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Under provisions of the new bankruptcy law, the person must meet with an approved credit counselor in thier judicial district for a 90-minute session in the six months prior to applying for bankruptcy.

Here is a list of approved credit counseling agencies

I was thinking that perhaps this will mean that some of these agencies will have a lot of work, and perhaps I could get a part time job with one of those firms to bring in some extra money. I was surprised to see most of the firms listed for the state of MA are not actually located in Massachusetts. Guess they are going to do this counseling over the internet or the phone.

Here is a job listing for a credit counselor at The Institute for Financial Literacy

Since even in a part time job, I only want to associate with an ethical, competent firm, I was wondering if any one had suggestions about what firms might be good.

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perhaps I could get a part time job with one of those firms

Hi JBeauty,

Seems like it's too soon to tell which firms will be "ethical and competent" in the new Wild West of credit counseling. Legal experts and consumer advocates are not optimistic that the two required sessions will be anything other than pro forma. They can be held on the phone or online, which probably explains why most of the Mass. approved firms can be outside Mass.

While the counseling agencies have historically been non-profit, the IRS has recently been scrutinizing their increasing emphasis on debt repayment plans (with kickbacks from the creditors, which obviously have a vested interest in encouraging people to avoid bankruptcy). In fact, the IRS is about to revoke the non-profit status of about 20 counseling firms. The sudden, massive growth opportunity offered to the counseling agencies by the new laws will be subsidized by a trade group of credit card companies to the tune of $10 million over the next 3 months.

This NY Times article has a pretty detailed (and, from what I can see, unbiased) discussion.

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The wave of filings before yesterday will probably result in decreased filings in the next few months. There is also discussion of exempting those who were affected by Katrina.

Since this would be a part time job, you can easily quit (and report the practices) if the company is unethical.

An interview would be a good time to determine the ethics of the company. Request copies of the contracts that consumers would be required to sign. Ask what fees are charged and how payment plans are handled.

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In the past I know CCCS has offered COUNCELING for free. Of course, what they councel you to do is join their program.

I wonder if now, since they will probably get a lot of people in for the counceling who aren't interested in the program, they will begin to charge for the counceling.

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