What to Expect from Pre-Bankruptcy Credit Counseling

: Reese Baker & Associates

  Filed under: Filing bankruptcy

Before filing for bankruptcy, debtors are required to complete a mandatory, credit counseling course. The credit counseling course must be a non-profit and officially approved by the US Bankruptcy Court. If you file your bankruptcy petition without proof of completion, your bankruptcy case will be dismissed. The credit counseling course, however, need not be feared, as it is a brief and highly informative consultation. Credit counseling can usually give you a clear picture of whether you can pay back your debts without bankruptcy or should indeed file for protection against your debt obligations.

Credit Counseling Cost

After you find your course, which can be completed online, as well as, in person, sign up and expect to pay a few ranging from $15 to $60. If you can’t afford this, speak with your bankruptcy attorney about receiving a fee waiver for pre-bankruptcy credit counseling. You may qualify for a complete fee waiver or partial fee waiver depending on your income is compared to the federal poverty lines.

Credit Counseling Bankruptcy Course

The pre-bankruptcy credit counseling course typically lasts around one hour, and you can expect to me with a credit counselor to go over your finances, discuss a repayment plan both with and without filing bankruptcy, and review the bankruptcy process. Once this is completed, you’ll receive a certificate to include in your voluntary petition for bankruptcy protection. You must complete file your bankruptcy paperwork within six months of the credit counseling course. If you wait longer than this, you will be forced take the course again.

What to Bring to Credit Counseling

When you meet with a credit counselor, you should bring all the information regarding your debts, income, and assets. This includes paycheck stubs or unemployment insurance documents, tax returns, credit card bills and medical bills, and mortgage and auto loan documents that outline the current balance due. Additionally, you’ll want to bring anything that shows your normal living expenses such as utilities, food, and transportation, internet, and phone bills. Also bring other items concerning income such as disability, pension, or government assistance records.

Pre-bankruptcy credit counseling was enacted into the US Bankruptcy Code to ensure that individuals understand what is involved in the bankruptcy. Not to mention, offer you the chance to take an objective look at your debt, contact a bankruptcy lawyer in Houston and decide if filing Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy is the best possible solution for your circumstances.