If you are a resident of New York and find yourself in over your head with overwhelming debt, you have several options. There is no need to be ashamed of debt as it is often out of your control. If you have lost a job, seen a decrease in your income, dealt with unexpected medical expenses or even had a bad few months, it can quickly spiral into a situation you do not know how to handle. One way to get a fresh start is through bankruptcy, and one way to keep your finances in order is through credit counseling. 

According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, those who are having a hard time paying their debts may benefit from credit counseling. This is usually done by a non-profit organization with counselors trained and certified in budgeting, money and debt management and consumer credit. Credit counselors do some of the following things: 

  • Obtain a copy of your credit scores and report 
  • Aid in planning a budget for your finances 
  • Offer free educational workshops and materials 
  • Provide advice on managing debt and money 
  • Help create a debt management plan that allows you to pay down your debts 

One of the things that may help you when you opt for credit counseling is the debt management plan. With this type of plan, you pay the counseling organization a payment each month and they divide that money out to your creditors. The benefit of this is that they can negotiate lower interest rates, stretch out payment terms and help remove any fees that you have accrued, where you may not have the negotiating power to do so. 

If you determine that credit counseling will not help and you are best to seek bankruptcy, a qualified bankruptcy attorney can help you through the process. This will help you get a fresh financial start to your future. 

This is for educational purposes and should not be interpreted as legal advice.