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Is There Really a Need for Bankruptcy Education and Counseling?

 

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Receiving Bankruptcy Counseling

According to recent statistics, Americans filed 936,795 bankruptcies in 2014. Though these are shocking numbers, there’s no denying that it’s been a hard financial decade for many Americans; and many families are just starting to recover.

In many cases, people don’t expect to learn anything from the bankruptcy process. They think you just declare bankruptcy and some governing body says yes or no based on the information you’ve provided, and that’s it. However, not only is the bankruptcy process more complicated than this, you must also complete credit counseling and take bankruptcy education courses to help you understand how you arrived at your bankruptcy in the first place.

 

Lawmakers designed these courses to:

  1. Truly assess your financial situation,
  2. Help you make better financial choices in the future, and
  3. Help you genuinely understand credit

Though many people may feel an aversion to finance, most Americans would benefit from a required financial education course in high school and/or college; before entering the working world. Bankruptcy courses provide the much needed guidance that most Americans would likely admit to never getting otherwise.

What to Expect

If you are considering bankruptcy, the first step would be to consult with an experienced bankruptcy attorney. While an attorney is not required to file for bankruptcy, most experts recommend working with one (even for simple Chapter 7 bankruptcies), just to ensure that all of the necessary legal paperwork is completed in a timely matter and to guide you through the process.

Within 180 days of filing, you have to complete a Credit Counseling Course. This course is really a review of your finances. An expert will help you go through your finances and expense to debt ratio, to decide if you have any other alternatives to bankruptcy, like debt consolidation. Even if your credit counselor recommends a repayment program, you don’t have to follow his/her advice. You do, however, have to present a Certificate of Completion to the judge, or else your case can be dismissed.

Before your case closes, you have to take a Debtor Education Course. You need to show the judge a Certificate of Completion for this course as well. If you’ve filed for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you have to complete the course before making your last plan payment. If you’ve filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you have to complete the course within 60 days of your 341 Hearing. This course helps you:

  • Learn to use credit wisely in the future,
  • Manage and budget money,
  • Make sound financial decisions, and
  • Truly enjoy your bankruptcy as a relief from financial distress, (by not creating more financial distress)

Contact us to learn more about our affordable, convenient and government approved bankruptcy courses! 

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The Bankruptcy Video Game: Would You Buy It?

bankruptcy-gameAre you, or have you ever been, an avid video gamer? Could you easily watch the hours fly by as you engage with quirky characters from virtual realms, defending fictitious countries against demons and dragons? I always remember such a sense of satisfaction whenever your weapon of choice would completely destroy the enemy. Bankruptcy demons, watch out.

One of the main purposes of a video game – despite being a fantastic way to procrastinate during exam season – is the offering of an escape from reality. It allows us to forget our stresses and strains for a short time – or a long one, depending on how soon those impending exams are. As your typical ‘angry-at-the-world’ teenager, I also took great comfort in the fact that putting my metaphorical gaming hat on and disappearing into an interactive dimension made it a lot easier to block out the people around me.

Regardless of who you are, people’s unwarranted contributions and opinions can still grate. No matter what you are struggling with, people will claim to understand your situation even better than you do yourself. In going through bankruptcy, there will be an abundance of people offering their points of view on the subject, and more often than not it will be from those who have never truly contemplated the true stresses and strains associated with such a financial struggle.

For example.

“It could be worse.”

Don’t you just hate that expression? It is almost as bad as, “We’ve all been there” – but not quite. There you are, allowing yourself a short amount of time to wallow in some self pity, and someone comes along and takes your right to complain straight out of your hands. “It could be worse,” they say, “Imagine if X, Y, Z…” They then proceed to rattle off a list of – admittedly awful – circumstances that could worsen your predicament quite significantly. But sometimes during periods of struggle and distress, all we need is an empathetic ear.

We want to complain that we are struggling. We want to dwell on the fact that the process of having our debts discharged is a tedious and laborious one. It is stressful. Not the end of the world, admittedly, but stressful nonetheless.

In short, we want a pick-me-up. It is nice to be reminded that in filing for bankruptcy, you are not defining who you are as a human being. It does not constitute your character or genetic makeup. It is not a determinant of your future successes. Consider it one of life’s inconveniences that you are currently suffering through, and so long as you are being proactive in rectifying the financial wrongs, you are allowed to let yourself experience whatever emotions come to hand.

At Affordable Bankruptcy Courses, we are experienced in the bankruptcy arena and the wide emotional spectrum that comes with it. Fear, anger, sadness…we’ve seen it all. We offer people their much-needed escape from reality during this time, in helping them towards the discharging of their debts. There are no demons and dragons in our world, just the Credit Counseling and Debtor Education needed to get you on the road to financial success.

If you are considering filing for bankruptcy, you are welcome to play our video gameentirely metaphorical, but unbeatable in terms of the rewards you reap from playing. That way you can proactively tackle your financial struggles while always looking forward. And if you feel like taking a moment to yourself, that is entirely warranted. Allow it.

In short: even though it is never a good thing to dwell in negativity, sometimes we just need to let it out of our system. And that is ok, so long as it is sporadic. After a short amount of wallowing, it is time to pick yourself up and remind yourself of the positives.

Like ice cream. No matter how bad things get, Ben & Jerry will always be there for you.

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Authors To Inspire You Through Bankruptcy: Stephen King

stepsSwitching our focus onto more contemporary, modern day authors, the Affordable Bankruptcy Courses road of blogging has brought us to the doorstep of Stephen King. If you are a fan of science fiction, fantasy and horror novels, then his books are definitely for you. Don’t like reading? Then try one of the many feature films adapted from his books: The Shining, Rose Red, The Green Mile, The Mist, It, Misery, Carrie to name a few. Quite frankly, it seems almost impossible to not have seen or read anything by the genius that is Stephen King. However if you are one of the unfortunate few (yes, his books really are that good) reading this article who are hearing of him for the very first time, then prepare yourself for a literary awakening!

During a time as difficult as bankruptcy, you may be feeling at your most vulnerable. But it is important to stay smart. As King wrote, “The trust of the innocent is the liar’s most useful tool.” Don’t let people take advantage of you during your period of financial distress. Make sure you choose an experienced, licensed bankruptcy attorney and know what questions to ask when preparing to file and have your debts discharged.

As difficult as it may sound, try not to let bankruptcy consume your thoughts, feelings, days, nights…life in general. Every day may not be wonderful, but there is some wonder in every day. “You can’t deny laughter; when it comes, it plops down in your favorite chair and stays as long as it wants.” Put simply, happiness is important. If you need to laugh, laugh! Laughter is one of the best medicines, and everybody deserves the chance to be happy – don’t let bankruptcy deny you of this simple joy.

“When asked, ‘How do you write?’ I invariably answer, ‘one word at a time.’”

When faced with the concept of having to file for bankruptcy, what is the best way to approach it? One step at a time. Trying to take on everything at once will only add even more stress to the process, which you don’t need. Try to break things down into smaller pieces – remember, a burden shared is a burden halved. For example, first set your mind on finding an EOUST-approved bankruptcy course provider, to offer you the Credit Counseling and Debtor Education required to file for bankruptcy and have your debts discharged. Only when you have completed these, should you mentally take on the next challenge. Don’t overwhelm yourself. There are tools and resources out there to help you repair and rebuild after you have completed filing too. You are not alone!

One word that cannot be associated with the bankruptcy process is ‘fun.’ In fact, on first glance it may seem difficult to find positive associations – although this has been challenged in one of our past blog entries. We would recommend you give it a read and see if it changes your perspective! Furthermore, Stephen King had a very positive life philosophy, and believed heavily in learning through experience. He said, Every book you pick up has its own lesson or lessons, and quite often the bad books have more to teach than the good ones.” So even though bankruptcy is hardly ideal in comparison to financial success, just think of the lessons you are learning throughout the process. You can, and will, get through this. All it takes is a positive mental attitude.

Not convinced? Just click here

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Authors To Inspire You Through Bankruptcy: Jane Austen

jane-austenArguably one of the most widely read writers in English literature, Jane Austen has become almost iconic for her works of romantic fiction. She is the genius behind ‘Sense & Sensibility’,‘Pride & Prejudice’ and ‘Emma’, and, even to this day, her novels are a key component of English literature syllabuses across the world – and now too, on the Affordable Bankruptcy Courses blog ;).

Have you read Pride & Prejudice? If not, then we would definitely recommend it. It is a classic; a love story centered on societal differences and how true love always prevails. In her novel, Austen teaches us the valuable difference between vanity and pride – “Pride relates more to our opinion of ourselves, vanity to what we would have others think of us” – and the importance of knowing this distinction. During a time as difficult as filing for bankruptcy, there is no scope to waste energy worrying how others perceive us, even though the temptation to do so may be overwhelming. At the end of the day, as long as you survive the experience and recover from it – keeping your pride– then what does it matter what other people think? Use bankruptcy as your opportunity for growth. If the opinions of others really are important to you, then twist things around. Show people how you can bounce back when life throws obstacles your way.

 Austen wisely wrote, “Angry people are not always wise.” In saying this, she means that a decision made in the heat of anger is rarely the right one. Do not act rashly, in the heat of the moment. Perhaps it was impulsive purchasing behavior that caused your financial struggles in the first place – or perhaps not? Either way, you are bound to feel anger and frustration as you come to terms with filing for bankruptcy, but acting based on these emotions is never a good idea. Make sensible, rational decisions when you are feeling calm. Take the first steps and sign up for the Credit Counseling and Debtor Education required for filing, and watch your life change for the better.

“I may have lost my heart, but not my self-control.” When you are experiencing a moment of sadness, losing that bright, happy spark that all your friends and family know and love you for – stop. All is not lost. You may have ‘lost’ this particular battle with your money, but you have not lost the financial war. You still have many other endearing qualities, and self-control can be one of them. Use this experience to bounce back. Get yourself on your feet and start saving, budgeting, and rebuilding for your future.

In doing this, you are proving to yourself just how strong and resilient you can be when times are tough. “Till this moment I never knew myself.” What have you learned from the bankruptcy process? Has it shown you a side of yourself that you never previously knew existed? Sometimes it takes a life-changing experience such as bankruptcy, to teach you more about yourself, your strengths and your capabilities. And that notion alone may be that small – but bright – light at the end of your financial tunnel. Head towards it, and change your life for the better.

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Authors To Inspire You Through Bankruptcy: George Orwell

spending-bankruptcyBy now, by regularly reading the Affordable Bankruptcy Courses blog, you know all too well the true value of inspirational and motivational words of wisdom during a time as stressful as filing for bankruptcy. You will also know that you are not alone, and the emotions you are feeling during this time are entirely normal, and are commonly experienced amongst the hundreds of thousands of filers every year. Once you have accepted these as truths – and as Orwell once wrote, “Happiness can only exist in acceptance,” – then you are able to move onto the next phase mentally: tackling the problem and ensure it does not occur again in the future.

Remember you are just one person. You are not a superhero. No one is expecting you to remain strong throughout the entire process. It is completely acceptable to experience emotion, and have moments of weakness. Orwell himself expressed the notion that “In the face of pain there are no heroes.” You are only human. Bankruptcy is painful, and it would be unusual for you to not react to this pain. In trying to remain strong for the sake of saving face, you are increasing your mental stresses during an already trying time. Do not take on the mental burden of a team of people. Take things at your own pace, and remember, “The essence of being human is that one does not seek perfection.” Bankruptcy didn’t creep up on you overnight; neither will it disappear overnight. You can’t strive for perfection and expect everything to be rectified instantly. But in taking small steps to improve your financial situation, you are headed in the right direction.

“The consequences of every act are included in the act itself.”

Never was a truer word spoken! This phrase is perfect in defining the vicious bankruptcy cycle that so many people fall victim to every day. In spending more than your budget allows, the consequences are…what? That you fall into debt and don’t have enough money to live on. In short, spending more money than you have, results in not having enough money to spend…

…which then results in more overspending…

…meaning you do not have enough money to buy the things you need…

…so you continue to spend beyond your means…

And the vicious cycle continues. So how can you break it? For starters, you can budget! In learning the essential concepts for managing your spending and saving patterns, you are making a great start. If you are already in a situation of severe financial distress, then perhaps you should consider filing for bankruptcy. Affordable Bankruptcy Courses offers the required Credit Counseling and Debtor Education in order for your debts to be discharged. Our courses are EOUST-approved, and online only – there is no phone call required for certification! Our website has more information on fulfilling your bankruptcy requirements, or alternatively you can leave a comment in the section below and a member of our team will respond to your inquiry within 24 hours.      

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Authors To Inspire You Through Bankruptcy: Oscar Wilde

dublinOscar Wilde. Arguably the most popular playwright of his time, it is the general consensus that even today, his teachings hold relevance in society. You would be hard pressed to find a modern day English Literature syllabus without the teachings of Oscar Wilde, as so much can be learned from his written word. And it is not hard to see why – in writing this post, we actually had trouble narrowing down the few quotes to use, because so many were useful and applicable to the message we are trying to convey to our readers.

Oscar Wilde was a literary genius. He famously said, “Nothing that is worth knowing can be taught.” In saying this, he means that we learn the most valuable, important lessons through experience alone. Being taught such things from others is no substitute for having gone through it yourself. Now by no means are we suggesting people should deliberately put themselves in undesirable financial situations, but according to Oscar Wilde, knowledge is no substitute for experience. Put into context; struggling financially is the best way to learn first-hand about financial management, as opposed to hearing through the grapevine that you should cut down on your spending, or that learning to budget would be beneficial for your bank balance. So despite the seriousness of your financial situation right now, there are positives you can take from it.

Right now, are your thoughts consumed by bankruptcy? Are you thinking that you have nothing left that could possibly be of any value? Think again. “A cynic is a man who knows the price of everything, and the value of nothing.” Put simply, focusing entirely on money means you may be overlooking things that are valuable in other ways. Something doesn’t have to have a monetary value to be valuable to you. How about the value of friendships, laughter and the enjoyment you get from your favorite past times? These can all lift you up during your financial struggles and help you to remember that bankruptcy is not the end. It is just a flip on your financial radar.

Wilde was very good at noticing the similarities and differences between people, and tying these into his core life philosophies. “We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars,” and “To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all,” are just two examples of this. He is highlighting that despite being all the same – all being ‘in the gutter – our perspectives and visions determine our direction in life. To the few of us that aim high – ‘some of us are looking at the stars’ – then that is the way we can elevate ourselves to success and greatness, and out of the gutter. The second quote has the same message; it is the rare few who see things differently and get that little bit extra out of life – in doing so, they are living as opposed to just existing.

Are you living, or just existing? Are you letting your bankruptcy take over? If the answer to this is yes, then it is time to plan a strategy. Look for a reputable provider for the required Credit Counseling and Debtor Education to file for bankruptcy. Affordable Bankruptcy Courses offers the EOUST-approved online courses available in both English and Spanish, with no phone call required for certification.

The bankruptcy process is tough, but it is a learning curve. Try to ask yourself what you can take away from the situation you are in now. What have you learned? Perhaps you could reconsider your spending and saving patterns, and how you could reduce your overspending.  After all, “Everything in moderation, including moderation.”

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Help! I Got Bitten By The Bankruptcy Bug!

bankruptcy-bugSide effects may include sleepless nights, being in a constant state of panic, fear to answer the phone…sound familiar?

It does not have to be that way. There is, believe it or not, an antidote for the poisonous bankruptcy bug. It is not instantaneous, and takes a little work on your part, but it does get you through the ups and downs of bankruptcy, safely towards the light at the end of the tunnel. Say goodbye to financial stresses and hello to debt relief!

Where’s the antidote? I want it!

You have come to the right place. Not only is it effective, but it is also an affordable and convenient antidote, going by the name of Affordable Bankruptcy Courses. It offers the Credit Counseling and Debtor Education required for bankruptcy filings – all online, with no phone call required for certification! Taking these courses will relieve the sharp sting of bankruptcy and help reduce the panic and fear associated with the process.

You may have heard of the expression “starve a cold, feed a fever”? Well take note! Remember to eat. Bankruptcy can be a stressful time but don’t let it take a toll on your health. You can also ‘feed’ yourself mentally. What activities give you energy, and lift your mood? The bankruptcy bug is one of a kind, where you are not advised to stay at home, hiding underneath the covers. Keep your brain stimulated by learning new concepts to help you financially, such as budgeting. Adopting a proactive mindset will only speed up your recovery. And in taking the aforementioned bankruptcy courses, you are well on your way!

Dissimilar to most viruses, the bankruptcy bug is not contagious. Spending time with your nearest and dearest is actually recommended! They say a problem shared is a problem halved, so in sharing your worries and concerns with friends and family, you are reducing the burden on your shoulders. Different people bring new perspectives into the mix, which will be of use to you during your financial struggles.

Furthermore, the wounds inflicted on you by bankruptcy are not permanent, are entirely treatable – and reversible if you put the work in. There are many tools and resources around to help you rebuild afterwards and get you back on your feet. Yes, the bankruptcy virus can be a drain on you both mentally and physically, but, hopefully, catching it just once will give you the everlasting immunity you need for a stress-free financial future.

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