Explore your options, decrease stress.
The rules surrounding bankruptcy are complicated. CCCMD’s experts will help you understand what it will mean for your credit score and your employment, and explain your options. We’ll help you create a road map to financial stability.
Federal Requirements for Bankruptcy
The Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 requires anyone filing for bankruptcy to show a certificate of completion for Pre-file Bankruptcy Counseling and Pre-discharge Bankruptcy Education through a U.S Trustee-approved nonprofit credit counseling agency. CCCSMD is approved by the Executive Office for United States Trustees (EOUST) to offer both pre-file bankrupt counseling and pre-discharge bankruptcy education.
CCCSMD recognizes that money management, including spending, saving, and borrowing, is an important life skill.
With this in mind, we’ve created a series of e-Learning courses. Work through the modules to learn essential skills for personal finance and money management. Explore the topics and themes that will be most beneficial to your unique situation. The Related Links section gathers helpful online financial education information from private and government sources. You’ll also find all of our publications sorted by topic, including our Related Audios, Videos, and Educational Articles.
How long will a personal bankruptcy stay on my credit report?
A chapter 7 or 11 bankruptcy or a non-discharged or dismissed chapter 13 bankruptcy remains on your credit file for 10 years from the date it is filed. A discharged chapter 13 bankruptcy remains on your credit report for seven years from the date it’s filed.
Why do I have to get credit counseling before filing for bankruptcy? Why do I have to attend a financial workshop before my bankruptcy will be discharged?
The Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 mandates counseling and education for all individuals filing for bankruptcy. This must be done through a U.S.Trustee-approved, non-profit credit counseling agency, like Guidewell Financial. A certificate of completion for both the pre-file counseling and the pre-discharge education class must be obtained from the counseling agency. Pre-file counseling helps clients determine if bankruptcy is the best option available for dealing with their debts. The pre-discharge workshop helps them gain the financial skills they need to become financially fit.
What is covered during pre-bankruptcy counseling sessions?
During the online session, you will explore the various reasons for filing bankruptcy and how the process works, including common consequences of bankruptcy. You’ll also learn where you stand financially, explore alternatives to bankruptcy (if available), and receive a personal budget plan. The online pre-file bankruptcy counseling session includes a brief check-in with one of Guidewell Financial’s certified counselors.
What is covered during pre-discharge educational workshops?
During the “Live a Richer Life” workshop, you will learn how to set up and stick to a budget, how credit works, how to rebuild your credit, and how bankruptcy may affect your life. CCCSMD pre-discharge bankruptcy workshops are available online. To enroll in this course, you must first have completed a pre-file counseling session and received a certificate. Your bankruptcy case number will be required to register.
What are CCCSMD’s credentials to provide bankruptcy counseling and education?
CCCSMD is an EOUST-certified nonprofit agency that has provided reliable financial counseling since 1966. During that time, we’ve helped millions of individuals and families resolve their money management problems; we’ve also provided free financial literacy education to children and adults throughout Maryland and Delaware. Our team of certified counselors is trained to listen and to offer competent advice to help you through this most trying time.
Pre-file & Pre-discharge
Both pre-file and pre-discharge courses are available online. They are an affordable and convenient way to meet your education requirements.
If you plan to file bankruptcy, federal law requires you to complete pre-file bankruptcy counseling before you file and pre-discharge education after you file in order to have your debts discharged. CCCSMD is a U.S. Trustee-approved, non-profit credit counseling agency able to issue the certificates showing that you completed both requirements. CCCSMD is approved by the Executive Office for United States Trustees (EOUST) to provide bankruptcy counseling and education in all states except Alabama, North Carolina, and Rhode Island.
Online Pre-file Bankruptcy Counseling
If you have already completed pre-file bankruptcy counseling and have your bankruptcy case number, see pre-discharge education below.
- The online course has a one-time fee of $19.95 for an individual or $29.95 for a couple and includes a brief call with one of CCCSMD’s certified Financial Advocates.
- When you have completed the pre-file bankruptcy counseling, you will receive the certificate that is required to file bankruptcy. The certificate is good for 180 days.
- CCCSMD can issue certificates only if you file bankruptcy in a Judicial District in a state where CCCSMD is approved.
Online Pre-discharge Bankruptcy Education
To enroll in CCCSMD’s pre-discharge bankruptcy education, you must have completed the following steps.
- You have completed a pre-file bankruptcy counseling session through an approved counseling agency and received a certificate. If you have not, you must make an appointment for pre-file bankruptcy counseling before you can enroll in pre-discharge bankruptcy education.
- You have filed bankruptcy in a Judicial District in a state in which CCCSMD is approved (all states except Alabama, North Carolina, and Rhode Island).
- You have your bankruptcy case number.
- The online course has a fee of $14.95 for an individual or $19.95 for a couple.
- In limited circumstances, you may be eligible to have this fee reduced or waived. Individuals with household income under 150 percent of the poverty guideline for their applicable family size as published in the Federal Poverty Guidelines may be entitled to a fee waiver. The agency will provide services regardless of the client’s ability to pay.
- If you meet all of the above criteria, you may enroll in CCCSMD’s pre-discharge bankruptcy education class.
After Pre-discharge Bankruptcy Education
- You or your attorney is responsible for filing your certificate with the court. CCCSMD does not file certificates or represent you in court.
Returning Bankruptcy Client
As of November 8, 2017 CCCSMD has switched online bankruptcy counseling providers. If you started a course prior to November 8, 2017, please return to your course here.
All other clients can return to their online courses using the following links: