CCCS of San Francisco Selected to provide bankruptcy Counseling
January 31, 2006 – Consumer Credit Counseling Service of San Francisco (CCCS-SF) announced today that they have been approved by the Executive Office for United States Trustees to provide financial counseling and education to consumers wishing to discharge their debts in bankruptcy.
The Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention & Consumer Protection Act, which went into effect in October of 2005, requires all consumers who file for bankruptcy receive comprehensive financial counseling before filing, and money management education before the bankruptcy can be discharged.
Joanne Budde, president and CEO of CCCS-SF said of being approved: “Our goal in providing the counseling and education is to help families learn new skills, so whether or not they continue with the filing process, they will receive a fresh start. Consumers should not view the mandatory counseling as a road “block” to overcome before being able to file, but rather as a road “map” to help them reach their financial goals in life. They may have gotten to this point in their lives, because they didn’t know where to turn for help when they needed it most. Now they’ll know that we’re here to help, and they can turn to us anytime in the future, whether they have a debt issue, need to learn new budgeting skills, or to realize their dreams of homeownership, college educations, or retirement.”
CCCS-SF’s pre-filing counseling program consists of an online course where consumers learn about bankruptcy, credit and credit reports, money management, and saving for the future. After completing an online exam, consumers will be able to move on to the next step: one-on-one financial counseling. During this session, the counselor will explore options and discuss personal finance skills – so that his chances of improving his future financial circumstances are increased. After the session CCCS-SF will provide a certificate of completion, which is required in order to proceed with filing.
The agency’s post-bankruptcy education program emphasizes establishing goals, setting up a realistic spending and savings plan, and gaining personal financial control by changing negative habits into positive ones. The course may be taken entirely online or via a mailed booklet plus telephone or in-person counseling.
CCCS-SF contends that knowing about bankruptcy and credit and money management is vital, as it not only helps consumers become informed filers, but also achieve financial goals in the future. Furthermore, the post-filing education is an important part of establishing a financially healthy new beginning.
CCCS-SF is an accredited nonprofit financial counseling and personal finance resource center. In addition to bankruptcy services, CCCS-SF offers money management assistance and a debt repayment program. For more information contact Erica Sandberg at (415) 788-0288 ext. 224, or log onto www.cccssf.org.
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