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Pre-Filing Credit Counseling is a Quick and Easy Internet Survey - Getting Help is Easy

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Credit Counseling became a requirement in 2005 as part of the New Laws enacted by the Federal Government - A Work In Progress, but Mandatory

Bankruptcy law requires natural persons (but not entities like corporations, LLCs, trusts or partnerships) to complete a credit counseling course, also known as the pre-filing credit briefing or pre-bankruptcy credit briefing, prior to filing a bankruptcy case. And prior to completing the bankruptcy case and receiving a discharge, natural persons must complete a personal financial management course. Both programs issue a certificate at the end that must be filed with the Clerk of the Bankruptcy Court.

Both programs are informal, easily accessible by internet and telephone, English, Spanish and other languages are supported and the fees for the programs range from under $10 to $50 which you can pay directly to the provider or through your attorney.

The credit counseling requirement in bankruptcy is a paper tiger. The course providers do not have the authority to flunk you or even grade you. The process is more of a survey that involves disclosing your current income and expenses, debts and assets and describing current problems with debt. Providers suggest helpful reading and resources available to aid with budgeting and debt management, and sometimes including gentle prodding to encourage you to tighten your belt (which unfortunately is of no help to many who have lost a job, a spouse, their home or their health long before even considering bankruptcy).

It would be a huge mistake to delay filing a bankruptcy case because you think you cannot complete the pre-bankruptcy credit briefing and the pre-discharge personal financial management course. These requirements are not tests, rather they are more like surveys, there are no wrong answers, you cannot fail, you merely have to finish, you do not receive a grade and your participation is not evaluated or scrutinized at any time during your average bankruptcy filing.

In the scheme of things, the mandatory pre-filing credit briefing is truly the least of your problems. We have had dozens of clients that, unwisely, waited until hours before their homes were scheduled for foreclosure, who arrived in our offices at 8:00 in the morning and completed the credit briefing by 8:25 and then we filed the emergency bankruptcy Petition to stop the foreclosure before 9:00, with a couple minutes to spare. If you spend more than about 45 minutes completing the credit briefing, you might be taking it too seriously (there are bigger fish to fry).

All program providers must be approved by the US Department of Justice, United States Trustee Program. There are dozens of approved providers (here's a list), most provide the completion certificates directly to your attorneys office for filing with the Court and some may file the certificates directly with the Court for you.

Attorney Fees Limited by US Bankruptcy Court

The professional fees you pay filing for bankruptcy are limited by law and the Court can and does require attorneys who over-charge for bankruptcy services to refund excessive fees (click here for recent case).

- CLICK HERE for MORE ABOUT BANKRUPTCY ATTORNEY FEES -

 

(602) 266-1212 |(480) 827-0777 | (855) 512-0777

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Copyright © 2017 Anthony Clark and Associates, PLLC

 

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