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Pre-Bankruptcy Counseling

Disclosure for Pre-Bankruptcy Counseling Services

Please read the following statements carefully so that you will understand the procedures for this session. Please sign your name at the bottom of this form after you have read this information.

Northwest Michigan Community Action Agency (NMCAA) has been serving Northwest Michigan since 1974.  This agency is a member of the Association of Independent Consumer Credit Counseling Agencies (AICCCA).  The AICCCA has high standards for quality credit counseling and financial education, and this agency complies with those standards. NMCAA is also a charter member of NeighborWorks® America.  We are a non-profit community action agency operating in accordance with Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.

You have the option of taking Counseling in Motion, our pre-bankruptcy counseling session, online.  We also offer a pre-bankruptcy counseling session in-person.  Please call (800) 632-7334 to schedule an appointment to complete the session in-person.  For online students, please email any questions you have regarding Counseling in Motion to bstricker@nmcaa.net.

The online 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 personal interaction with your counselor during the briefing session.  Your counselor will contact you by phone and verify your identity.  Once your identity is verified, your counselor will discuss your current financial situation and the factors/reasons that led you to consider bankruptcy.  In addition, your counselor will review your budget, creditors, assets, and any other relevant factors.  Based on the analysis of your financial situation, your counselor will explore options with you and develop an individualized action plan for dealing with your financial situation. 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 online 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. As an approved provider, this certificate is valid for 180 days after the date and time the counseling is completed. 

Our Financial Management Services (FMS) Department has been doing financial management education for over fourteen years.  While our counselors have 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 online program to you, this agency charges a fee of $25.00 payable through PayPal.  We do not accept personal checks.  The fee is the same for a single filer or joint filers if they are members of the same household and both attend/complete the course together.  You may be eligible for a waiver of this fee based on your lack of ability to pay.  A waved fee is based on 150% of poverty guidelines updated periodically by the US Department of Health and Human Services. If you think you qualify for a waiver please click the link at the bottom of this page.  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 $25.00 fee includes any fees associated with generation of the certificate.

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.

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. 

As one of your options, you have the opportunity to negotiate an alternative payment schedule with regard to each unsecured consumer debt. Our agency does not offer Debt Management Plan services. To find an organization that provides these services please go to the US Trustee site at:  http://www.justice.gov/ust/eo/bapcpa/ccde/cc_approved.htm.

This agency receives funding in the form of grants from federal and state government agencies as well as charitable giving from community groups and individuals, and fees charged to clients.

Our agency has a policy of prohibiting it from paying or receiving referral fees for the referral of clients. 

We do not provide bilingual counseling services or professional interpreter assistance to any limited English proficient clients. To find an organization that provides these services please go to the US Trustee site at:  http://www.justice.gov/ust/eo/bapcpa/ccde/cc_approved.htm.

If you are dissatisfied with the service provided by our agency you can utilize the Complaint Resolution Process.

The United State 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.

blue_arrow.jpg  I Agree and would like to continue to the fee waiver check.

blue_arrow.jpg  I would like to waive my right to a fee waiver and will purchase the program as a single person.

blue_arrow.jpg  I would like to waive my right to a fee waiver and will purchase the program as a joint/couple household.

blue_arrow.jpg  I Disagree and would like to return to the homepage.

This page last updated on 8/9/2017.