Pre-bankruptcy Credit Counseling

Clearpoint’s online pre-bankruptcy credit counseling (also referred to as “pre-filing” or “pre-petition” counseling) allows you to earn the certificate that is required by US Bankruptcy Code before you can file for bankruptcy. Our unique counseling program provides several key benefits:

  • Receive your certificate instantly upon completing the counseling
  • Complete the counseling at your own pace
  • Talk one on one with our experienced counselors about your specific situation

This counseling will give you a better understanding of all the options available to you and will prepare you for the rest of the bankruptcy process.

How It Works

Here’s a look at how the counseling process works and what you should expect.

1. Provide your financial information

In the session, you will provide various pieces of information about your financial situation, including details about why you are filing for bankruptcy. Here are the specifics you will need to provide:

  • Income documentation (including W-2s/paystubs, Social Security payments, alimony, and child support)
  • Information on your expenses (including your mortgage or rent payments, food, insurance, childcare, utilities, and transportation expenses). Note: your checkbook is a good resource for calculating your expenses.
  • A list of the debts you owe (including statements for credit cards, student loans, auto loans, and loans against your 401K)

For each debt, you will need to provide:

  • The amount owed
  • The interest rate
  • The monthly payment amount
  • The account number
  • Whether it is a joint account

Once this information is submitted, you will be provided with a “financial situation analysis.” This helpful dashboard will show your credit score, income, expenses and net worth, and prepare you for your conversation with a counselor.

2. Chat with a counselor

Next, you will chat with a counselor who will review your file, discuss payment plans and other alternatives to bankruptcy, and help you prepare for the rest of the bankruptcy process. Some topics your counselor might cover include:

  • Tips for handling financial challenges, such as auto loan delinquency
  • Direct negotiation with your creditors (for credit cards or medical debts)
  • Direct negotiation with your mortgage servicer
  • Supplementary housing counseling
  • A debt management program
  • The dangers of other bankruptcy alternatives, such as payday loans and debt settlement

Important note: Chatting with a counselor is a mandatory part of the counseling. Counselors are available available from 7am ET to 2am ET (Monday – Friday) and 10am ET to 6pm ET (Saturday). Counselors are not available on Sundays.

3. Receive your certificate

Once you have completed the counseling program, your certificate will be available! You will receive your certificate in one of three ways:

  • Via email (if you provide us with an email address)
  • Via US Mail if you do not provide us with your email address (please allow 3 business days)
  • Via email to your attorney (if you provide your attorney’s four digit firm code or enter your attorney’s email address on the registration page)

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Some Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some commonly asked questions (and answers!) about our pre-bankruptcy credit counseling:

How long does the counseling take?

The counseling takes about 60 minutes, but remember that you can work at your own pace and start and stop as needed.

How much does this cost?

The fee for this service is typically $20 or $50 per household, depending on your state of residence. Some clients receive free counseling after qualifying for a fee waiver. Read more about fee waivers here.

What type of payment is accepted?

You will be given the option to pay by bank account draft, debit card, or Western Union Quick Collect.

Can I complete this with my spouse/partner?

Yes, you and your spouse or partner can complete this counseling together.

Will there be a credit inquiry?

Yes, this counseling requires a credit inquiry. This is a “soft” pull of your credit, however, and will not affect your credit score or show on any third party credit report requests. The information from your credit report will allow your counselor to provide the best advice possible, and will help us ensure that the information you provide matches what the credit bureaus have on record.

Is this service offered in Spanish?

Yes, this counseling is available in English and Spanish.

Read our full bankruptcy FAQ for answers to many other questions.

Additional Resources

Here are some other articles you may find helpful while researching bankruptcy counseling or the bankruptcy process in general.

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Clearpoint is approved to issue certificates in compliance with the Bankruptcy Code. Approval does not endorse or assure the quality of an Agency’s services.

Ready to Start Pre-Filing Counseling?

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