What is Credit Counseling?

Many people get into financial difficulties that might make it necessary to file for bankruptcy. Bankruptcy is somewhat common. Last year, there were 248,680 Chapter 7 bankruptcy filings and 178,214 Chapter 13 bankruptcy filings in the United States. Bankruptcy is an option that allows you to get out from under excessive debt and gives you a fresh start. In order to file bankruptcy, you must meet the requirements set forth by law, including credit counseling.

What is Credit Counseling?

Credit counseling is a course that provides consumers with important financial information. Anyone who wants to file Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy must complete credit counseling prior to filing. Credit counseling typically includes education regarding general money management, budgeting, credit, and debt management. The purpose of credit counseling is to advise you about dealing with finances before you decide to file bankruptcy. In some cases, it may provide the tools you need to prevent bankruptcy.

Approved Credit Counseling Agencies

To fulfill the requirement of credit counseling prior to filing bankruptcy, you must complete a credit counseling course through an approved agency. These days, most credit counseling courses are available online. These courses offer a convenient way to attend at your own pace. You must take a course from an agency that is approved in your jurisdiction. You can find these options online. Your attorney may also have some agencies they know about and can provide you with the details.

When Should I Take a Credit Counseling Course?

You may take a credit counseling course at any time. However, it is important to note that you must complete the class no later than 180 days before you file for bankruptcy. You will receive a certificate of completion that you must submit with your bankruptcy filing. You are responsible for paying for your own credit counseling. However, in some cases, your attorney may include it within a bankruptcy legal package. If you can’t afford to take a credit counseling course, you may qualify for a fee waiver.

What Happens if I Do Not Complete Credit Counseling?

Some people want to file for bankruptcy without going through credit counseling. However, by law, you must complete counseling before you may file. If you do not complete the required counseling, fail to provide a certificate of completion, take an unapproved course, or wait too long to file, the court will reject your bankruptcy filing. In that case, you would need to resubmit your bankruptcy request. You can avoid problems by seeking guidance from a qualified bankruptcy attorney at the start of the process. Your lawyer will give you an overview of the procedure and assist you in getting credit counseling from an approved agency.

If you are considering bankruptcy, we can help. You can stop the stress of financial difficulties. Our experienced legal team is here to answer your questions and assist you through the process every step of the way. To learn more, contact Adam Law Group today at (904) 467-4773 to schedule a consultation.