Credit Counseling and Debt Management

As part of the significant changes that were made to the Bankruptcy Code in 2005, you must now work through credit counseling before you can file for bankruptcy protection in Killeen and across the U.S. Once you have completed the credit counseling session and work through the bankruptcy process, you will still need to complete a debtor education course. While I do not believe that there is anything necessarily wrong with credit counseling, I do think that many of the credit counselors themselves can be problematic for people considering bankruptcy in Killeen.

Credit Counseling

When you seek out the services of a credit counselor to help with a financial issue, you should be aware that many of these “credit counselors” actually work for non-profit organizations that have been set up by credit card companies. Since these counselors are not legally obligated to inform you of who is funding their organization, there is a good chance that you may never be aware of this fact while you are being counseled. Bearing that in mind, you should be pretty wary of the solutions many of these counselors recommend to help you deal with your debt.

In fact, a pre-bankruptcy credit counseling session must be completed before you can even file for bankruptcy. The credit card industry was instrumental in making this stipulation part of the Bankruptcy Code in 2005. These counseling sessions are conducted online where you will be asked to fill in the blanks of an internet form to get your “certificate.” Once you have your certificate, you can heed the advice of your bankruptcy attorney and file for bankruptcy protection. Needless to say, many bankruptcy attorneys find this requirement to be somewhat offensive; we can help people like you make much better sense of their options than a generic online form. That being said, the credit counseling sessions are pretty painless and they have never affected a person’s ability to later file for bankruptcy.

Debtor Education

The amendments made to the Bankruptcy Code in 2005 also dictate that after completing your bankruptcy you must go through a debtor education course—a stipulation for which the credit card industry also pushed to enact. In general, our team in Killeen would agree that this is a good requirement for people working through bankruptcy. While none of our clients ever wanted to file for bankruptcy to begin with, our team in Killeen believes that it is useful for our clients to learn how to better manage their money so they will never be in the same situation again.

When you work with our team, you will fulfill your debtor education requirement by simply watching a DVD. In the DVD, financial planner and syndicated talk show host Dave Ramsay describes his experiences while working through Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Houston. The lessons he learned and insights he gained during that process provide our clients with invaluable tools to help them manage their money after bankruptcy so that they may regain control over their finances. The DVD is easy to watch; Dave is an affable guy with some pretty hilarious things to say. Dave knows exactly what our clients are going through, and all of our clients come away with some valuable lessons after listening to what he has to say about their present situation and the future.

Additionally, when you work with Erin B. Shank, PC, the cost of both of these courses will be included in your fees. Moreover, our team will be there to help you answer any and all questions you might have about signing up for both courses.

Consult with Our Team in Killeen

If you are thinking about filing for bankruptcy protection, you should call the Killeen offices of Erin B. Shank, PC. Though I will be happy to help you work through every aspect of the bankruptcy process if you decide to file for protection, I can also help you understand all of the other alternatives that may be available to you. That being said, you can trust that I will tell you if I think that bankruptcy is not right for you and your situation; I would never put my own needs before your own. To learn more about the options that may be available to you, please call the Killeen offices of Erin B. Shank, PC, at (254) 690-4110.