Q: Why is Credit Counseling necessary?
A: Current Bankruptcy law requires that all consumers wishing to eliminate debts under Chapter 7 or 13 take part in credit counseling from a United States Trustee approved non-profit credit counseling agency. This counseling must take place within 180 days prior to the consumer filing for bankruptcy protection.
Q: What happens if I decide to file for personal bankruptcy more than 180 days after completing the Budget and Credit Counseling Program?
A: You will need to re-register and retake the Budget and Credit Counseling Program and be issued a new Certificate of Completion.
Q: May a credit counselor advise a client on whether or when to file bankruptcy?
A: No. The decision on whether or when to file bankruptcy can only be made by the consumer and his/her attorney. Advice on the timing and necessity (or lack thereof) of a bankruptcy may constitute legal advice which could be deemed to be the unauthorized practice of law and be actionable by State authorities.
Q: Where is 1 $ Wiser Consumer Education, Inc. approved to offer Credit Counseling Completion Certificates?
A: 1 $ Wiser is approved to issue Credit Counseling Certificates in Compliance with the Bankruptcy Code in all Judicial Districts except those in Alabama, Illinois, and North Carolina. Approval does not endorse or assure the quality of an Agency’s services.
Q: When can I take my credit counseling program?
A: The online program may be taken at any time, 24/7. However, the intreactive portion of the program with a live counselor must be conducted during normal business hours. Counselors are available Monday – Friday between the hours of 9:00 A.M. and 5:00 P.M. or on Saturday between the hours of 10:00 A.M. and 3:00 P.M Central Time.
If you prefer to take the entire program over the telephone, you may do so by appointment only.
Q: What information will I need to provide to register for the course?
A: The following is a summary of the information you will need to provide:
- Your full legal name (as printed on your government issued identification card)
- The district in which you reside (a list is provided at time of registration)
- Your address
- Your email (you do not have to have an e-mail address to access our course)
- Your phone number
- Last 4 digits of your social security number
- Driver’s License or official State ID card number
- Information regarding sources of income, current deductions from income, assets, debt payments/balances, monthly expenses, and estimated upcoming expenses
- Attorney name, phone and fax number, and email address (if you have an attorney)
Q: Can joint debtors register and complete the Budget and Credit Counseling program together?
A: Due to new requirements set by the Department of Justice - Executive Office of the United States Trustee, 1 $ Wiser will no longer allow joint debtors to take the online program together. To ensure we remain in full compliance with the rules under which we must operate, each individual must register separately and complete the program separately.
Joint debtors may take the entire program via the telephone together, however by individuals must be present during the entire process and both must actively participate in the conversations. Separate registration is still required.
Q. How long is my session?
A. The average length of the budget and credit counseling program is 60 minutes although your session may be shorter or longer depending on your particular situation.
Q: Can you fail this Course?
A: No. Everyone who completes the course will receive a Certificate of Completion. There is no graded exam.
Q: How much does the counseling cost?
A: 1 $ Wiser Consumer Education, Inc. charges $29.99 per person for the online budget and credit counseling program. Individuals who want a counselor to personally register them and take them through the entire program over the telephone will be charged $50.00 per person.
Q: What determines an individual’s ability to pay?
A: 1 $ Wiser’s Budget & Credit Counseling and Personal Financial Management Instruction (Debtor Education) are offered to clients/debtors without regard to a client’s/debtor’s ability to pay in compliance with 28 CFR Part 58 Final Rules, (http://www.justice.gov/sites/default/files/ust/legacy/2014/03/06/Federal_Register_EOUST_102.pdf).
A fee waiver or fee reduction requested by an attorney on behalf of one of his/her clients will be automatically granted. A separate request must be made for each client and each program.
1 $ Wiser Budget & Credit Counseling is offered to clients without regard to a client’s ability to pay provided the client’s attorney requests reduced fee or pro bono counseling. A client/debtor who is not represented by an attorney may request reduced fee or pro bono counseling and debtor education however separate requests must be made for each program. Clients applying for bankruptcy protection pro se (without an attorney) based upon total household income below 150% of the Department of Health and Human Services poverty guidelines or for any other reason must request reduced fee or pro bono counseling in writing. This request must be in writing with the client/debtor’s name(s), telephone number, and email address, and must be accompanied by the following documents:
- Names, ages, and relationship to client/debtor of all members of the family or household
- Last 2 pay stubs for all adults (18 +) in the family or household or proof of public assistance for each adult in the family or household
- Last 2 bank statements for each adult (18+) in the family or household
- Prior year’s Federal Tax Return if item #2 is not available
Alternately, if the client has received a waiver of court filing fees for in forma pauperis debtors, a copy of the fee waiver from the court may be submitted and will justify pro bono counseling.
Requests may be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or faxed to 1 $ Wiser at 1-940-687-9077. Policy details may be obtained from 1 $ Wiser at 1-800-496-2440 x1.
All requests will be reviewed within business 72 hours of receipt.
Q: How do I Pay?
A: You or anyone else may pay via debit or credit card from this website during the registration process.
Q: What accommodations does 1 $ Wiser Consumer Education, Inc. make for hearing/speech impaired individuals?
A: For people who are deaf, hard of hearing, and/or speech impaired, please use the relay option of your choice to do business with us. All relay options are open 24/7/365, and there is never a charge to you.
Q: Is 1 $ Wiser Consumer Education, Inc. Counseling a Non-Profit Organization?
A: Yes. The U.S. Trustees Office requires that all Budget and Credit Counseling Agencies be non-profit. 1 $ Wiser Consumer Education, Inc. is in compliance with that requirement.