation. A Chapter 7 bankruptcy can typically be completed in three to six months. A Chapter 13 bankruptcy requires repayment plan, which are typically three to five years.

Are the courses offered jointly?
Yes, if you’re filing jointly. Your attorney can help you determine the appropriate filing status.

How will I get my certificate(s)?
After a counselor has certified your completion of the course, a certificate of completion will be sent to you. A copy of the certificate can also be sent to your attorney, by email, fax or mail, at your request.

What is the Pre-Petition Credit Counseling?
The Pre-Petition Credit Counseling, sometimes called budget briefing, must include an analysis of your current financial condition, a review of factors that led to this condition, information about alternatives to bankruptcy, and assistance developing a plan to respond to the financial condition without incurring more debt. The counseling typically takes 60 to 90 minutes. The counseling must be provided, before you file for bankruptcy by a non-profit credit-counseling agency, approved by the U.S. Trustee’s Office.

What is the Pre-Discharge Financial Management Course?
The Pre-Discharge Personal Financial Management Course, sometimes called debtor education, must include written information and instruction on budget development, money management, wise use of credit, and consumer information. The course must be a minimum of two hours. The course must be provided by an agency approved by the U.S. Trustee’s Office. For Chapter 7 cases, the certificate of completion must be filed prior to the 45th day after the creditors meeting (341 meeting) and for Chapter 13 cases, it must be filed no later than the date of the last payment made under the repayment plan or the date of the filing of a Motion for a Discharge prior to completion of the plan.

How do I pay for the course(s)?
Most agencies accept payment  by debit card, VISA, MasterCard, Money-Gramm, Cashiers Check, Money Order .

How long is the certificate good for?
The certificate is valid for 6 months (180 days) from the date listed at the top of your certificate.

What information do I need prior to beginning the course(s)?

For Pre-Petition Credit Counseling you will need documentation of:

  • Monthly household income
  • Monthly household expense
  • Asset information (real-estate, vehicles (including recreational), savings, 401k, IRA’s…etc)
  • Unsecured debt (credit cards, personal loans). Account numbers not required, only creditors name and current balance
  • Secured debt (mortgage, car). No account numbers needed, only creditors name and current balance

For Pre-Discharge Financial Management Course:

  • Bankruptcy case number
  • District of bankruptcy filing (obtain from your attorney)

Are Agencies approved by the Executive Office for United States Trustees (EOUST)?
Yes. All FCAA agencies providing Bankruptcy assistance are approved by the EOUST to issue Pre-petition Bankruptcy Counseling Certificates in compliance with the bankruptcy code. Such approval does not endorse or assure the quality of any agency’s service by the EOUST.

Do I need to meet with an attorney before I can speak to a counselor ?
No, you can talk to a counselor  before or after you meet with an attorney.

Can I call an Agency again for help in the future?
Yes. Our counselors are always happy to assist you with questions you might have in budgeting, financial education, etc.

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Information courtesy of Member Agency Alliance Credit Counseling