Many Americans are looking for ways to reduce or eliminate their consumer debt. If bankruptcy is in your immediate future, you may have to attend a mandatory credit counseling program.
Credit Card Industry
Some large nationally promoted credit counseling services rely heavily on the credit card industry for financial support. So it stands to reason they would suggest you enter into a debt payment plan and continue your payments to your credit cards instead of liquidating the debt with bankruptcy. Just like the collection agencies, many credit counseling agencies collect fees on a commission basis.
Avoid Debt Management Programs
Debt Management Programs puts you on a payment plan with your creditors, and the counseling agency collects a monthly fee for handling the payments. Any agency that receives money for putting you on a repayment plan cannot give you objective advice.
- Are you licensed in my state?
- Does an accredited third party train your counselors?
- Do your counselors make more money if I sign up for certain services?
- How much will your service cost?
- What if I can’t afford your fees?
- Will I have to sign a contract?
- Will my credit report scores go down if I restructure my credit card payments.
Attending an approved credit counseling program is required before your bankruptcy case can proceed. Don’t allow any agency to talk you into something you are uncomfortable with. Ask questions and keep in mind your options. To find a trustee approved agency visit the Justice Dept. website.
If you’ve tried to keep up with your payments, and tried a repayment plan and you’re still overwhelmed with debt, contact a Fort Worth bankruptcy attorney to discuss your best course of action.