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Bankruptcy May Be Your Option

Credit counseling part of personal bankruptcy

Many people in Oklahoma find themselves struggling with debt. Because of the unexpected loss of a job or medical bills, they often have trouble keeping their heads above water, financially speaking. While they are willing to work hard to meet their financial obligations, many are left unable to pay their bills and the basic necessities of life. As a result, they spend a great deal of time examining their options and often come to the conclusion that the best course of action for their circumstances is to file for personal bankruptcy.

Once the decision to seek bankruptcy protection is made, they must also decide whether Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy is best for them. Regardless of which option is chosen, petitioners must complete both pre-filing and pre-discharge counseling. The Executive Office of U.S. Trustees must have approved the credit counseling program.

The specific contents and costs of the programs may vary somewhat from state to state. However, pre-filing counseling takes approximately an hour to complete and is aimed at ensuring that the petitioner understands his or her financial situation as well as their options and the consequences of seeking bankruptcy protection. The pre-discharge course lasts for approximately two hours. While it is evaluated by the Justice Department to ensure that all standards are met, there is no set curriculum.

Whether to seek personal bankruptcy protection is a complicated decision. For many in Oklahoma, however, it is the best option for their unique situations. In order to complete the process, petitions must provide certificates proving that they met pre-filing and pre-discharge counseling. This counseling in addition to the advice and guidance of an experienced attorney can help debtors ensure they fully understand the options available to them.

Source: nerdwallet.com, "What to Know About Credit Counseling for Bankruptcy", Oct. 10, 2016

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