For many people, filing for bankruptcy is a last resort to end the challenges they face struggling with insurmountable debt. If you decide to file bankruptcy you will need to work with an experienced bankruptcy attorney and complete mandatory credit counseling through a government-approved agency.
In accordance with the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005, anyone filing for bankruptcy must receive two certificates: one for pre-filing bankruptcy counseling and one for a pre-discharge education course.
This counseling typically includes a complete review of your financial situation, including current income, household budget and a list of all unsecured debt. Counselors will discuss alternatives to bankruptcy, such as consolidation, debt management, and direct negotiation with your creditors. The entire process takes up to one hour.
After filing for bankruptcy, you also must take a pre-discharge education course. This course lasts two hours and is evaluated by the Justice Department to ensure the topics are in compliance. Topics oftentimes include: budgeting, financial products and tools, credit scores, contracts and consumer protection laws.
It can also include interactive tools, including pre- and post-tests, to measure the level of knowledge about these topics, which are important to understand in order to re-establish personal finances, rebuild credit and avoid getting back in debt. These courses are available online and allow filers to meet the necessary requirements to earn their bankruptcy pre-discharge education certificate.
Here are some ways to get the most out of your bankruptcy counseling:
- Make sure you receive counseling from a reputable agency (one that is not only approved by the government, but a member of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling and in good standing with the Better Business Bureau);
- Commit to your credit counseling. Set aside a block of time dedicated to these sessions.
- Ask the counselors to explain anything you do not understand. They will answer any questions you have, as long as they are not legal-related. These should be directed to your bankruptcy attorney.
If you are in financial crisis and considering filing for bankruptcy, contact an experienced Miami bankruptcy attorney who can advise you of all of 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.
Related Resources: https://www.nerdwallet.com/blog/finance/know-credit-counseling-bankruptcy/