Credit Counseling Required 6 Months Before Filing Bankruptcy
Brandon, FL (Law Firm Newswire) April 26, 2012 - To protect creditors from bankruptcy abuse, it is mandatory for people going into bankruptcy to go through credit counseling about six months before filing.
The credit counseling has to be valid in the bankruptcy court, so it is important to research the requirements to make sure the counseling meets the criteria.
“The bankruptcy petition will likely be thrown out if the credit counseling was not done correctly,” said Brandon bankruptcy attorney Reginald Osenton. “Make sure to use a pre-approved counseling agency, and get it done as soon in the process as possible because there will be a 180-day wait until the filing can happen after that.”
The U.S. Department of Justice has a Trustee Program that approves credit-counseling agencies. Approved agencies are nonprofit organizations that meet the trustees requirements for educating clients.
The Justice Department’s Trustee Program can be found and researched online at http://www.justice.gov/ust/index.htm.
A credit counseling session can be as brief as an hour and can be completed online, over the phone or in person. Most counselors change for their services, but there are options to get the service free of charge, too. Debt relief is not always achieved with credit counseling.
“The smartest thing to do is to talk to a bankruptcy attorney first,” Osenton said. “An attorney’s experience pays off as people try to find the best way through their situation. Credit counseling is an important part of the process. There is a good reason why the justice department wants people to go through it, and it is important for that part of the process to be regulated.”
Osenton Law Office, PA
500 Lithia Pinecrest Road
Brandon, Florida 33511
Call: (813) 654-5777
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