You may have heard that when the federal bankruptcy law was amended a few years ago, Congress put in a few new hoops to jump through. To a degree, this is true. There is now, for example, a requirement that someone filing for bankruptcy under Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 attend a bankruptcy counseling session.
Keep in mind, however, that this is only one session, usually of about 90 minutes long. It’s not as if you have to go to a series of sessions stretching on for weeks on end. Instead, you can go just participate once and be done with it.
Actually, the format doesn’t even have to be face-to-face. The session could be conducted by phone or over the Internet.
Once you take it, you may find the session itself quite informative. You’ll get an overview of how the bankruptcy process works and how it compares to other debt relief alternatives. This is also a good chance to review what caused your financial challenges and use a budget analysis to examine the impact those challenges have on your day-to-day financial life.
Once you complete the session, you’ll get a certificate of completion. This certificate can then be included with the bankruptcy petition in filing for bankruptcy.
Once you have filed for bankruptcy, you’ll know you’ve taken a big step toward achieving financial peace of mind. More tangibly, you’ll have the benefits of the automatic stay going for you in dealing with creditors.
There is also a pre-discharge session on financial management that is necessary to finalize a bankruptcy. Like the bankruptcy counseling requirement, however, the financial management course is not really a big hurdle to get over on your way to debt relief through bankruptcy.
Source: “What is Bankruptcy Counseling?” National Foundation for Credit Counseling
Our firm handles situations similar to those discussed in this post. To learn more about our practice, please visit our San Antonio consumer bankruptcy page.