As you may be aware, the new bankruptcy laws require that you attend a credit counseling session and receive a certificate from an approved counselor prior to filing your case. The certificate of completion of the credit counseling session must be filed with your bankruptcy case. Therefore, your attorney must a have a copy of the certificate before your case can be filed.
The new bankruptcy laws also require that you attend a Personal Financial Management session and receive a certificate from an approved counselor prior within a certain time period after filing your case. The certificate of completion of Personal Financial Management should be provided to your attorney prior to your Meeting of the Creditors.
Prices for these courses tend to range from anywhere between $25 and $50 each. You will probably not have to attend these classes in person, as most offer internet and/or telephone counseling sessions. The two classes are each roughly only an hour long.
Do not trust your class provider to send on the certificate to your attorney. Have them send the certificates to you as well and email them to your attorney, making reference to the certificates in the email itself.
Fees that a counselor may charge are rarely part of your attorney fees. You will likely be responsible for making direct payments to the counselor for their fees.
Below is a list of three providers that are approved in both Washington and Oregon. It is by no means an exhaustive list of all the providers in Washington and Oregon.I am enclosing the identities of three providers. All of these providers include courses over the phone and online. Each of the providers below offer both the Credit Counseling and Personal Financial Management Courses. No matter which provider you choose, please request that they either email your proof of completion your attorney.
- Cricket Debt Counseling, 1-866-719-0400, http://www.cricketdebt.com/
- Institute for Financial Literacy, Inc.,1-866-662-4932, www.financiallit.org
- Money Management International, 1-877-918-2227, www.moneymanagement.org