Referrals and Additional Resources
Clients are referred only to Consumer Bankruptcy Counseling Agencies on the U.S. Trustee's approved list as shown on the following web page:
Another excellent source of bankruptcy attorneys is www.nolo.com/lawyers/bankruptcy. Nolo provides lots of resources about using credit and managing debts, and also about some legal problems that can be solved without hiring an attorney.
Bankruptcy Attorney Referrals
Find well-qualified bankruptcy attorneys through the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys or the Bankruptcy Attorneys Directory.
The Bankruptcy Process
For an overview of the bankruptcy process, see:
Many people facing financial difficulties may be in danger of eviction. To understand your rights, see:
Supplemental Debt Management Plan Referrals
Clients are referred only to Debt Management Plans on the United States Trustee’s approved list,
Obtaining a Debtor Education Certificate Over the Internet
ConsumerBankruptcyCounseling.info does not currently offer the “debtor education certificate” which you must obtain before exiting bankruptcy. To find an approved provider of the debtor education course, go to:
Financial pressures often lead to depression, overwhelming fatigue and even a sense of hopelessness. If you are experiencing any of these feelings, there are people waiting to help you at one or more of the resources listed below. Family members and concerned friends can also benefit from exploring these agencies and materials.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org, 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Established in 2005, this service is available 24/7, free and entirely confidential. Calls are answered by trained volunteers at over 100 participating regional agencies that meet strict quality criteria. Based on the number from which you call, you will be automatically connected to the nearest regional agency.
On the west coast, San Francisco Suicide Prevention is one such qualified agency that has been operating for 45 years. You can call them directly 24/7 at 415-781-0500 or visit www.sfsuicide.org for more information.
Veterans Crisis Line, www.veteranscrisis.net, 1-800-273-TALK (8255), (press option 1). In conjunction with the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs provides counselors who work with veterans and are familiar with their lives and needs. Lots of resources are available.
Suicide and Suicidal Thoughts. "What to do when someone is suicidal" prepared by Mayo Clinic Staff, is available on-line at www.mayoclinic.com/health/suicide/MH00058.
U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration ("SAMHSA") is a part of the Department of Health and Human Services and it operates a hotline reached at 1-800-SUICIDE (1-800-784-2433) or 1-888-SUICIDE (1-888-784-2433), or 1-877-SUICIDA (1-877-7842432) for Spanish language assistance.
For Help Finding Personal Resources in Your Local Area Dial 211 and request a connection with a mental health counselor or a suicide prevention hotline.
Obtaining Your Credit Records
The Fair Credit Reporting Act is a federal law that gives everyone the right to obtain a free copy of the information compiled by each of the three major consumer credit reporting companies once a year. If you have not done so within the past 12 months, you can go to www.annualcreditreport.com ("AnnualCreditReport.com") and obtain this information which may be helpful to you in providing the data necessary for your counseling. If you are represented by an attorney, you should check with him or her first for guidance in deciding when and whether to obtain one or more reports, and selecting which of the reporting companies (Equifax, Experian or TransUnion) to use. If any information is not correct or if you feel that an explanation should be entered in the credit file, the law gives you the right to have it added to the record.
Generally it is best to obtain only one credit report at a time. That way you can request your report a few months later from a different credit reporting company, and so on. This allows you to keep on top of the accuracy of what is being said about you and to correct mistakes promptly.
To obtain a free copy of your credit reports, go to www.annualcreditreport.com/cra/index.jsp or ftc.gov/bcp/edu/microsites/free/reports/index.shtml, or call 1-877-322-8228.
The HHS Poverty Guidelines and Waiver of Fees
The federal government each year determines and publishes a chart setting out the threshold amounts needed by family units of various sizes to cover basic food and shelter. Federal entitlement programs such as food stamps and welfare use these guidelines in determining who qualifies for aid.
If your income level does not exceed 150% of the applicable Poverty Level listed in the table, the $5 per certificate fee charged by CBCP will be waived if you request it at the time you place your order.
To determine whether you qualify, go to aspe.hhs.gov/poverty/12poverty.shtml.
If you go through credit counseling you will be told if you are eligible when you Review your data before submitting for counselor feedback.