What Is the Role of Credit Counseling in Bankruptcy?

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Once you conclude that a bankruptcy declaration is the best move to make, you cannot file straight away. Rather, you must first fulfill the necessary step of attending a credit counseling course within 180 days before your bankruptcy filing date. Continue reading to learn the purpose of credit counseling and how an experienced Rockland County bankruptcy attorney at The Law Offices of Allen A. Kolber, Esq. can help you get the most out of it.

What is the purpose of credit counseling in a bankruptcy filing?

Simply put, the function of credit counseling is to determine whether you need to file for bankruptcy at all. This is because, if the agency determines that a bankruptcy declaration is not necessary for your current financial standing, you may pivot to alternative resolutions. Namely, you may instead create a manageable budget to follow for the foreseeable future. Or, you may negotiate a repayment plan with your outstanding lenders.

This is all in an effort to help you avoid the time-consuming and emotionally draining procedure that is bankruptcy proceedings when you do not even need to undergo them in the first place. What’s more, it may help you dodge the negative, collateral damage that comes with bankruptcy proceedings (i.e., diminished credit scores, long-term record on your credit report, difficulties in obtaining housing and loans, etc). Evidently, this is why you must attend this counseling before your filing date.

How is this different from a debtor education course?

You must understand that the credit counseling course you attend is different than the debtor education course. Nonetheless, both are necessary steps in the bankruptcy process. With that, the purpose of a debtor education course is to provide you with the knowledge and tools to better manage your finances going forward. This is all in the hopes that you will not need to file for a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy ever again.

Of note, you must attend and complete this course within 60 days from the date on which your 341 meeting of creditors took place. It is also worth mentioning that it is required for you to attend and complete this course before any of your dischargeable debts can be eliminated.  In other words, failure to meet this requirement translates into a continued liability to pay off certain debts. There is likely no exception for skipping this step; unless there are no court-approved course providers in your area or ones that are available in a language you understand, as a couple of examples.

Undoubtedly, there is a lot to consider before attending this counseling and course. So your next order of business should be to initiate a conversation with a skilled Rockland County bankruptcy attorney. Someone at The Law Offices of Allen A. Kolber, Esq. will be awaiting your phone call.