Bankruptcy is a major financial decision. If you are filing for bankruptcy, you must participate in two bankruptcy counseling sessions: a Pre-Bankruptcy Credit Counseling and a Post-Bankruptcy Debtor Education course. Learn more about each of these bankruptcy counseling courses here.
Bankruptcy Counseling for Chapter 7 & Chapter 13
Bankruptcy is a debt solution handled in a federal court where a debtor’s assets are liquidated, and they are relieved of further liability. There are two types of bankruptcy: Chapter 7 and Chapter 13.
Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
Chapter 7 is when the court appoints a Trustee who may liquidate or sell some things that you own to pay your creditors for your consumer debt. As a result, your debts will be mostly canceled. You can choose to pay some creditors, typically to retain a car or home.
Chapter 13 is a similar debt solution. Your debt is simply reorganized into one monthly payment that continues for 36 to 60 months. The plan cannot go longer than five years, and you don’t have to repay all of your consumer debt. You pay only as much as you can afford. However, the minimum payment may be affected by the property you want to keep. Debts unpaid are discharged when you finish making payments.
Pre-Bankruptcy Credit Counseling
The Pre-Bankruptcy Credit Counseling includes an analysis of your current financial condition and information about alternatives to bankruptcy. You also receive help to develop a plan to respond to your current financial state without taking on more debt. The bankruptcy counseling session typically takes 60 to 90 minutes.
Prior to filing for bankruptcy, you must participate in this session . It must be done by a non-profit credit counseling agency, approved by the U.S. Trustee’s Office. Once you complete the counseling, you will receive a certificate that is valid for 6 months from the date listed at the top of your bankruptcy certificate.
Post-Bankruptcy Debtor Education Course
The Post-Bankruptcy Debtor Education Course must include written information and instruction on budget development, money management, wise use of credit, and consumer information. The course is a minimum of two hours. Like the pre-bankruptcy counseling, this course must be provided by an agency approved by the U.S. Trustee’s Office.
The bankruptcy counseling sessions are a helpful part of the process navigating away from unhealthy financial habits. Bankruptcy is not an easy process but can give someone struggling with debt a fresh financial start.
If you’re struggling to pay off debt, ACCC can help. Schedule a free credit counseling session with us today.