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Bankruptcy Counseling

We know that bankruptcy is not an easy choice. The Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 mandates that consumers receive financial counseling prior to the bankruptcy petition being filed and requires consumers to participate in a financial education course before debts are discharged. If you are filing bankruptcy with a spouse, both must attend the counseling and educational course. LifeSpan has been approved* by the Executive Office of the U.S. Trustee (EOUST) to conduct Pre-filing Counseling and Pre-discharge Education within the Northern and Southern Ohio judicial districts. LifeSpan does not receive or pay fees or other consideration for the referral of clients.

Counselors have experience in helping with financial problems. They cannot provide you with legal advice.

Counselors/Educators are available to respond to questions, provide further required instruction, and to certify completion after which time a certificate will be issued providing client has completed counseling services.

*Approval does not endorse or assure the quality of an agency’s services

Pre-Filing Counseling

The 90-minute session is designed to provide you with information and alternatives. It is not intended to take the place of a consultation with an attorney to explore your legal rights and options. Our certified counselor will complete budget analysis, review the bankruptcy process, explore possible alternatives and review the consequences of your choices so that you can make an informed decision.  Pre-filing counseling certificates are valid for up to 180 days from the date of counseling completion.

In-Person or Telephone Counseling

In-person or telephone pre-bankruptcy counseling sessions are available for those within the Northern and Southern Ohio judicial districts in our Hamilton office. To help cover the cost of providing the service, this agency charges a fee of $50.00 for an individual or couple filing jointly and living in the same household. Clients filing jointly, living in separate households, will be asked to attend separately for pre-filing counseling and the fee will be $50.00 per person. Payment may be made in the form of cash or money order.

Fees may be reduced or waived based on financial ability to pay. Services are available at 50% of the full fee ($25.00) if the gross income is above 100% of the poverty level but below 150% of the poverty level. An analysis of gross income, rent or mortgage, utilities, groceries, and ongoing medical expenses will be completed to determine if the client has the ability to pay the reduced fee. Services will not be denied on a client’s inability to pay.

The fee is automatically waived with proof that gross yearly income is at or below 100% of poverty level according to US Department of Health & Human Services figures.

Internet Counseling

Internet counseling sessions are available for a fee of $50.00 per individual or couple. Course and briefing materials are provided via an interactive learning module accessed at the student’s convenience. 

 

Pre-Discharge Education

If your bankruptcy petition has been filed, then you need to complete the financial management course. This course is designed to provide you with the tools and knowledge to make a fresh start after the discharge of debts. Pre-discharge education is $50 per person, whether you attend in-person or online. For in-person education, payment may be made in the form of cash or money order. Clients need to provide their 7 digit case number and a government issued photo I.D.

Fees may be reduced or waived based on financial ability to pay. Services are available at 50% of the full fee ($25.00) if the gross income is above 100% of the poverty level but below 150% of the poverty level. An analysis of gross income, rent or mortgage, utilities, groceries, and ongoing medical expenses will be completed to determine if the client has the ability to pay the reduced fee. Services will not be denied on a client’s inability to pay.

The fee is automatically waived with proof that gross yearly income is at or below 100% of poverty level according to US Department of Health & Human Services figures.

In-Person Education

Pre-discharge education has a requirement of two hours instruction. Classes are offered in our Hamilton office, space is limited.

Internet Education

Two hours of class time is required via the Internet and can be taken from the comfort of your own home. Each spouse must enroll in online education individually.

 

Please read the disclosure (counseling disclosure, client rights, and privacy notice) before proceeding.

Q&A
New bankruptcy laws went into effect in April 2005. They require that all those filing bankruptcy have both pre-filing counseling and pre-discharge education.
A pre-filing counseling session with an approved credit counseling organization should include an evaluation of your personal financial situation, a discussion of alternatives to bankruptcy, and a personal budget plan. This happens after you have seen your attorney but before you go to court. A pre-discharge class should be conducted by an approved provider and should include information on developing a budget, managing money, and using credit wisely. You must have this education before your debts will be discharged in the bankruptcy.
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy is sometimes referred to as a “straight bankruptcy.” This is usually the bankruptcy people are referring to when they say, “I filed bankruptcy.” They have essentially walked away from their debt. No one can contact them again. It is considered a fresh start. In Chapter 13 Bankruptcy an individual repays all or a portion of their debts over a three-to-five-year period through a monthly payment plan approved by the Bankruptcy Court. A Chapter 13 is sometimes referred to as a “wage-earner plan.” Your attorney will help you make the decision as to which bankruptcy to file.
If you can answer ”Yes” to any of these questions you may want to consider filing bankruptcy:
  • Is your car is about to be repossessed?
  • Are your wages or bank accounts being garnished?
  • Are your utilities about to be shut off?
  • Do you have over $10,000 in unsecured debt that you cannot repay?
You and your counselor together will review your budget, assets and liabilities and your credit report. What you earn and where you work also play a part in helping you decide the best payment plan for you. Once you have gathered all this information your counselor will work with you to decide your best option.
LifeSpan’s financial counselors offer specialized attention during the bankruptcy process.Rebuilding takes time and commitment . Your LifeSpan counselor will be available to assist you along the way.
If you have unsecured debt we may be able to lower your interest rate and or payment. The majority of debt management clients are able to repay their debt in full in three to five years thus avoiding bankruptcy. If you are in danger of losing your home to foreclosure, at no cost to you, a LifeSpan housing counselor will work with you and your lender to explore options to resolve your mortgage delinquency.
No, if you meet with a LifeSpan Financial Counselor, no one will know you have met unless you tell them.

Financial Counseling and Education Program Manager

Mary Day
  Call Now513.868.9220   Email Now

In less than 15 minutes
you can better understand your entire financial situation