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The Credit Counseling Bankruptcy Requirement

Posted on October 16th, 2022

Bankruptcy Lawyer

The decision to file for bankruptcy is a serious one, and the different requirements of the bankruptcy process are meant to ensure individuals who file for bankruptcy appreciate the decision to do so. One such requirement is the mandatory credit counseling that all individuals who file either a Chapter 7 or a Chapter 13 bankruptcy petition are required to complete. Read on for the purpose of this requirement, as well as what a petitioner can expect when fulfilling it.

The Purpose of Credit Counseling

It is not only beneficial but crucial for all parties who decide to enter into bankruptcy to understand the process and the consequences of making that decision. The credit counseling course that is required to be completed by all debtors planning to file a bankruptcy petition gives debtors the ability to understand the advantages, disadvantages, and alternatives to declaring bankruptcy before their petition is filed. This ensures that all petitioners enter into their bankruptcy case with a working knowledge of what the process entails, the consequences they may or will face because of filing, and any alternatives to bankruptcy that may be available to them.

What to Expect

The counseling session must occur with an approved agency within six months of filing the bankruptcy petition. An experienced bankruptcy attorney should provide his or her clients with more information on approved credit counseling sessions at little or no cost. A typical session will usually last around 60 to 90 minutes and cover general information about the bankruptcy process itself, as well as potential alternatives to bankruptcy and the advantages and disadvantages of the process.

Many programs also include a budget analysis personalized to the participating debtor, and touch on what circumstances or other factors led the debtor to this point of financial hardship. The counseling sessions may be in person, over the phone, or, more likely today, on the internet. After they complete the course, debtors will receive a certificate of completion, which they will provide to their attorney to include in the bankruptcy petition prior to filing.

Choosing a Credit Counselor

In order for a credit counseling session to fulfill the bankruptcy requirement, it must be performed by an approved provider in the debtor’s judicial district. A qualified bankruptcy lawyer will be able to assist the client in choosing a proper credit counselor, or at least point them in the right direction, but some key questions to keep in mind include:

  • What services does the program offer?
  • Does the program include a plan for avoiding similar financial problems in the future?
  • What are the fees?
  • What qualifications and training do the counselors have?
  • Is personal information kept confidential and secure?

Contact a Bankruptcy Law Firm Today

An experienced bankruptcy lawyer can help to further alleviate any concerns you may have about the bankruptcy process and prepare you for what to expect based on your individual situation.

If you are considering filing for bankruptcy, do not file without obtaining legal advice. Call an experienced attorney, like a bankruptcy lawyer from a law firm like Therman Law Offices, LTD.


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