Thursday, May 30, 2013

You Must Take A Credit Counseling Course Before Filing For Bankruptcy

Before a debtor can file for bankruptcy, they must take a credit counseling course beforehand and then a financial management course before the discharge can be granted. This requirement has been in effect since 2005, when the bankruptcy code was revised. These courses are intended to educate debtors and to aid in positive financial management.

Once the course became a necessity for filing for bankruptcy and receiving a discharge, people were under the impression that obtaining bankruptcy protection became more difficult. It's really just a matter of knowing what steps to take beforehand to ensure a successful outcome.

The credit counseling course must be completed within 180 day pror to the filing of the bankruptcy petition. Be wary of just any course, not all are approved by the bankruptcy courts. Your attorney can present you a list of approved agencies to consider. Once the initial course is finished you will have to complete a financial management course after filing for bankruptcy. A certificate of completion of the second course must be filed within 45 days after the meeting of the creditors takes place. This will ensure that your discharge will go through as scheduled.

The courses may appear as just another hoop to jump through in the filing process, but many debtors that have completed it feel it was worth the undertaking in assisting them with planning a successful financial future.

Contact Minnesota Bankruptcy Attorney Gregory Wald at 952-921-5802 for information on which credit counseling agency to choose. Attorney Wald will go over the steps required to begin your bankruptcy case in order to achieve the best possible result.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Set Yourself Up For Success After Bankruptcy

Now that you've successfully discharged or restructured your debts in bankruptcy, it's time to think about your financial future. Here are some important steps to take to ensure your success:
  • Compile a list of any debts that were discharged in bankruptcy. Certain debts such as student loans, child support, spousal support, and some types of taxes are not eliminated in bankruptcy cases. Be sure to pay any debts that were not discharged in a timely fashion to keep your finances in good standing.
  • Keep all of your bankruptcy papers in a safe place. In the event that a creditor mistakenly attempts to collect a discharged debt, you will have proof that it was included in your bankruptcy. If you happen to lose your discharge order, another copy can be obtained from the clerk of bankruptcy court.
  • Keep an eye on your credit reports after your bankruptcy. Make sure that your credit report reflects your discharged debts as having a zero balance. According to a recent government study, one in five consumers have an error in a credit report issued by a major agency.
  • Since most types of liens survive bankruptcy discharges, verify the balance on any liens you may have. Know how much you owe and continue making payments on time if you wish to keep the secured property. If you fail to do so, your creditors may enforce the lien.
  • Set aside money for an emergency fund. It is important to have enough money saved in case situations arise such as a job loss, car repairs, medical expenses, or other emergencies. Experts recommend having enough money saved to cover at least three months of expenses.
  • Create a realistic budget. Refrain from buying things that you can't afford, or need -- Especially when it comes to using credit. Try to use cash for your purchases when possible. Don't succumb to the high interest credit card offers that you'll be getting in the mail after your bankruptcy, because there will be plenty of offers.
Setting yourself up for success after bankruptcy is important so that you don't fall into old bad habits. For more information on bankruptcy and life after, contact Minnesota Bankruptcy Attorney Gregory Wald today at 1-866-747-1130.