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Credit counseling required before filing for bankruptcy

Many residents of Virginia are struggling tremendously to stay on top of their bills and finances, and if you count yourself among them, you may be thinking about filing for bankruptcy as a method of getting your affairs back in order. At Ferriswinder, PLLC, we recognize that there are certain steps you must take as you navigate the bankruptcy process, and that one such step involves participating in credit counseling prior to filing.

Per the Federal Trade Commission, anyone who wishes to file for bankruptcy must receive credit counseling from a government-approved entity within the 180 days ahead of your official filing. The U.S. Trustee Program within the U.S. Department of Justice maintains a list of approved providers you can reference before selecting one to use.

Once you select a pre-bankruptcy credit counselor, you will need to schedule a credit counseling session to take place in person, over the phone or online. Typically, a credit counseling session will take somewhere between an hour and an hour-and-a-half to complete, and in most cases, it will run you about $50. If, however, you can prove that you are unable to pay this fee, you may be able to request a fee waiver from the organization giving you counseling.

Once you complete your pre-bankruptcy credit counseling session, your counselor will give you a certificate proving you did so. You should not have to pay any additional fees to obtain this certificate of completion. Once you have this certificate confirming you completed credit counseling and have otherwise fulfilled all pre-bankruptcy requirements, you should be able to move forward with your filing. You can find more about bankruptcy on our webpage.

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FerrisWinder, PLLC
Fountain Park, Building 7
9327 Midlothian TPKE
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Richmond, VA 23235

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