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Pre/Post Bankruptcy/Credit Counseling/Debtor Education

Budget and Credit Reduction Work Plans

JCVision offers its clients the opportunity to receive one-on-one coaching to resolve financial setbacks, and eliminate debt. A counselor works with you to assess your current financial situation, create a realistic budget to balance income with expenses, creating a credit reduction plan, and establish achievable financial goals. Your personal action plan will also include a focus on long term outcomes . JCVision is not a Debt Management Plan (DMP) Service provider.

If you haven’t done so already, get your free credit report today from www.annualcreditreport.com. You may obtain your credit report for free once each year (twice a year for Georgia residents). There are fees associated with obtaining your credit score, but it is worth the expense. Your credit score helps you see how creditors assess your applications for credit and/or loans.

Your credit report directly impacts your ability to obtain a credit card, buy a car or home, rent an apartment, or even get a new job. Knowing how to read it, understanding how to increase your credit score, and correcting inaccurate information are in your best interest. JCVision's certified counselors can assist you in reading and understanding your credit report. You can obtain your report or we can provide you with your credit report with written authorization. Call our office for an appointment. Budget and Credit report counseling are available in-person only.

The Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 includes two provisions mandating financial counseling and education: Before filing for bankruptcy, consumers would be required to have a briefing on the alternatives to bankruptcy (pre-bankruptcy credit counseling); and before receiving a bankruptcy discharge a debtor would be required to complete “an instructional course concerning personal financial management.” (post bankruptcy debtor education) These provisions were included to provide debtors in bankruptcy with the skills and tools needed to avoid future financial problems.

Identity Theft

It’s imperative to know what’s contained in your credit report. However, reading a credit report and understanding its contents are often too different things. A JCVision counselor can pull your report and interpret it on the spot. In the event you identification has been stolen, our trained counselors can help you file a report and begin the process of notification to your creditors, the credit bureaus and to additional authorities.

Pre Bankruptcy

"A pre-bankruptcy session with JCVision and Associates, Inc. will take place before you file for bankruptcy (Chapter 7 or 13). During your pre-filing counseling session, a counselor will work one-on-one with you to develop a detailed personal financial assessment. Your counselor will review your income, expenses, assets, and liabilities. This in-depth process will provide you with a true and accurate picture of your financial situation. The personal financial assessment is just the first piece that is developed to help you determine the right solution for your financial situation.  Your counselor will work with you to develop a reasonable and manageable spending plan, a detailed action plan, and short and long-term financial goals. Your counselor will review with you the consideration of all alternatives to resolve your credit problems and identify alternatives that will respond to the financial problems without incurring negative amortization of debt."

The fee for counseling is $50. Upon request JCVision will waive the bankruptcy pre-filing counseling fee of $50 for consumers whose household income is equal to 150 percent of the estimated poverty threshold for their applicable family size as published in the current Federal Poverty Levels Guidelines. If you believe you qualify for a waiver of the fee, you should request a fee waiver before the session begins.

The counseling will last 90-120 minutes, and take place in person or on the phone.  Services are available by appointment. Counseling services are available in English or Spanish upon request. Upon completion of the counseling session, you will be promptly issued a certificate of participation that allows you to proceed with the bankruptcy filing process. Timely certificate delivery is offered by email, fax, mail or in person.

Q: How much does the bankruptcy counseling session cost?

A: The fee for counseling is $50. JCVision will waive the bankruptcy pre-filing counseling fee of $50 for consumers whose household income is equal to or less than 150 percent of the estimated poverty threshold for their applicable family size as published in the current Federal Poverty Levels Guidelines. If you believe you qualify for a a waiver of the fee, you should request a fee waiver before the session begins.

Q: Does the bankruptcy counseling certificate expire?

A: Bankruptcy regulations require consumers to receive counseling within 180 days of filing. If you choose to file more than six months past the date of your initial bankruptcy counseling session, you will need to schedule another appointment to talk with a bankruptcy counselor.

Q: If I have not filed taxes for several years, can JCVision help me file those taxes?

A: Yes. Regardless of the number of years you have not filed, our Low Income Tax Clinic services are available to assist you in filing your prior year taxes.

Q: Do I need an attorney to file bankruptcy?

A: Consumers filing for bankruptcy protection can file on their own; however, bankruptcy laws can be quite complicated. A trusted attorney may prove to be helpful. To find a bankruptcy attorney, consumers can ask someone they trust to recommend a good attorney or contact a Lawyer Referral Service sponsored by a State Bar Association. Filers should make sure that their lawyer specializes in bankruptcy. Potential attorneys should be asked specific questions about their qualifications and fee structure. Finally, consumers should schedule time to meet with the lawyer to determine if they are comfortable working with this person. Filing bankruptcy can be an emotional event so it is important for filers to have a good relationship with their attorney.

Post Bankruptcy

A post-bankruptcy session with JCVision and Associates, Inc. will take place after you file for bankruptcy. During your debtor education, you will discuss developing a budget, managing money, using credit wisely, how to build a savings plan and other important personal financial management information. In addition, the instructor will share with you how to obtain and read credit reports, establish or re-establish credit, dispute errors, and protect yourself from identity theft. Each participant in the class will receive a workbook designed for use during and after the course.

The program is designed to be a comprehensive course that covers a variety of financial and budgeting topics. Participants should dedicate at least 3 hours for the debtor education class. The course can take place in person or on the phone. Services are available by appointment. Upon completion of the personal financial management instructional course, you will be promptly issued a certificate of participation that you can file with the Bankruptcy Court. Timely certificate delivery is offered by email, fax, mail or in person.

Q: How much does the post-bankruptcy debtor education session cost?

A: The fee for debtor education course is $50 for a single filer, and for joint filers $50 for the first filer and $30 for the additional filer. JCVision will waive the fee for consumers whose household income is equal to or less than 150% of the estimated poverty threshold for their applicable family size as published in the current Federal Poverty Levels.

Guidelines. If you believe you qualify for a waiver of the fee, you should request a fee waiver before the session begins.

Q: How much does the post-bankruptcy debtor education session cost?

A: The fee for debtor education course is $50 for a single filer, and for joint filers $50 for the first filer and $30 for

Q: May I complete my debtor education and credit counseling requirements in the same session?

A: No. The Bankruptcy Code and Final Rule under 28 C.F.R. § 58.33(f)(5) requires individuals to complete credit counseling before filing for bankruptcy, subject to certain exceptions, and requires debtor education to be completed after the bankruptcy case is filed. Therefore, an approved provider may not offer both services to clients in the same session.

Q: Do joint filers need separate instructional courses if they have filed a joint bankruptcy petition?

A: No. Joint filers may attend the same debtor education session. The provider must provide personalized instruction to each individual and must issue a separate certificate to each individual.

Q: What if I cannot afford to pay for my debtor education course? – REVISED

A: A provider must inform debtors that services are available for free or at a reduced rate, based on a debtor's ability to pay, before providing any information to or obtaining any information from a debtor, and before beginning a debtor education session. Fee waiver policies may vary by provider. At a minimum, however, a debtor whose household income is less than 150 percent of the poverty level is presumptively entitled to a fee waiver waiver or fee reduction. The poverty level is defined by the poverty guidelines updated periodically in the Federal Register by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services under the authority of 42 U.S.C. § 9902(2).

Q. Is it true that I must take a test if I decide to take the debtor education via the internet or telephone?

"A. Yes. The Bankruptcy Coad and Final Rule, 28 C.F.R. § 58.33(g)(3) and (4), requires providers who offer instruction by telephone or Internet to incorporate tests into the curriculum and ensure direct oral or in-person communication with debtor students who fail the test, or receive marks less than 70 percent. In the case of Internet instruction, the provider may ensure communication with debtor students who fail the test, or receive marks less than 70 percent, by e-mail, live chat, or telephone, as long as the provider responds to debtors’ questions and comments within one business day..."