Consumer Credit Counseling
and Debt Management
Under the new bankruptcy laws all debtors are required to complete consumer credit counseling before filing and a debt management course before your bankruptcy can be discharged.
The Credit Counseling evaluates your income and your debts to determine where you are financially and helps you to understand your options, which would include bankruptcy. However, by law, the Credit Counselors can’t advise you whether you should file for bankruptcy.
This process takes anywhere from 45 to 90 minutes and will cost between $15.00 and $45.00. The new bankruptcy law states that these agencies must provide credit counseling services without regard to a client’s ability to pay and must disclose the possibility of a fee waiver or fee reduction before beginning the counseling session.
The credit counseling certificate is good for six months (180 days).
Before your bankruptcy can be discharged you are required to take a personal financial management course which can also be done online or over the phone. This course was made mandatory after the new bankruptcy law went into effect as the result of an assumption by congress that most people who file bankruptcy don’t know how to manage their money appropriately. This course is meant to provide the debtor tools and information to avoid financial problems due to poor money management in the future.
The cost for the debt management program is also between $15.00 – $45.00 and you also may be able to qualify for a fee waiver or reduction.