Pre-Filing Bankruptcy Counseling: The First Certificate

Pre-filing bankruptcy counseling takes about 90 minutes. Your counselor will ask for information about your income, household expenses and debt, so a full budget analysis can be made. Alternatives to bankruptcy, advantages and disadvantages of bankruptcy, and the bankruptcy process will be explained. We also explain any options that may help your financial situation.

When counseling is completed, a Certificate of Completion is issued which is valid for 180 days from the date the counseling is completed. After that date the certificate expires.

Fees for bankruptcy counseling are $50 per person or $100 per couple. With couples, both individuals must complete the course. We will waive the fee if your household income is less than 150% of the poverty level.

Bankruptcy counseling can be done in three different ways:

In-Person 

We recommend this method because it is usually the most effective way for you to interact with your counselor and complete the process. Bring a photo ID (driver’s license)

Before you register, please read our fee waiver policy and mandatory disclosures. We are required to provide you with this fee waiver information and disclosures before getting personal information from you or giving you financial counseling services.

The fee of $50 per person will be waived if your income is at or below 150% of the Federal Poverty Level. Entering your annual household income and family size on the next page will bring up a page telling you if the fee will be waived. Please click on the link at the end of that page to read the required Privacy Statement, Statement of Counseling Services and Pre-Bankruptcy Counseling Disclosure. Clicking “I Accept” at the end of the disclosure page will bring up the Bankruptcy Counseling Forms.

Print out the forms, fill them in and return them to us before your appointment is set.

Please click here to see the fee waiver policy.

Telephone

To register for telephone counseling, please read our fee waiver policy and mandatory disclosures. We are required to provide you with this fee waiver information and disclosures before getting personal information from you or giving you financial counseling services.

The fee of $50 per person will be waived if your household income is at or below 150% of the Federal Poverty Level. Entering your annual household income and family size on the next page will bring up a page telling you if the fee will be waived. Please click on the link at the end of that page to read the Privacy Statement, Statement of Counseling Services and Pre-Bankruptcy Counseling Disclosure. Clicking “I Accept” at the end of the disclosure page will bring up the Bankruptcy Counseling Forms.

Print out the forms, fill them in and return them to us before your appointment is set up with a FISC counselor. The counselor will verify your identification at the time of the call. After you complete this session, you will receive your Certificate of Completion.

Please click here to see the fee waiver policy.

Online (Click to learn more)

— Online counseling uses the same material that a counselor uses when doing in-person counseling.

— Before taking the online class, you should gather copies of your last month’s pay stubs, mortgage payments, utility bills and your checkbook. You will be asked to enter information about expenses throughout the course.

— This assessment will analyze your income, expenses, debts, and assets, to give you a complete picture of your financial situation and available options. Your session will also provide you with information about the bankruptcy process.

— After you complete this session, a certified consumer credit counselor will check all of your worksheets and contact you to see if you have any questions that need to be addressed. The counselor will verify your social security number and address. If there are no questions to be addressed, your Bankruptcy counseling Certificate of Completion will be mailed to you.