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What Happens During a Pre-filing Credit Counseling Session?

Posted on in Bankruptcy

What Happens During a Pre-filing Credit Counseling Session?

When you file for bankruptcy, you are required to receive credit counseling from a qualified source. This is to help you gain insight about how debt and credit work, how you got into your particular situation, and to help you develop strategies that you can use to avoid going into unmanageable debt again in the future.

If you are considering filing for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you might be wondering what to expect from your pre-filing credit counseling session. The thought of having to sit down with a professional and discuss personal details of your financial life can be stressful, but remember, it is ultimately to help you come out of your bankruptcy stronger and ready to manage your finances in a healthy, productive way.

Your Debt and Expenses are Evaluated

It is important to bring all documentation you have that shows your current financial situation. Documents showing your income, your assets, your living expenses, and your debt should come to the session with you because these are the documents the counselor will use to determine an appropriate budget plan for you.

You will need to be honest about your lifestyle during the session. Although it can be awkward or embarrassing to discuss how you have spent your money in the past and where your money is going now, your credit counselor cannot help you if he or she cannot see the whole picture. Swallow your pride and go to your credit counseling session ready to make drastic changes in your life.

You are Given a Budget Plan

You also need to go to the session with an open mind. Upon determining your expenses and your available income, your counselor will create a budget plan for you. In fact, he or she might determine that you do not need to file for bankruptcy and may instead determine ways you can help yourself out of your debt.

Express your concerns about the budget plan to the counselor. Do not be afraid to speak up, but understand that he or she is a counselor, not a magician. He or she cannot help you if you are not willing to help yourself and the best he or she can do is determine a budget strategy for you. You have to be willing to put in the work to get through the bankruptcy process. After the session, you are given a certificate of completion. This is valid for six months, during which time you may file for bankruptcy.

Work with an Experienced Chicago Bankruptcy Attorney

If you are facing bankruptcy because of your current financial situation, first speak with an experienced bankruptcy attorney to determine all of your options and the best way for you to proceed. Contact our team of experienced bankruptcy attorneys at Newland & Newland, LLP today to set up your initial legal consultation with us. Our offices serve Arlington Heights, Libertyville, Waukegan, Itasca, and Chicago.

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