1 $ Wiser Consumer Education, Inc. Budget and Credit Counseling FAQs

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.

QHow 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 Consumer Education Inc. (1 $ Wiser) will waive the fee in whole or in part for 1 $ Wiser’s Budget & Credit Counseling program whenever a client demonstrates a lack of ability to pay. 

A client presumptively lacks the ability to pay the fee if the client's current household income is less than 150% of 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), as adjusted from time to time, for a household or family of the size involved in the fee determination.

The presumption shall be rebutted, and 1 $ Wiser may charge the client a reduced fee, if 1 $ Wiser determines, based on income information the client submits, that the client is able to pay the fee in a reduced amount. Nothing requires 1 $ Wiser to charge a fee to clients whose household income exceeds 150% of the poverty guidelines or who are able to demonstrate ability to pay based on income information submitted.

If client is requesting fee waiver or reduced fees, it must be done in writing before registering for credit counseling. 1 $ Wiser collects fees at the time of registration.

The criteria upon which 1 $ Wiser relies in determining a client's eligibility for fee waiver or reduced fees is based on information submitted by client. The minimum information required to apply for fee waiver or fee reduction is:

  1. Client’s name(s), telephone number, and email address
  2. Names, ages, and relationship to client of all members of the family or household over the age of 18
  3. Names, ages, and relationship to client of all members of the household under 18 years old.
  4. Last 2 pay stubs for all adults (18+) in the family or household or proof of public assistance
  5. Last 2 bank statements for each adult (18+) in the family or household
  6. Prior year’s Federal Tax Return if item #4 is not available.

Alternately, if the client has received a waiver of court filing fees for in forma paupers, a copy of the fee waiver from the court may be submitted and will justify pro bono counseling.

Send your written request and ALL supporting documents via E-Mail to Info@1dollarwiser.com or fax to 1-940-687-9077.

All requests will be reviewed within 72 business hours of receipt.

1 $ Wiser may also waive fees based upon other considerations, including, but not limited to:

  1. The client's net worth;
  2. The % of the client's income from government assistance programs;
  3. Whether the client is receiving pro bono legal services in connection with a filed or anticipated bankruptcy case

1 $ Wiser does not require a client to purchase counseling services in connection with the purchase of any other service offered by 1 $ Wiser.

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.

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