Whether you took on high levels of debt because of a health condition, the loss of your job or some other hardship, it is pivotal to explore your options (such as comparing Chapter 13 and Chapter 7) and make sure that you understand the various requirements associated with the bankruptcy process. According to the Federal Trade Commission, those who wish to file for bankruptcy must obtain credit counseling no more than 180 days prior to the date they file for bankruptcy.
In addition to credit counseling, those with high levels of debt must finish a debt education class prior to the discharge of their debts.
Choosing the right credit counselor
On their site, the FTC outlines a number of factors that you should take into consideration when selecting a credit counselor. For example, you should ask various questions before working with a credit counselor, such as the fees they charge and whether they will help you set up a plan to avoid future financial hardships. You should review the services they provide, check their qualifications and make sure that they respect your private information. Unfortunately, some credit counselors fail to protect their clients’ sensitive information, such as their financial data and address.
Other credit counseling considerations
The FTC also states that credit counseling should go over personal budget plans, bankruptcy alternatives and an evaluation of one’s financial circumstances. These meetings, which sometimes occur in person or online, generally last between one hour to 90 minutes. Sometimes, people can secure fee waivers because they cannot afford to pay for counseling. Make sure you obtain a certificate after completing counseling.