Mark Your Calendar: Assistant U.S. Trustee Addresses Credit Counseling Conference

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Henry Hobbs, Assistant U.S. Trustee for the Executive Office for the United States Trustees (EOUST), will be a featured speaker at the American Association of Debt Management Organizations (AADMO) Spring Conference in Austin, Texas, on May 16 and 17, 2006.

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“This is an important program for all credit counseling agencies to attend if they want to learn about the current status of counseling in bankruptcy reform. The applications, approval and re-approval processes are complex, call for compliance with a significant number of requirements and carry substantial disclosure obligations. Information provided in applications may be subject to public review and can carry penalties for false information. Not knowing the requirements of the law and the procedures for approval may delay or cause the rejection of a credit counseling agency's application,” Mark Guimond, Executive Director of AADMO, said in a prepared statement.

The EOUST is responsible for the re-approval of credit counseling agencies currently providing pre-filing counseling and debtor education programs that must be completed by bankruptcy filers before they may receive a discharge from the court. The requirements are all part of the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 (BAPCPA) that went into effect on October 17, 2005.

Hobbs will discuss the status of re-approvals, applications and approvals; the details of the applications and the application process; and the relationship to state laws. He will also be available to discuss surety bond amount offsets and credits, employee bonds/fidelity insurance amount offsets and credits, counseling session content and duration, certificate security and form, fee levels, what constitutes “ability to pay”, reporting, notifications and audits.

“This process has had many challenges for credit counseling agencies. If agencies are currently approved for bankruptcy reform counseling they can learn what the future may hold. If agencies are considering becoming a pre-bankruptcy filing agency, this is their opportunity to learn and ask questions,” Guimond added.

In addition, the AADMO Spring Conference will feature the following sessions:

  • Transferring Clients and Assets from 501(c)(3) CCAs: What You Need to Know to Stay Out of Jail! with speaker Jeffery Tenenbaum of Venable
  • New Legal Models for Credit counseling Agencies: Planning for the Future with speaker Jeffery Tenenbaum of Venable
  • Privacy and Information Security with speaker Carla Stone Witzel of Gordon-Feinblatt
  • Relating to Regulators: Building Positive Relationships with State Regulators while Protecting Your Company's Interests with speaker Robby Birnbaum of Greenspoon Marder
  • Knowing and Understanding the Law and Regulations of Montana with Assistant Attorney General Cort Jensen
  • Are You Making Non-Conformances Work for You? Managing Document Control and Using Customer Satisfaction Surveys with speaker Mandy Eden of M. Eden Consulting
  • Could you Be Reducing Your Bond Costs? Factors Used to Evaluate Bond Applicants with speaker Jason Jenkins of Alpha surety & Insurance
  • The Current Status of Bankruptcy Reform and Credit Counseling at the 6 Month Mark and Agency Renewal Time with Assistant U.S. Trustee, Executive Office for U.S. Trustees, Henry Hobbs
  • Knowing and Understanding the Law of Texas and the Possibility for Change with Texas Consumer Credit Commissioner Leslie Pettijohn
  • Knowing and Understanding the Law of California with Acting Commissioner, California Department of Corporations Wayne Strumpfer
  • The New Law of Utah: Knowing and Understanding the NCCUSL “Uniform Debt Management Services Act” as the Law of the Land with speaker Michael Greenfield, Walter D. Coles, Professor of Law, Washington University School of Law and NCCUSL Drafting Committee Reporter.

Program and registration information for the Spring Conference can be found at

AADMO is the largest trade association for the credit counseling and debt management industry. Members are consumer credit counseling agencies, debt management organizations, credit counselors, personal finance educators, credit and debt information educators, consumer lawyers and others.

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