Department of Justice Selects Certification by American Association of Family & Consumer Sciences as Key Credential in Consumer Bankruptcy Filings

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Individuals must take a Personal Financial Management Instructional Course to emerge from bankruptcy under the new personal bankruptcy legislation taking effect Oct. 17. The course must have an instructor who’s certified by AAFCS or who has equivalent experience or training.

The American Association of Family & Consumer Sciences’ (AAFCS) certification has been selected by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) as one of the qualifications for an instructor of a Personal Financial Management Instructional Course, which is required as part of the new personal bankruptcy legislation taking effect Oct. 17 in the United States.

The Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 stipulates that individuals must receive credit counseling services before filing for bankruptcy. Then individuals must take a Personal Financial Management Instructional Course in order to emerge from bankruptcy.

In order for providers of this personal financial management training to be qualified to offer such a course, one of their instructors must be certified in family and consumer sciences by AAFCS ( or have equivalent training or experience. Other certifications and accreditations also being accepted by DOJ include: a state teacher’s certificate, Certified Financial Planner (CFP), Accredited Financial Counselor (AFC), certification as a credit counselor by specific organizations and Certified Public Accountant (CPA).

Consumers registering for personal financial management instruction will receive, as part of the bankruptcy filing process, training in: Budget Development, Money Management, Wise Use of Credit and Consumer Information. The course length must be at least two hours in duration.


Founded in 1909, AAFCS ( is the only not-for-profit 501 (c)(3) organization dedicated to bringing people together to improve the lives of individuals, families, and communities. AAFCS’ 9,000 members are elementary, secondary, and post-secondary educators, researchers, and administrators; cooperative extension educators; and other professionals in business and industry, not-for-profit organizations, and government. These professionals develop, integrate, and provide practical knowledge about LifeSkills — financial literacy; dietetics and nutrition; child care and parenting; conflict resolution; consumer education; housing and environment; and apparel and textiles.


Linda Wilson

Division Director, Public Affairs


Phone: 703-706-4609

Fax: 703-706-4663


Steve Hines

Phone: 703-706-4600

Fax: 703-706-4663


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