1. Introduction. Abacus Credit Counseling offers a budget and credit counseling course for individuals facing financial difficulty. Abacus does not pay or receive fees for referring students to take this course. We are not affiliated with nor do we receive endorsements from any companies mentioned in this course. Our organization is funded solely by fees paid for the credit counseling course, and we do not receive funding from any other source or outside organization.
2. Payment and Certificate. For individuals taking this online course, Abacus requires a one-time payment of $25 per individual or couple. For individuals taking the course over the phone, Abacus requires a one-time payment of $35 per individual or couple. In exchange, Abacus will fax, email and/or mail a certificate of completion for each student to you and/or your attorney, if you provide your attorney's information, promptly upon completion of the course per its obligation. Clients will receive a certificate of completion only if they complete counseling. Clients who do not complete the course through the final counseling session will not receive a certificate.
3. Course. The Course is a 60-90 minute course regarding budget and credit counseling, satisfying the pre-filing requirement for individuals filing bankruptcy.
4. Credit Counselors. All credit counselors at Abacus must be accredited or certified by a recognized independent organization.
5. Impact on Credit Reports. Completing our credit counseling course or receiving any other financial advice will have no impact on students' credit reports. Our course will provide information about various alternatives for you going forward, including negotiating with creditors, establishing a debt management plan, or filing for bankruptcy. Entering a debt management plan or filing bankruptcy are reported to credit reporting agencies and do reflect negatively on your credit rating, although it is common to already have negative information on your credit report before seeking this type of assistance. Various types of credit or loans are likewise typically reported to credit reporting agencies, with the positive or negative impact to your credit largely dependent on amounts borrowed and making timely payments.
6. Course Fees. Course fees may be paid by credit card, debit card or money order. Some attorneys have also made arrangements to pay Abacus directly for their clients' courses. If you are unsure of whether your attorney has agreed to pay for your course, please contact your attorney.
7. Fee Reductions. Abacus provides counseling regardless of a client's ability to pay. The criteria for fee reductions or waivers is as follows: Clients demonstrating a current household income less than 150 percent of the poverty guidelines in effect, as published by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, for a household or family of their size are eligible for a fee reduction or waiver. Fee reductions or waivers are determined using the client's household finances and are automatically determined during credit counseling without separate application. For clients qualifying for a fee less than the standard course fee, clients will be informed of any reduced fee prior to payment.
8. Alternative Payment Schedule. Clients 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). Abacus does not provide alternative payment negotiation services, which may involve an additional fee. Please contact customer service at (800) 516-3834 if you need a referral for alternative payment negotiation services.
9. Course Languages. Abacus offers bilingual assistance to all Spanish speaking clients. If you speak limited English and seek assistance in another language, please contact customer service at (800) 516-3834 for help.
10. Information Privacy. The information you provide in the course will not be used or viewed by any party other than Abacus except as authorized by the client or required by law or a regulating authority, such as the United States Trustee 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. Your information will never be sold to a third party. If you choose to file for bankruptcy, the information entered in the course will not become part of your bankruptcy case. Please note that if you provide attorney information, you authorize Abacus Credit Counseling to allow your attorney to view your information and the certificate you receive upon course completion.
11. Authorization. The United States Trustee has reviewed only the credit counseling services offered by Abacus and not any other services that Abacus may provide.