Bankruptcy FAQs

What is the Pre-Bankruptcy Credit Counseling?

The Pre-Bankruptcy 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. Consumer bankruptcy counseling must be provided before you file for bankruptcy by a non-profit credit counseling agency, approved by the U.S. Trustee’s Office. American Consumer Credit Counseling provides consumer bankruptcy counseling and is approved by the US Trustee Program.

What is the Post-Bankruptcy Debtor Education Course?

The Post-Bankruptcy Debtor Education 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 long will the counseling session take?

Under The Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005, The Executive Office for United States Trustees requires that you participate in a counseling session that may take up to 90 minutes or longer. Sessions may be shorter or longer, depending on your situation. The average counseling session is between 60-90 minutes.

How long will the debtor education course take?

The Executive Office for United States Trustees requires that you participate in a 2-hour debtor education course.

How much do your services cost?

Pre-Bankruptcy Counseling is $49 per household. Post Bankruptcy Debtor Education is $39 per household.

How long are the certificates good for?

The pre-petition bankruptcy counseling completion 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-Bankruptcy 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 Post-Bankruptcy Debtor Education:

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

Is American Consumer Credit Counseling Inc. Approved by the Executive Office for the United States Trustees (EOUST)?

Yes. American Consumer Credit Counseling Inc. is 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 an agency’s service by the EOUST.

How will I get my certificates?

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.

How do I find a bankruptcy attorney in my area?

Please click here for a local attorney in your area. If you do not find an Attorney near you please visit the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys ( for further assistance.

What is the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005?

The Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 is a law enacting several significant changes to the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. The BAPCPA was intended to make it more difficult for debtors to file a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy—under which most debts are forgiven (or discharged) and instead force debtors to file a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy—under which debts are discharged only after the debtor has repaid some portion of these debts. Section 109(h) of the BAPCPA states that a debtor will no longer be eligible to file under either chapter 7 or chapter 13 unless within 180 days prior to filing the debtor received an “individual or group briefing” from a nonprofit budget and credit counseling agency approved by the United States trustee or bankruptcy administrator.

Where can I find information on a States Median Income?

On the US Census website. Census report articulating data collected from all 50 states on the median income for families. Data reports information for 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7+ family members.

Where can I get a free copy of my credit report? [] provides consumers with the secure means to request and obtain a free credit report once every 12 months from each of the three nationwide consumer credit reporting companies in accordance with the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACT Act).

Who are the three major credit bureaus and what do they do?

Experian,Equifax, Transunion

A credit bureau is an agency that collects individual credit information and sells it for a fee to creditors so they can make a decision on granting loans. Typical clients include banks, mortgage lenders, credit card companies, and other financing companies.

What is the Federal Trade Commission (FTC)?

The FTC deals with issues that touch the economic life of every American. It is the only federal agency with both consumer protection and competition jurisdiction in broad sectors of the economy. The FTC pursues vigorous and effective law enforcement; advances consumers’ interests by sharing its expertise with federal and state legislatures and U.S. and international government agencies; develops policy and research tools through hearings, workshops, and conferences; and creates practical and plain-language educational programs for consumers and businesses in a global marketplace with constantly changing technologies.