One of the “innovations” of the 2005 BAPCPA “bankruptcy reform”for Joliet bankruptcies that Congress enacted was a requirement to take not one but two “credit counseling” courses along with the filing of a Joliet or Will County bankruptcy petition. The first of these courses is a pre-filing credit-counseling course, and the second is a post-filing “debtor education” course. Both courses may be taken in person, online, or by phone, and they allegedly provide the service of informing the prospective bankruptcy filer of some of the basics of financial and debt management that they might not have been aware of prior to reaching that stage. The two classes have been a mandatory requirement of the bankruptcy process since 2005. The certificate of completion of the first, pre-filing course must be attached to the bankruptcy petition when it is filed. You can call a local Joliet or Will County bankruptcy attorney to point you to good companies were you can complete these classes.
What these classes actually do is simple, however: they cost you a little more money, and they comprise one more hoop to jump through on your way to achieving a legal discharge of your debts through bankruptcy. They will waste a little of your time and, most likely, provide little to no information to you that is actually in any way useful. What I tell my clients in Joliet and Will County area when they ask me what they will hear in the bankruptcy course is that they will hear the sorts of things that Congressmen and Senators of a certain political inclination to believe that anyone who files bankruptcy is somehow immoral or cheating the system thinks that people of that sort ought to hear
The classes usually only take 20-30 minutes of your time (although I have had a couple of clients report that the post-filing debtor education course took them up to 1.5 hours), and the high end of the costs for the classes is around $50 each. It is not a terrible burden. There are a number of companies that provide these courses, and some of them are better than others in that they quickly provide the certificate of completion to the participants’ attorneys and in that they are more or less likely to provide pseudo-legal advice to participants that is more rightfully delivered by actual attorneys. Many attorneys recommend one provider over another, as I do myself, but, always, you are free to choose your own provider, so long as the certificates of completion are delivered to your attorney in a timely manner.
None of my clients have reported actually enjoying these courses, and I don’t blame them. I do hear a healthy amount of complaining about the requirement, especially from those who have filed for bankruptcy before, prior to 2005—but a requirement it is. It is best to understand beforehand that this is one of the requirements of current bankruptcy law and to just get it over with a reasonable amount of good humor and courtesy to the company providing the course.
If you are a resident of the Will County area and are considering filing for bankruptcy, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 815.729.9220 to schedule a free, initial consultation. Hamilton & Antosen, Ltd.-Joliet, IL.