It is important to note that we are not a law firm and cannot offer you legal advice of any kind! However, we can provide you with the required bankruptcy counseling certificates that you need in order to complete your bankruptcy filing.
The bankruptcy counseling process is completed in two phases: Pre-Filing Credit Counseling (also known as a "Budget and Credit Counseling Briefing") and Post-Filing Debtor Education (also known as a "Personal Financial Management Instructional Course"). Both will need to be completed in order to finalize your bankruptcy filing.
The Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 launched a new era: With limited exceptions, people who plan to file for bankruptcy protection must get credit counseling from a government-approved organization within 180 days before they file. They also must complete a debtor education course to have their debts discharged.
Cambridge is approved* to issue certificates upon completion of a Budget and Credit Counseling Briefing in compliance with the Bankruptcy Code. Additionally, Cambridge is approved* to issue certificates evidencing completion of a personal financial management instructional course in compliance with the Bankruptcy Code.
This course must be completed as a prerequisite to filing a petition for bankruptcy protection.
This course must be completed after you've filed for bankruptcy, but before your debts can be discharged.
Once you complete one of our courses, we'll make sure that you have your certificates in 24 hours or less.
If you need assistance with any aspect of our online courses, our certified counselors are available to assist you, Monday through Friday, from 9am to 5pm eastern time.
In general, you must file a certificate of credit counseling completion when you file for bankruptcy, and evidence of completion of debtor education after you file for bankruptcy – but before your debts are discharged. Only credit counseling organizations and debtor education course providers that have been approved* by the U.S. Trustee Program may issue these certificates. To protect against fraud, the certificates are produced through a central automated system and are numbered.
A pre-bankruptcy counseling session should include an evaluation of your personal financial situation, a discussion of alternatives to bankruptcy, and a personal budget plan. A typical counseling session should last about 60 to 90 minutes, and can take place in person, on the phone, or online. Cambridge is required to provide the counseling free of charge for those consumers who cannot afford to pay. Please see our Fee Waiver Policy below. We are required to discuss any fees with you before starting the counseling session. Once you have completed the required counseling, you will get a certificate as proof. Cambridge will not charge an extra fee for the certificate.
Our debtor education course will include information on developing a budget, managing money, using credit wisely, and other resources. Our debtor education course is provided online only and will take longer to complete than the pre-filing counseling – about two hours. As with pre-filing counseling, if you are unable to pay the session fee, you should seek a fee waiver from the debtor education provider. Check the list of approved debtor education providers at the bankruptcy clerk's office in your district, or by visiting the website for the Department of Justice, Executive Office of United States Trustees.
Once you have completed the required debtor education course, you will receive a certificate as proof. This certificate is separate from the certificate you received after completing your pre-filing credit counseling. Cambridge does not charge an extra fee for the certificate.
Cambridge will not refuse services to anyone due to their inability to pay. Cambridge agrees to waive its fee if the consumer or debtor student has income less than 150 percent of the applicable poverty guideline last published by the United States Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) (click here to view poverty guidelines). If you wish to see if you qualify for a fee waiver, please call Cambridge and speak with a representative at (800) 403-3433. The income of a spouse is included in calculating income, whether or not a joint petition is filed, unless the spouses are separated and a joint petition is not filed. The income of any other family member listed as a dependent will also be included.
Cambridge has been providing consumer credit counseling and financial education services nationwide since our inception in 1996. Our nationally certified counselors are among the most respected in the profession, averaging more than 12 years’ experience in helping people get out of debt. Cambridge is a 501(c)(3) non-profit agency with an A+ Better Business Bureau rating, and we’re proud to be the top-rated credit counseling agency by ConsumerAffairs.com. Cambridge is also a HUD-approved housing counseling agency, and we provide both bankruptcy and reverse mortgage counseling services. For a complete listing of license information, please visit our credit counseling disclosures page.
Federal Law requires that consumers receive a Budget and Credit Counseling Briefing within 180 days before filing for personal bankruptcy and a Personal Financial Management Instruction Course prior to discharge. Cambridge is approved to issue certificates in compliance with the Bankruptcy Code in AK, AZ, AR, CA, CO, CT, DC, DE, FL, GA, HI, ID, IL, IN, IA, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, MS, MT, NE, NV, NH, NJ, NM, NY, ND, OK, PA, RI, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, VT, VA, WA, WV, WI, WY, and USVI however the United States Trustee does not endorse or assure the quality of any one particular agency’s services. The Trustee has reviewed only Cambridge’s Budget and Credit Counseling Briefing services and Personal Financial Management Instruction Course and has not approved any other services Cambridge offers.
Cambridge provides these services in English. If you require assistance in another language, please refer to the US Department of Justice's List of Approved Credit Counseling Agencies to locate an agency that can assist you.
Upon completion of this briefing or instruction course, Cambridge will issue you a certificate that meets the requirements of federal bankruptcy law. This certificate will be issued within 24 business hours of the completion of your course. You will only receive this certificate upon your successful completion of the Budget and Credit Counseling Briefing or the Personal Financial Management Instruction Course. It is your responsibility to ensure that your attorney has received your certificate by the date required for your filing. If you do not file a bankruptcy petition within this time frame, you may be required to complete pre-filing counseling or a Personal Financial Management Instruction Course again in order to file personal bankruptcy and receive your discharge.
Cambridge provides Budget and Credit Counseling Briefings and Personal Financial Management Instruction Courses. Cambridge does not offer legal advice or opinion on the suitability or availability of bankruptcy as an option for you. The information provided by Cambridge is understood to be a general discussion of the subject matter and does not constitute legal opinion about your particular situation. If you want legal or tax advice, you will need to seek appropriate assistance from other parties.
The cost of an individual or joint Budget and Credit Counseling Briefing or Personal Financial Management Instruction Course and related certificate is $39.00. Payment of the fee must be received by Cambridge in advance of or at the time of the counseling briefing or instruction course. The fee is payable by electronic payment as presented in the web based application or by telephone. Cambridge will not refuse services to anyone due to their inability to pay. Cambridge agrees to waive its fee if the consumer or debtor student has income less than 150 percent of the applicable poverty guideline last published by the United States Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). View poverty guidelines.
If you wish to see if you qualify for a fee waiver, please call Cambridge and speak with a representative at (800) 403-3433. The income of a spouse is included in calculating income, whether or not a joint petition is filed, unless the spouses are separated and a joint petition is not filed. The income of any other family member listed as a dependent will also be included.
Cambridge is funded by fees charged for pre-bankruptcy Budget and Credit Counseling Briefings and pre-discharge Personal Financial Management Instructions Courses, as well as by client fees and creditor contributions from non-bankruptcy related Debt Management Plans, and grants related to our housing counseling or other charitable and educational efforts in the community.
Counselors are required to achieve and maintain certification as a Certified Personal Finance Counselor through the Partnership for Financial Education (PFE) within 6 months of employment. To maintain our staff’s certifications, Cambridge arranges for at least 16 continuing education units (CEUs) every two years, an amount that satisfies the continuing education requirements of PFE.
Cambridge does not report your participation in a Budget and Credit Counseling Briefing or a Personal Financial Management Instruction course, nor does it pull your credit report in order to provide these services. Therefore, these services have no effect on your credit rating. However, filing for bankruptcy protection or participating in a Debt Management or Debt Settlement Plan may have an adverse effect on your credit rating.
Cambridge does not pay or receive referral fees for referral of clients. To complete your Budget and Credit Counseling Briefing, you may be required to speak with a counselor. Upon completion of your course, Cambridge will provide you with a copy of your certificate within 24 business hours. You must complete the course to receive the certificate.
At least 60 days prior to filing bankruptcy, you may utilize a nonprofit budget and credit counseling agency approved by the United States trustee to negotiate a reasonable alternative repayment schedule for you. In the event your creditors refuse to negotiate a reasonable repayment schedule with the approved agency, their claims against you may be reduced by the court by up to 20%. Please consult with an attorney for more information. Cambridge does not offer debt reduction plans designed to accommodate this section of the bankruptcy code described in 11 U.S.C §502(k).
Over the years, clients have trusted Cambridge Credit Counseling Corp. ("Cambridge Credit") to protect the security and confidentiality of their personal information. We are grateful for this trust, and would like to take this opportunity to familiarize clients with the manner in which Cambridge Credit gathers, uses and maintains nonpublic personal information about consumers and clients. This Privacy Notice complies with Federal Law and regulations concerning the privacy of the nonpublic personal information of individuals.
We collect nonpublic personal information about you from information we receive from you on an application or other forms (examples include, but are not limited to: name and address, social security number, account numbers, balances, creditors and unsecured loans); and from information about your transactions with us, our affiliates, or others.
We do not disclose any nonpublic personal information about our customers or former customers to anyone, except as permitted or required by law. We may disclose your information to the Trustee in connection with the Trustee’s oversight of our agency, or during an investigation of complaints, during on-site visits, or during quality of service reviews. We restrict access to nonpublic personal information about you to those employees who need to know that information to provide services to you. We maintain physical, electronic and procedural safeguards that comply with federal regulations to guard your nonpublic personal information. Remember, at Cambridge Credit Counseling Corp. we take the security of your private information very seriously. As such, we will NEVER give your email address to anyone for any reason unless compelled to do so by legal authority.