When you grapple with debt for an extended period of time, it has a negative effect on your emotional well-being. Even when you work additional hours and save extra money to put towards your overdue bills, it still just may not be enough. If you have found yourself in this position, you may be considering filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Atlanta. But, before you do, it is important that you learn more about the process, including the required credit counseling courses you must take before and after you file. The expert Chapter 7 bankruptcy attorneys at CMC Law will utilize their integrity and professionalism to help you make the right decisions for your financial future.
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Atlanta
Pre-Filing Credit Counseling Course
Before you can file for bankruptcy with a Chapter 7 lawyer, you are required to take a pre-bankruptcy credit counseling course. During this educational session, you will be assigned a counselor that will assess your expenses and income. They will work with you to create a repayment plan and determine if there are other avenues outside of bankruptcy that you can explore to resolve your debt. While you do not have to follow their recommended plan, you will need to file it in your records.
If your counselor determines that bankruptcy is the best course of action for your situation, they will educate you about the next steps that are involved in filing. Once you have completed the credit counseling course, you have 180 days to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Atlanta. If you do not file within this time frame, you will have to retake the course.
Post-Filing Credit Counseling Course
Once you have filed for bankruptcy with the assistance of a Chapter 7 attorney, you are obligated to take a second credit counseling course known as debtor education. During this session, you will be given financial tips and tools for creating budgets, effectively managing your money and strategies to rebuild your credit after your bankruptcy. Upon the completion of this course, you will be provided with a certificate that must be filed within 60 days of your first meeting of creditors. If you do not do this in the two-month period, your judge will dismiss your case.
Anticipated Costs and Other Considerations
As your Chapter 7 lawyer will tell you during your consultation, your credit counselor must be accredited by the United States Department of Treasury. You can find your own counselor through the U.S. Trustee’s website or get a recommendation from your Chapter 7 attorney. While there are fees associated with taking these pre- and post-filing credit counseling courses, they generally do not exceed $100 for each session. However, if you earn a lower income or are unable to make these payments, you can request a reduced rate or ask to have the fee waived altogether. Many counselors also work on a sliding scale, so it is always a good idea to check.
CMC Law Can Help You File for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Atlanta
The expert Chapter 7 bankruptcy attorneys at CMC Law understand that filing for bankruptcy is incredibly difficult and draining. As a result, they will treat you with the utmost respect and care to make this process as seamless as possible. Contact CMC Law today to schedule your free consultation.
At CMC Law, we serve and advocate for individuals who cannot always stand up for themselves.