Bankruptcy filers are required to take a pre-filing credit counseling class before filing and a post-filing debtor education class after filing. Over 500 people a year take these classes from CENTS. This project is offered without regard to a participant’s ability to pay.
Senior Money Project
According to the Committee to Prevent Elder Abuse, senior citizens are scammed out of $2.9 billion a year. Because most of these crimes aren’t reported, that could be just the tip of the iceberg. CENTS responded to this national epidemic with Senior Money, a 110 minute educational video, companion website, and in-person presentations with materials. The video, featuring Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson and Judge Karen Overstreet, is divided into stand alone sections and covers reverse mortgages, scams, identity theft, and estate planning. In 2014, we distributed over 950 DVDs and made 27 in-person presentations at senior centers. Please see the project website at www.seniormoneyproject.org. This program is free-of-charge.
According to Bloomberg, college tuition and fees have increased 1,120 percent since 1978 to 2008. The cost of a college education continues to skyrocket. CENTS created Debt Slapped to help high school students wisely finance their college education and learn how to use credit and loans wisely. Debt Slapped is an educational video, companion website, and classroom lessons and materials for students, teachers, and parents. It has been used at most public high schools in Washington state and over 10,000 people nationally have watched the video online. Please see the project website at www.debtslapped.org. Please also see our website for college graduates at www.debtslappedgrad.org. This program is free-of-charge.
Student Loan Project
This program was supported by the American College of Bankruptcy and the American College of Bankruptcy Foundation.
CENTS, the King County Bar Association, and the Northwest Justice Project are working together to offer a pro bono program to help those with student loan debt. The pro bono attorneys are not compensated for their work. To be eligible, you must get your case screened by attending either the King County Bar Association (KCBA) Debt Clinic or the Northwest Justice Project’s (NJP) Debt Clinic. After your case is screened by attending one of those debt clinics, we will determine if we can take your case.
To attend the KCBA Debt Clinic, please call 206-267-7070 between the hours of 9am and noon, Monday-Friday and ask to make an appointment at the Debt Clinic. Let them know you have a student loan issue. The phone scheduler will tell you the logistics and more details of the program, but generally it will either be from 5pm-7pm on Thursdays in the Belltown area of downtown Seattle or on Monday evenings from 5pm-7pm in the Columbia City neighborhood of Seattle. Appointments are required for the KCBA Debt Clinic.
To attend the NJP Debt Clinic and have your case screened, you can simply show up on Tuesday afternoons from 1pm-3pm at the following downtown Seattle location:
King County Courthouse
516 3rd Avenue
Seattle, Wa 98104
Remember, they will just be screening your case to start the process to determine if it’s eligible for the program. You will be notified after you attend one of the Debt Clinics.
It is important you bring all documents about the student loan to the either clinic.
Financial Navigation Program for Cancer Patients
Medical bills are the number one cause of bankruptcy and someone diagnosed with cancer is twice as likely to file bankruptcy. In another exciting new program launching in 2015, CENTS is partnering with the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and Harborview hospital to provide recently diagnosed cancer patients with tailored financial education and resources to help them emerge from cancer physically and financially healthy. This program is offered free-of-charge. To learn more about this program, please contact CENTS.
Financial Education Programs
CENTS has established itself as a provider of effective financial education programs.
- Our three-hour Money Sense class empowers participants to take control of his or her financial situation and make plans to improve it. It can be taken here.
- Our online Financial Evaluator program provides participants the opportunity to input financial information to help analyze his or her financial standing. It can be taken here.
- Smart Borrowing is a video and workbook designed to help people learn about borrowing basics in the arenas of credit cards, auto loans, payday loans, mortgages, and mortgage refinance. It can be viewed here.
CENTS sponsors and assists in the administration of the Debt Clinic with the KCBA, providing clients who are considering bankruptcy or have other debt management issues an opportunity to speak with an attorney free-of-charge. Each year, over 600 people are served by the Debt Clinic. CENTS also partners with the KCBA to provide Make Change, a free two hour monthly workshop covering a variety of debt related topics to help clients get on the path to financial recovery. For more information about the Debt Clinic or Make Change, please call the KCBA Neighborhood Legal Clinic line at 206-267-7070 between the hours of 9am and noon Tuesday-Thursday.
Money Steps Program for Former Justice Involved Individuals
CENTS is creating a financial education program for former justice involved individuals. When it is finished, you will be able to see it here.