There’s no reason to be afraid of the word “Bankruptcy”. While the bankruptcy process can be tough and challenging, we’re here to make it as stress-free as possible. As a non-profit agency, you can count on us to ensure that you understand all of your available options for debt relief. It all starts with a pre-filing bankruptcy counseling session.
Under federal bankruptcy law, you are required to obtain credit counseling from a qualified agency before filing for bankruptcy. The Executive Office for the United States Trustee (EOUST) regulates and approves agencies that are authorized to provide such counseling. EOUST approval does not endorse or guarantee the quality of any agency’s services.
There are 3 easy ways to start your bankruptcy credit counseling session:
Online Counseling – *Most Preferred Method*
Complete your online bankruptcy counseling session now!
Already signed up? Return to your session.
Telephone & In-Person Counseling
You can complete your session by telephone or in-person by visiting one of our 10 locations!
View our locations.
What to expect before, during, and after your session –
If you are considering bankruptcy it’s best to speak with an attorney to find out about the process. Your attorney will recommend that you contact a reputable credit counseling agency to set up and complete your credit counseling session. When you contact the agency of your choice, a credit counselor will start by providing an overview of the federal bankruptcy law. He or she will then look at your financial situation and determine if there are options other than bankruptcy that could help you eliminate your debt in a reasonable amount of time. Whether or not filing for bankruptcy is right for you, a counseling session is the first step.
The counseling session should take about 60-90 minutes to complete. You can start your session in person at one of our 10 locations, over the telephone with a counselor, or even online for your convenience. We provide the counseling free of charge if you cannot afford to pay. In limited circumstances, you may be eligible to have this fee waived if you meet certain income guidelines. Make sure you ask your counselor for a fee waiver before your session begins. We will discuss any and all fees before you begin and the fees are posted online if you are taking the online course.
Once you’ve completed the required counseling session, you will receive a certificate as proof that you’ve finished the counseling and have met all of the requirements. We will not charge extra for the certificate. That is part of the upfront cost. The required pre-filing bankruptcy certificate of completion will be either e-mailed or mailed directly to you and, if applicable, faxed to your bankruptcy attorney.
If you’re a married couple filing a joint bankruptcy, each of you must complete the required bankruptcy counseling session in its entirety. There are no additional charges for a married couple if both parties participate in the same counseling session. If you choose to complete the counseling in separate sessions, each person is charged individually.
What Will Your Counseling Session Include?
- Determine your net income and list your expenses for an average month.
- Reveal ways to balance your expenses against your income.
- Deliver a custom action plan to provide you with information on:
- Ways to increase your income and/or cut back on expenses.
- State and national helpful resources that may be of assistance.
- Useful money management strategies and tips.
- Possible options for dealing with your debt.
Costs for the Counseling Session:
- $50 if you wish to have a Telephone or In-Person counseling session.
- $24.95 if you use the Agency’s Online Bankruptcy Counseling module.
- A debit card or money order is the only acceptable form of payment. Personal checks and credit cards are not accepted.
Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Western Pennsylvania (CCCS of Western PA) has changed its name to Advantage Credit Counseling Service, Inc. (Advantage CCS).
On April, 8th 2004 CCCS of Western PA was rebranded to the new name of Advantage Credit Counseling Service, Inc. and we also have a new website at www.advantageccs.org. We are the same reputable and trusted non-profit credit counseling agency that has been helping people with their debt for over 49 years. Advantage CCS is still Pennsylvania’s largest consumer credit counseling agency.
Founded in 1968, Advantage CCS is headquartered in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with multiple office locations across the state. We are a non-profit credit counseling agency that is approved and licensed. We are proud members of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC) and accredited by the Council on Accreditation (COA).