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Breaking Down Bankruptcy: Credit Counseling


There are many steps involved in filing bankruptcy, a fact which can make the process seem more complicated than it really is. With the right West Palm Beach bankruptcy attorney to offer guidance and a good understanding of what a filing involves, declaring bankruptcy does not have to be difficult at all. In fact, it can be an excellent method of relieving debt and get a fresh start.

Before a debtor even files for bankruptcy, he must first participate in a session of credit counseling mandated by the federal government. The bankruptcy process is completed with a credit counseling session as well. Here is an overview of the counseling that the courts require.

The Counseling Sessions

The important thing to remember in regards to pre-filing counseling is that if this session is not completed before bankruptcy is filed, the case will not be considered by the courts. During this session, a borrower has the opportunity to learn more about what filing for bankruptcy entails, allowing him to make an informed decision before doing so. The primary purpose of this session is to outline the alternatives to filing, in hopes that the debtor will opt to go another route. However, this usually does not end up being the case. Upon completion, a certificate is awarded which serves as proof that the session was taken. This certificate is only valid for 180 days.

Before a bankruptcy is actually made official, one must undergo pre-discharge counseling. This session is a means of educating debtors on how to manage finances in the future in order to stay out of debt. Once the court is presented with a certificate of completion, debts can be discharged.

How to Set it Up

Only credit counseling agencies approved by the Department of Justice are accepted by the bankruptcy courts. You do not necessarily have to meet in person for this session — it can easily be done over the phone or even online. You can expect to pay somewhere between $25 and $50 for the session, and you should set aside up to two hours for the session itself.

Even before signing up for pre-filing credit counseling, it is advisable to seek out the expertise of a reputable West Palm Beach bankruptcy attorney. The team at Kelley Kaplan & Eller is here to answer your most pressing questions, so call today  for a bankruptcy consultation.

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