Am I Required to do Credit Counseling?

Am I Required to do Credit Counseling?

Before an individual can file bankruptcy, that person is required to complete a “credit counseling course”. If a is couple filing, both individuals are required to complete the course. The course must be completed within 180 days before the filing of the bankruptcy, any earlier and it has to be repeated.

Several options are available including online, over the telephone, and in person. The costs vary according to which particular option you choose. One of the best quality, inexpensive online versions approved in Idaho costs only $16 through Urgent Counseling. Our recommended program for over the telephone is Access Counseling, Inc. The telephone option costs $29. We use the in person counseling so rarely that we do not have a recommendation to make in Idaho.
The debtor filing bankruptcy is required to do both pre-filing and post-filing bankruptcy counseling. Urgent Counseling has a separate website for post-counseling, which is Solid Start Financial and it costs $24. Access Counseling charges $15 for their post-filing online credit course.

Typically, you will want to wait until directed by your attorney before completing your pre-filing counseling. Sometimes it is in your best interest to wait before filing your bankruptcy and the waiting period might put you outside the 180 day window. Waiting might be in your interest for anything from a large deposit in an account to waiting for another lawsuit to be resolved.

The time required to complete the courses varies according to the person. An individual comfortable with computers can complete the online pre-filing counseling in anywhere from 20-45 minutes. It depends on how slowly you read and how thoroughly you review the material. The post-filing counseling can be considerably shorter, but still requires some time and varies according to capability.

Be aware that typically you will need to collect documentation for many of the questions that the websites ask from you (or on the telephone). The documentation you will need will be basically the same as what you provided to your attorney for the bankruptcy. Also be aware that even if you complete the online counseling, you will still be required to visit on the phone with an individual from the counseling service. If you complete the online counseling, the phone conversation usually lasts only about 5 minutes.

We would be happy to assist you in learning about bankruptcy and fulfilling the steps necessary to file in Idaho. We will also help you ascertain whether bankruptcy is right for your situation. You will need the assistance of a lawyer to file a bankruptcy and it will be easier for you to engage one early on. Please drop us a line at the right or give us a call at Idaho Bankruptcy Law.