Pre-bankruptcy credit counseling is mandatory before filing for bankruptcy in Louisiana or anywhere in the United States. You must complete the counseling before declaring bankruptcy. Failure to do so will likely result in the denial of your bankruptcy case. There is a fee for pre-bankruptcy credit counseling. However, you might get free counseling if you apply for a fee waiver.
What is a bankruptcy credit counseling fee waiver?
Credit counseling providers charge anywhere from $10 to $50 for pre-bankruptcy credit counseling. Considering your financial situation, you may not have the funds to pay the fee. U.S. bankruptcy law states a counseling provider can charge for the course only if you can pay. You will likely receive a fee waiver if your income is at least 150 percent below the federal poverty guideline.
How to apply for a fee waiver
Your credit counseling agency will require information such as proof of income and a budget worksheet. You’ll also have to complete a fee waiver application. The agency will use this information to deny or approve your fee waiver request. If the agency approves your application, you’ll receive free pre-bankruptcy credit counseling.
Your income plays a role in determining your eligibility for the fee waiver. You might need at least two paycheck stubs and your previous year’s W2s. You’ll need legitimate proof of your weekly or monthly income if you’re on a fixed income.
Deciding to file for bankruptcy
Declaring bankruptcy is a financial decision that will affect your credit rating. However, some people decide that bankruptcy is their best option. A fee waiver for pre-bankruptcy credit counseling is helpful because that’s one less expense. If the counseling agency doesn’t approve the fee waiver, you’ll still likely pay a fee within your budget.