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What is the Difference Between Credit Counseling and Debtor Education?

In 2011, Georgia had 73,852 bankruptcy filings, 96 percent of which were consumer filings. This ranked Georgia as among one of the states with the largest number of filings in the year. When filing for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Georgia, you must complete a credit counseling and debtor education session. Both are meant to help you plan your budget and put you in the best possible financial situation, but each have specific factors that are important to understand. A list of approved Georgia and Atlanta credit counseling agencies can be found on the U.S. Department of Justice website.

Credit counseling

You must attend a credit counseling session within the 180 days before you file for bankruptcy in Georgia. At this session, which takes approximately 60 to 90 minutes, you and your counselor discuss your financial situation, your budget and alternatives to bankruptcy. This is to confirm that filing is the best option for your situation — your counselor can also draft a repayment plan that does not require bankruptcy, a plan that you do not have to follow if you are not comfortable with it.

You can complete your credit counseling session in person, over the phone or online. If you cannot afford to pay for the session, you can request a fee waiver to attend for free.

Debtor Education

After you file for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you must complete a debtor education course before you can receive a discharge. This course takes about two hours, and you can complete it in person, over the phone or online. Here, you receive help creating a budget after bankruptcy, learn how to manage your finances and get counseling on using credit wisely. If you do not complete this course, your case may be closed.

Receiving an attorney’s advice on your debtor education and credit counseling in Atlanta, GA, can be vital to a positive outcome and elimination of your debt and stress.

Call DebtStoppers, Bankruptcy Law Firm Robert J. Semrad & Assoc., LLC for a free consultation on how to begin your road to financial recovery.

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