Chapter 7 bankruptcy gives you a fresh start with your finances. Yes, it’s stressful to consider bankruptcy as a solution. But the right bankruptcy attorney can make the process easier. In today’s blog from Groce & DeArmon, P.C., we look at whether or not you must go through credit counseling before filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
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Must You Go Through Credit Counseling First?
Yes. Congress passed sweeping changes to bankruptcy laws with the 2005 Bankruptcy Act. One of those changes included a requirement that all individuals must undergo credit counseling within six months before filing for bankruptcy relief, whether it’s for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13. After filing for bankruptcy, you must also complete a financial management course.
Where Can You Find a Credit Counseling Agency?
The U.S. Trustee Program maintains a list of approved credit counseling agencies for you to look over ahead of filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Many of these agencies are nonprofit organizations, meaning they offer their services for free or at a reduced charge. In general, if your income is 150 percent of the poverty line or less, you are entitled to a fee waiver or fee reduction.
Fees for Credit Counseling
Chapter 7 bankruptcy filers obtain a certificate of completion from a credit counseling agency. The agency often has a fee for issuing the certificate. Any agency you choose must reveal to you any fees for their services before you sign up for credit counseling.
Submit to the Court
Your certificate of completion goes to the court on the day you file for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. The certificate lets the trustee know that you completed the course and the bankruptcy can proceed as normal. Groce & DeArmon can help you decide which credit counseling agency is right for you. Many agencies offer online classes, while a few provide in-person counseling for filers.
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Bankruptcy Attorneys at Groce & DeArmon, P.C.
The bankruptcy attorneys at Groce & DeArmon, P.C., offer a way to wipe the slate clean with Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Missouri. We’re here to help you through this difficult time. Contact Groce & DeArmon, P.C., or call toll-free 1-800-640-3706 in Missouri or (417) 862-3706 to schedule a free consultation about our services.