New Jersey and Pennsylvania Bankruptcy Credit Counseling Certificate

Whether you file a bankruptcy in Cherry Hill, NJ or Bensalem, PA or anywhere else you are required to take a Consumer Bankruptcy course not more than 180 days before filing. This can be done by telephone or online.

A credit counseling certificate is also known as a bankruptcy certificate. If you file for bankruptcy, you must obtain certificates at two stages of the process: 1.) When you file for bankruptcy, 2.) After you file for bankruptcy but before your debts are discharged

To receive these credit counseling certificates, you must complete two courses from a debt relief agency that is approved by the Department of Justice. The course requirements are in two provisions of the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005, which mandates financial counseling and education for persons filing for bankruptcy. The first course, taken before the bankruptcy can be filed,  focuses on issues involved in bankruptcy and alternatives to bankruptcy, while the second provides information on how to manage your personal finances. The purpose of requiring these credit courses is to provide debtors the skills and resources needed to avoid future financial problems. While it is true that someone may have to file more than one bankruptcy in their lifetime, often circumstances such as divorce, illness or loss of employment rather than poor money management are the causes.

The first credit counseling certificate must be received before you can file for bankruptcy. To achieve this, you must enroll in a 60- to 90-minute pre-bankruptcy counseling session. The cost is usually between fifteen dollars and fifty dollars. Counseling agencies are required to provide pre-bankruptcy credit counseling at no charge in cases of financial hardship. By completing this counseling session you will earn a credit counseling certificate which is valid for six months if you decide to proceed with the bankruptcy.

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