Monday, February 11, 2008

Selecting a Bankruptcy Credit Counseling Agency

Prior to filing for bankruptcy, individuals must receive a briefing from an approved nonprofit budget and credit counseling agency. After filing bankruptcy and before receiving a discharge, debtors must also complete a course on personal financial management designed to help them avoid debt problems in the future. I am often asked by clients which agency to choose.

Here in the Southern District of California, the U.S. Trustee's Office
maintains a list of authorized credit counseling providers. However, there are only approved agencies that stand out with respect to the services that my clients have received: Springboard Nonprofit Consumer Credit Management, Inc. ("Springboard") and the Institute for Financial Literacy ("IFL").

A common complaint I hear is that agencies do not have sufficient staffing to handle emergency requests for counseling. Some agencies delay speaking with for several days for even a week. Both Springboard and IFL offer counseling over the Internet and via telephone. I recent months, clients have reported to me that both Springboard and IFL were able to handle their requests for immediate credit counseling. IFL offers the added advantage of emailing the completion certificates directly to my office.

While clients are free to to choose any approved agency, Springboard and IFL profile competitive service and reasonable prices.

About the Author: Carl H. Starrett II has been a licensed attorney since 1993 and is a member in good standing with the California State Bar and the San Diego County Bar Association. Mr. Starrett practices in the areas of bankruptcy, business litigation, construction, corporate planning and debt collection.

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