PRE-FILING BANKRUPTCY DISCLOSURE
Welcome! This agency has over 50 years of experience in providing financial education and counseling. Consumer Credit Counseling
Service (CCCS) is a non-profit agency in accordance with Section 501(c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code. CCCS will provide a budget
analysis that will examine your financial situation and options for developing a reasonable plan. CCCS will provide non-judgement
assistance and information about bankruptcy, including its process, the possible consequences and alternatives. It is our view that the
purpose of this session is to provide information so you may choose the best option.
Full completion of the counseling session is required before the prompt presentation of a certificate. You will need the certificate should
you decide to file for bankruptcy. Credit counseling certificates are valid for 180 days. As a member of the National Foundation for Credit
Counseling (NFCC), our agency complies with NFCC’s high standards for quality credit counseling and financial education. This agency
is accredited by the Council on Accreditation (COA), an independent third-party organization that reviews and monitors parties that provide
The consumer credit counselor conducting your interview has been trained and certified in accordance with NFCC standards, and while
he/she has expertise in helping those with financial problems, he/she cannot provide you with legal advice. 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. Clients with limited English proficiency will need to request a translator when the appointment is scheduled or opt to
have their own translator available for the counseling.
It is essential that you provide us with information that is as accurate and complete as possible. CCCS may ask for consent to access
your credit history, but CCCS will not provide any information about this session to a credit-reporting agency. The information you provide
concerning your financial condition and status is confidential but may be disclosed to the Executive Office for United States Trustees in
connection with the United States Trustee’s oversight of the agency, or during the investigation of complaints, during on-site visits, or
during quality of service reviews. Such information would include, but is not limited to: income, debts, credit accounts, earnings, assets
and employment data. CCCS 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. CCCS may compile data and aggregate information from data
that you give us, but this information will not be disclosed in any manner that would personally identify you.
CCCS offers a Debt Management Plan (DMP) where you will have the opportunity to negotiate an alternative payment schedule with
regard to each unsecured consumer debt under terms as set forth in 11 U.S.C. 502(k). You will be provided with a separate agreement
and disclosure forms. The agency has no responsibility for any past, present, or future credit rating you receive; in certain circumstances,
a DMP may affect your credit rating negatively. In the event of bankruptcy, client’s credit may be affected for up to 10 years. Counselors
are not financially motivated to enroll clients in a DMP nor are clients or counselors financially penalized for a client’s departure from the
a DMP. The agency is prohibited from paying or receiving referral fees for the referral of clients, except under a fair share agreement.
The United States Trustee has reviewed only the agency’s credit counseling services, and the United States Trustee has neither reviewed
nor approved any other services the agency provides to clients.
To help cover the cost of providing this session to you, this agency charges a fee of $50.00 for individuals or $75.00 for a couple. In
certain circumstances, you may be eligible to have this fee waived based on inability to pay. If the client’s household current income is
less than 150 percent 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. Services will be provided without regard to the ability to pay.
CCCS has an obligation to provide a certificate promptly upon completion of counseling. The client will receive a certificate only if the
client completes counseling services. This agency also receives funding in the form of grants from entities that support financial
counseling, state and governmental units and creditors. A significant portion of funding for this agency comes from voluntary contributions
from creditors who participate in Debt Management Plans, under fair share agreements. Since creditors have a financial interest in having
debts paid, most are willing to contribute to help fund the overall services of this agency. These contributions are usually calculated as a
percentage of payments that are made through a DMP. Again, should you decide to enter into a DMP, you will receive information on
how the plan works and how the agency is funded.
CCCS is committed to assuring the privacy of individuals and/or families who have contacted us for assistance. We assure you that all information shared both orally and in writing will be managed within legal and ethical considerations. Your “personal financial information”, such as your total debt information, income, living expenses and personal information concerning your financial circumstances, will be provided to creditors, and possibly others, with your specific authorization.
We may also use aggregated case file information for the purpose of evaluating our services, gathering valuable research information and designing future programs. Your anonymity will be maintained through the use of your client number or by using aggregate data in all circumstances.
In all other situations, your information may be released to appropriate individuals or agencies only upon your written request, or when our staff has been served by a valid subpoena.
The following privacy practices detail the circumstances under which we will release your information to a third party:
We do not disclose any nonpublic personal information about our customers or former customers to anyone, except as permitted by law.
We may compile data and aggregate information that you give to us, but this information may not be disclosed in a manner that would personally identify you in any way.
We may disclose some or all of the information that we collect, as described below, to creditors, or third parties that you have authorized who need this information in order for us to assist you after a counseling session.
We may disclose all of the information that we collect, as described below, to creditors and related financial institutions who need this information in order to put you on a Debt Management Plan (DMP).
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.
We collect nonpublic personal information about you from the following sources:
Information we received from you on our applications or other forms you provide;
Information about your transactions with us, your creditors, or others; and
Information we receive from a credit reporting agency.
7. We may disclose the following kinds of nonpublic personal information about you:
Information we receive from you on applications or other forms, such as your name, address, social security number, assets, and income;
Information about your transactions with us, your creditors, or others, such as your account balance, payment history, parties to transactions and credit card usage; and
Information we receive from a credit reporting agency, such as your credit history.
STATEMENT OF COUNSELING
The agency will provide a confidential comprehensive personal money management interview.
A certified consumer credit counselor or qualified professional counselor will conduct the interview. All action plans not conducted by a certified consumer credit counselor will be reviewed by a certified consumer credit counselor.
Listed below is the Client Bill of Rights, Non-Discrimination Policy and the Complaint Resolution Process. In the event you are dissatisfied, you can utilize the Complaint Resolution Process.
You will hold the agency, its employees, agents, and volunteers harmless from any claim, suit, action or demand of my creditors, myself or any other person resulting from advice or counseling. Nothing herein shall apply to actions or claims under the provisions of the United States Bankruptcy Code, 11 U.S.C. Sec. 101 et seq.
There is a one-time fee of $125 for reverse mortgage counseling. In certain circumstances, you may be eligible to have this fee waived. Services will be provided regardless of the ability to pay.
Most of the agency’s funding comes from voluntary contributions from creditors who participate in the Debt Management Plan (DMP). Since creditors have a financial interest in getting paid, most are willing to make a contribution to help fund our agency. These contributions are usually calculated by each creditor as a percentage of the payment (up to 15%) you make through your DMP. However, your accounts with your creditors will always be credited with one hundred percent (100%) of the amount you pay through us and we will work with all your creditors, regardless of whether they contribute to our agency.
You will be given a written assessment outlining a suggested client action plan, which will be based on the following options:
a) You will handle any financial concerns on your own.
b) You may choose to enroll in the agency’s Debt Management Plan (DMP). Our DMP serves a dual role of helping you pay your debts and helping the creditors to receive the money owed to them. CCCS’ DMP is used for unsecured debts only.
c) Under the Debt Management Plan, the agency serves as a neutral third party in negotiating with creditors to liquidate financial obligations. The monthly fee for the Debt Management Plan is 7.5% of total monthly disbursement, not to exceed $40 a month (GA resident); $10 per creditor, not to exceed $50 a month (SC resident). The agency has no responsibility for any past, present, or future credit rating you receive; in certain circumstances, a Debt Management Plan may affect my credit rating negatively. In the event that the counselor suggests a Debt Management Plan, you will receive complete details of the administration, requirements, and responsibilities.
d) A counselor may answer questions about bankruptcy, but not give legal advice. If you want legal advice, I will be referred for appropriate assistance. While an attorney can make a recommendation to file bankruptcy, it is a personal choice based on individual circumstances. You will inform the agency of the decision if I file bankruptcy.
e) You will be referred to the other services of the organization or another agency or agencies, as appropriate that may be able to assist with particular problems that have been identified.
Receipt of financial counseling services does not automatically guarantee participation in a Debt Management Plan.
CLIENT BILL OF RIGHTS
We pledge that our clients have the right,
• To prompt counseling services for managing money based on their financial situation;
• To treat with dignity and respect;
• To be actively involved in a comprehensive assessment of their financial situation including an
appropriate action plan;
• To express dissatisfaction through a Complaint Resolution Process;
• To discontinue their relationship with our agency at any time;
• To ask questions and to have concerns addressed.
COMPLAINT RESOLUTION PROCESS
We are committed to providing you with high-quality professional services. However, if you are not satisfied with the services provided or if you want to make a complaint, we ask that you follow these guidelines.
• Step One Try to resolve the issue with the staff member involved giving him or her specific information about your complaint.
• Step Two: If Step One is not possible or the issue is not resolved to your satisfaction, write or call the staff member’s departmental supervisor at (912) 691-2227.
• Step Three: Agency may request a meeting with you (phone or face-to-face) or seek more information from a staff person. The agency will respond within 15 days.
• Step Four: If your issue is still unresolved, you may appeal in writing directly to the President of CCCS of the Savannah Area, Inc., 7505 Waters Ave., Suite C-11, Savannah GA 31406. After additional fact-finding, this individual will provide a concluding decision to you within 15 days.
Consumers may contact the South Carolina Department of Community Affairs at (803) 734-4200 or toll-free at 1-800-922-1594 if the consumer has complaints about the credit counseling services received.
Our Agency serves all members of the community. We do not engage in the practices of discrimination in the selection and participation of clients in our programs or services with respect to age, race, religion, color, gender, sexual preference, national origin, or handicap.
FEE WAIVER POLICY
If your gross income is less than the federal poverty level listed below, your fee will be waived.
Persons in family/household
PERSONS IN FAMILY/HOUSEHOLD
For families/households with more than 8 persons, add $4,540 for each additional person.
Should you have any questions about our pre-filing bankruptcy disclosure, please contact CCCS at 912-691-2227 or click here.