About mandatory credit counseling in the bankruptcy process

If you are considering filing for bankruptcy, you should be aware that before you file a petition for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you are required to complete mandatory credit counseling. Only a certified credit counseling agency approved by the Office of the U.S. Trustee. Joseph Wrobel, Ltd. keeps a current list of qualified credit counselors.

The credit counseling process is straightforward and can take place in person, online or by telephone, however the individual agencies offer various course options. The U.S. Department of Justice Trustee Program requires credit counseling before the bankruptcy case is filed and debtor education after the case is filed. In many cases, the same agency provides both credit counseling and debtor education.

Typical credit counseling sessions vary in length as individual clients present their finances and concerns. In most cases, the session takes about an hour.

The goal of credit counseling is to help individuals and spouses better understand their financial obligations, income and a plan to pay past, present and future bills. During the course of credit counseling individuals may determine that bankruptcy is the right option to provide a fresh financial start. The course counselor cannot give legal advice to the client as to whether or when they can file bankruptcy. Clients should make this decision on their own and often with the counseling of an experienced bankruptcy attorney.

In some cases, the individual planning to file a bankruptcy is unavailable due to hospitalization or incarceration. When a power of attorney document is signed, the appointed people with power to file a bankruptcy petition for the individual, they may also complete the credit counseling course on their behalf. In cases where a client has given an attorney power of attorney, the attorney may also satisfy mandatory credit counseling requirements for the client.

After counseling is completed, the participant receives a certificate of completion, which must be attached when filing a petition for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy.

There are additional statutory rules about mandatory credit counseling and provisions for clients with special needs such as language and special accommodation requests. The attorneys at Joseph Wrobel, Ltd. can answer all your questions about mandatory credit counseling as it applies to the bankruptcy process.

Joseph Wrobel, Ltd. helps people get control of their finances and a fresh start at financial freedom. The firm’s website contains informative videos about financial issues as well as bankruptcy protection for families who want a fresh start. To keep in touch and read about consumer finance news and stories you can Like the firm’s Facebook page and Follow Joseph Wrobel. Ltd. onTwitter. If you need immediate legal assistance, please call Joseph Wrobel, Ltd. by calling (312) 781-0996 to talk to an attorney today.