Deciding to file for bankruptcy is not an easy decision, but it may be your best option if you do not see yourself paying off your debt in five years. The federal government requires two sessions of credit counseling: pre-filing counseling to start the process and pre-discharge counseling before your debts are forgiven. These sessions will help you understand how bankruptcy works and how to avoid financial devastation in the future.
The counseling sessions do not take long to complete. Here is what you can expect.
Pre-filing bankruptcy counseling is the first step in the bankruptcy process. If you do not go through pre-filing counseling before submitting your case to the court, it will be thrown out.
In addition to being an educational course to help you understand the advantages and disadvantages of going through bankruptcy, pre-filing counseling presents alternatives such as debt management to help you determine if bankruptcy is the best way to resolve your debt. Upon completion of the pre-filing session, you will receive a certificate of completion valid for 180 days. You will need that certificate if you decide to file for bankruptcy.
Pre-discharge counseling is the final step before the court finalizes your bankruptcy and discharges your debts. This counseling offers valuable financial education to help you manage your finances in the future. It focuses on your income, expenses and strategies to help you save money.
This class covers much of the same ground as the pre-filing session but with a focus on increasing your financial literacy. You will cover topics such as understanding your credit score, living on a budget and avoiding future financial risk. You will receive a certificate upon completion that you will need to present before the court before your debts can be discharged.
Before going into either session, gather documents that outline your income, expenses and debt to expedite the process. Expect each session to take between 90 minutes and two hours.
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If you are in financial crisis and considering filing for bankruptcy, contact an experienced Miami bankruptcy attorney who can advise you of all your options. As an experienced CPA as well as a proven bankruptcy lawyer, Timothy Kingcade knows how to help clients take full advantage of the bankruptcy laws to protect their assets and get successful results. Since 1996 Kingcade & Garcia, P.A. has been helping people from all walks of life build a better tomorrow. Our attorneys’ help thousands of people every year take advantage of their rights under bankruptcy protection to restart, rebuild and recover. The day you hire our firm, we will contact your creditors to stop the harassment. You can also find useful consumer information on the Kingcade & Garcia website at www.miamibankruptcy.com.