The Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act (BAPCPA) of 2005 made major changes to previous bankruptcy law. Among these changes, BAPCPA added the requirement that debtors receive pre-bankruptcy credit counseling from an approved credit counselor within 180 days of filing for bankruptcy. After attending the mandatory counseling, the counseling organization issues a certificate as proof that you completed the requirement.
What to expect
A pre-bankruptcy counseling session usually takes 60 to 90 minutes. The session can be held on-line, over the phone, or in person. During the pre-bankruptcy counseling session, you will receive an evaluation of your finances, learn alternatives to bankruptcy, and learn how to create a personal budget.
How much it costs
The price varies depending on the organization, where you live, and what services you receive. However, the price is usually around $50. Before the counseling starts, the organization must disclose any fees it will charge. Furthermore, the organization must provide free counseling for people who do not have the means to pay. If you cannot afford the fee, you can ask the organization for a waiver before the start of the session. After you complete the counseling, the organization is not allowed to charge an extra fee in order for you to receive the certificate.
Where to go for counseling
Your Minnesota bankruptcy attorney can provide you with a list of credit counselors. You can also get a list of approved counselors from the Department of Justice list of Approved Bankruptcy Counseling Agencies.
Calling an attorney
Pre-bankruptcy credit counseling is only one of many requirements you have to meet to successfully file for bankruptcy. This is why you need an experienced Minnesota bankruptcy lawyer to help guide you through the requirements and processes involved in declaring bankruptcy. At Behm Law Group, LTD, we will assist you through the bankruptcy process to ensure that nothing stands in the way between you and the financial relief and protection you deserve. Give Behm Law Group LTD a call, and we will help you learn if bankruptcy is the appropriate option for your current financial situation.