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Credit counseling required before filing for bankruptcy

As a Florida resident who is grappling with increasingly overwhelming debt, you may be working through your options and trying to figure out whether filing for bankruptcy may help you get your finances back in order. Before you do so, however, you will need to participate in credit counseling at some point during the 180 days leading up to your filing. At the office of Kingcade Garcia McMaken, we have a firm understanding of the various steps you must take ahead of a bankruptcy filing, and we have helped many clients facing similar circumstances take care of these and similar matters.

According to the Federal Trade Commission, anyone who files for bankruptcy will need to take an approved credit counseling course before filing. The U.S. Department of Justice's U.S. Trustee Program maintains a list of available approved programs, and you will need to furnish proof of completing such a program before you can move forward with your bankruptcy case.

So, what, exactly, does pre-bankruptcy credit counseling entail? First, you can anticipate a close review of your finances so you can determine how you got to this point and what you might be able to do differently moving forward. Next, you can plan on discussing possible alternatives to filing for bankruptcy as well as how you plan to create and follow a budget in the aftermath of your filing.

Typically, you will have options as far as how to conduct your credit counseling session, meaning you will be able to do so in person, over the phone or online. The cost of the credit counseling session, which typically lasts between an hour and an hour and a half, typically falls close to $50, but you may be able to avoid the fee if you can prove you are unable to afford it. You can learn more about the bankruptcy process on our webpage.

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