Pre-Filing Bankruptcy Counseling
Federal legislation requires anyone seeking bankruptcy to first complete a counseling session with an approved credit counseling agency. CCCS-OC is a fully-approved agency*, offering our affordable Pre-Filing Bankruptcy Counseling online, over the phone, or in person at any one of our four convenient Orange County locations to those filing bankruptcy in any state except Alabama, Illinois, Massachusetts, North Carolina, or Oregon.
Whether online, over the phone, or in-person, you’ll receive compassionate counseling from a highly trained and certified CCCS-OC counselor. We’ll explore your current financial situation, review available financial options, and help you create a workable budget. At the end of the session, you’ll be issued a certificate of completion as required by the Bankruptcy Code, which you’ll need before you can file for bankruptcy.
ONLINE PRE-FILING BANKRUPTCY COUNSELING IS AN INTERACTIVE ONLINE COURSE THAT YOU CAN COMPLETE AT YOUR OWN PACE. YOU CAN LEAVE THE COURSE AND RETURN WHERE YOU LEFT OFF AS OFTEN AS YOU DESIRE. MOST CLIENTS REQUIRE AT LEAST TWO HOURS TO COMPLETE THE ENTIRE COURSE ONLINE.
ONCE YOU COMPLETE THE ONLINE COURSE, INCLUDING ALL REQUIRED QUESTIONS AND WORKSHEETS, IT MUST BE REVIEWED BY A CERTIFIED COUNSELOR BEFORE YOUR CERTIFICATE IS ISSUED. The counselor may request additional information from you via email or telephone that MUST BE PROVIDED BEFORE YOUR CERTIFICATE CAN BE ISSUED. This is to ensure that you are receiving a complete assessment of your financial situation and reasons for filing bankruptcy. This initial review may take UP TO TWO BUSINESS DAYS TO COMPLETE.
Once the review is complete AND any requested additional information is provided, your certificate of completion will be sent to you via your chosen method (email, fax, or mail). YOUR CERTIFICATE WILL BE DATED WHEN THE COUNSELOR REVIEW AND ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ARE ALL COMPLETE, NOT AT THE TIME YOU INITIALLY COMPLETE THE ONLINE COURSE ITSELF. Be sure you and/or your attorney are aware of the actual date that will appear on your certificate, as that may affect the timing of when you file your bankruptcy.
*CCCS-OC is approved to issue certificates in compliance with the Bankruptcy Code. Approval does not endorse or assure the quality of an agency’s services.
Payment may be made by money order, cashier’s check, or a debit card with the MasterCard® or Visa® logo (fee may be waived in certain hardship cases):
|In-person or Phone||Online|
*Attending same session
**Married couple filing jointly; after the first spouse pays the online fee of $50, the second spouse can complete the online session for a fee of $25 by contacting us for instructions
You Can Choose to Complete Your Counseling Online, or You Can Schedule an Appointment to Complete Your Counseling In-Person or Via Telephone. (In person counseling is only offered in Orange County, CA, on-line and telephone counseling available to those filing bankruptcy in any U.S. state except Alabama, Illinois, Massachusetts, North Carolina, or Oregon).
Completing Your Counseling Online
First, assemble your financial information so that you can complete the online worksheets. You will be able to complete the course much more efficiently if you have these items prepared beforehand, and you will not be issued a certificate if you do not complete the required worksheets. You will need details regarding:
- Your income
- Your living expenses
- All your debts, whether or not they will be included in your bankruptcy
IF YOU ARE FILING BANKRUPTCY JOINTLY WITH YOUR SPOUSE, your spouse will also have to complete this prefiling counseling and obtain his/her own certificate. Your spouse can complete the counseling for a reduced fee of $25 after you have paid the full fee of $50. Once you have paid the fee, your spouse can call us at 866-586-2227 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with “Spouse Reduced BK Fee Request” in the subject line for instructions on receiving the reduced rate (refunds will not be made for fees paid before discounted fee is approved).
BEFORE YOU REGISTER AND PAY FOR ONLINE PRE-FILING BANKRUPTCY COUNSELING, please review the following information carefully:
- Check the system requirements in the Support Section before paying for the session to ensure your system is compatible with the learning portal.
- Joint filers, remember that the second spouse can complete the counseling for a reduced rate of $25 after the first spouse has paid the full fee of $50 by calling us at 866-586-2227 or emailing us at email@example.com with “Spouse Reduced BK Fee Request” in the subject line for instructions (refunds will not be made for fees paid before discounted fee is approved).
- If you need technical assistance during the course, please use the support form in the Support Section of the learning portal. If you have questions about the information in the course or certificates, you may email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 866-586-2227 between 8 am and 5 pm Monday through Friday.
- Upon completion, a certified counselor will review your worksheets and answers for completion and to ensure you spent an appropriate amount of time in counseling. This counselor will email you prior to sending your certificate. We encourage you to ask as many questions of the counselor as you like to be sure you understand all the financial options that may be available to you, both before and after your certificate is issued. CCCS of Orange County has many other services and educational programs that may help you avoid bankruptcy, as well as help you use the fresh start of bankruptcy to your best advantage. Completing pre-filing counseling does not obligate you to file bankruptcy, and you may discover during the session that you have a better option. Whether or not you file your bankruptcy case, we will continue to work with you toward a bright financial future.
- If your household income is below 150% of the poverty level for your household size, or paying the fee for this counseling poses a hardship for you, you may be eligible for a fee waiver. Our counselor will evaluate your eligibility for a fee waiver when reviewing your input in the counseling program, and grant you a refund if you qualify. However, if you’d like to be evaluated for the fee waiver before starting the program so that you do not have to pay the fee in advance, please email your income and hardship information to us at email@example.com with “BK Counseling Fee Waiver Request” in the subject line prior to proceeding.
If you are ready to begin online pre-filing bankruptcy counseling, click on Get Started to proceed to the disclosures.