Pre-Filing Credit Counseling
Disclosures for Pre-filing credit counseling services
Please read the following statements carefully so that you will understand the procedures for this session. Please sign your name after you have read this information.
If you are seeking to file bankruptcy please call and speak with one of our certified bankruptcy counselors, our bankruptcy department can be reached at 1-800-673-6993 option 6.
Since 2009, SafeGuard Credit Counseling Services, Inc. has been approved by the United States Trustees as a Pre-Bankruptcy filing Nonprofit Budget and Credit Counseling Agency. Our counselors have completed the certification program with The Center for Financial Certifications and are required to continue their education yearly to maintain this highly regarded certification. Our agency is a member of the Financial Counseling Association of America (FCAA) (aka Association of Independent Consumer Credit Counseling Agencies AICCCA). The FCAA has high standards for quality credit counseling and financial education, and our agency complies with those standards. In addition, our agency is certified by Bureau Veritas (BV) to meet the ISO 9001:2008 standards. BV is an independent third-party organization that reviews and monitors entities who provide social services.
SafeGuard is a non-profit agency. We are organized and operate in accordance with Section 501(c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code. SafeGuard receives funding in the form of grants from banks and other financial institutions that support financial counseling. We do not pay or receive fees or other considerations for referrals of debtor students to our agency. SafeGuard is obligated to provide your certificate promptly upon completion of counseling/instruction, and we will do this within one business day upon the completion of your course. You will only receive your certificate upon completion of counseling. The Executive Office for the United States Trustee (EOUST) can potentially review client information as needed. The EOUST has only reviewed and approved Pre-filing credit counseling and Post-filing debtor education services.
If you are completing this process in-person or by phone your counselor will ask you questions about your budget, assets, creditors, and factors that led you to consider bankruptcy. After reviewing all your information, your counselor will conduct an analysis of your financial situation and explore your options with you and develop an individualized action plan for dealing with them. If you complete this counseling in person your counselor will provide you copies of all this information. If you are completing this process by phone your counselor will email, fax or send you copies of this information.
If you are taking this program online, the program will ask questions about your budget, assets, creditors and factors that led you to consider bankruptcy. There is a requirement by law that you must have interaction with your counselor in the counseling process. Your counselor will contact by phone, chat or email to ask questions about the information you provided. Your counselor will discuss the factors/reasons leading you to why you are considering bankruptcy, and review your budget, creditors and assets. Your counselor will conduct an analysis of your financial situation, explore all alternatives to resolve your credit problems, and develop an individualized written action plan for dealing with your situation. The quality of your counseling session does not depend upon whether you decide to file for bankruptcy or not.
In addition the quality of the counseling session will not be diminished if you are completing the counseling session by telephone. Once this is complete you will be notified by email to log back into the program where you can print copies of all this information.
At the conclusion of the counseling, you will be provided with a certificate that you will need, should you decide to file for bankruptcy. The certificate of completion will be issued no later than one business day after you complete the counseling session. You will only receive the certificate if you complete the entire session. There is no charge for generation of the certificate. As an approved agency, this certificate is valid for 180 days after the date and time the counseling is completed.
A SafeGuard Credit Counseling certified consumer credit counselor will be conducting this session. While he/she has expertise in helping those with financial problems, he/she cannot provide you with legal advice. In fact, this session is designed to provide you with information and alternatives; it is not intended to take the place of a consultation with an attorney to explore your legal rights and options.
To help cover the cost of providing this session to you, this agency charges a fee. The cost is $35.00 for a single and $50.00 if you will file jointly, payable by debit/credit card. The fee is the same for both internet and phone counseling. You may be eligible for a waiver of this fee based on your lack of ability to pay. A waived fee is based on 185% of poverty guidelines updated periodically by the US Department of Health and Human Services. If you think you qualify for a waiver please call 850-434-0268 or Contact Us. If you are charged a fee and during the counseling process we find that you should have had your fee waived, then the counselor will notify you and a refund to you will be issued within 1 week. The $50.00 fee includes any fees associated with generation of the certificate.
FEE WAIVER CALCULATOR
Upon completion of your bankruptcy counseling session, you will be provided a certificate (within one business day after completion of the session) that you need for the next step in your process. The bankruptcy counseling certificate is valid for up to 180 days from the completion of the counseling session.
Counseling in Motion is an online session. This online session will take at minimum 60 minutes in duration. Counseling in Motion will require verification of the person who is taking this course prior to course commencement and before completion of the course. After completing the course you will have personal interaction with one of our certified bankruptcy counselors who will review with you the factors that caused your current conditions and help you develop a plan to respond to any further financial problems.
In order to assist you, it is essential that you provide us with information that is as accurate and complete as possible. For that reason, we may ask you to authorize us to access your credit history. Your credit report is not impacted by obtaining counseling through our agency and our agency will not disclose or provide any information about this counseling session to a credit reporting agency. Rest assured that the information concerning your financial condition and status that you provide during this session is strictly confidential. Such information would include, but is not limited to, income, debts, credit accounts, earnings, assets, and employment data. We will not disclose any such information that you provide orally or in writing to anyone, except as authorized by you in writing or as required by law, such as in response to a subpoena or to the United States Trustee in their oversight of this agency or during the investigation of complaints, during on-site visits or during quality service reviews.
We may compile data and aggregate information that you give us, but this information will not be disclosed in any manner that would personally identify you.
As one of your options, you have the opportunity to negotiate an alternative payment schedule with regard to each unsecured consumer debt. If you should decide to enter into a Debt Management Plan (“DMP”), in which our agency can provide, (which will be explained in the course of this session) you will be provided with separate agreement and disclosure forms. If you choose to use a DMP you may incur additional fees which would be explained to you should you be interested in this program.
If you choose to file for bankruptcy, you should know that your bankruptcy will affect your credit report. A bankruptcy does not delete accurate information off of your credit report regarding your past delinquencies. A bankruptcy is a matter of public record and will be reported in the public section of your credit report. A bankruptcy will have a negative effect on your credit report and credit score. A potential creditor, landlord, or employer in the future may view this negatively. Depending on the type of bankruptcy you file, a bankruptcy may remain on your credit report for 7 to 10 years.
If, after your session, you choose to enroll in a Debt Management program (DMP), participation in a debt management program may change information which is already on your credit report. If your credit report shows that you have paid your accounts as agreed in the past, a Debt Management Program could have a negative impact on a creditworthiness decision by a potential creditor, landlord, or employer in the future.
Our agency has a policy of prohibiting it from paying or receiving referral fees for the referral of clients, except under a fair share agreement. No fees are either paid or received by our agency for the referral of a client to a bankruptcy attorney or any bankruptcy alternative agency.
We do provide counseling in both English and Spanish, should you require another language please visit the US Trustee site.
If you are dissatisfied with the service provided by our agency you can utilize the Complaint Resolution Process.
The United States Trustee has reviewed only our credit counseling and personal financial management instructional course pursuant to 11 U.S.C 111(d) and the US Trustees has neither reviewed or approved any other services we provide to clients.
If at any time you need to speak with one of our certified bankruptcy counselors please call 1-800-673-6993 option 6 or email your question to us. If you have any problems logging back into your account after you have enrolled click here and enter your username and password.
Before you proceed any further you must enter your information into the FEE WAIVER CALCULATOR. If you have not already done so please click here to enter your information FEE WAIVER CALCULATOR, once this is complete you can continue on.