Perhaps one of the most overlooked tasks bankruptcy attorneys are faced with is helping their clients choose the right provider for their pre-filing credit counseling and pre-discharge courses. Simply handing clients a fistful of postcards and letting them choose may not be providing the best counsel, because it’s not always cost that is key.
Here’s why. As in any business, costs can be compared and it’s easy to simply take the lowest price and get started. But, at what sacrifice? There are other vital factors that are important to bankruptcy candidates as well as to their attorneys, and for the same price or a few dollars more, they can provide enormous benefit while saving time for everyone involved. As an example, consider these important factors when considering a provider.
- Instant certificate access upon course completion (during regular business hours) via email, fax or the Internet. No more waiting for the mail to arrive!
- Real-time access to client data including course status, invoices and flexible access codes that enable attorneys to get information 24/7.
- Convenient payment options (that can be changed anytime) including online credit cards, monthly or per client transactions, and even enabling clients self-pay access.
- Full-time US based certified bankruptcy counselors who help answer client questions and guide them through course completion by telephone, in person, or by online chat.
- On staff bilingual certified counselors available as needed
- The same prices for single and joint filings
- User friendly courses, free e-book and links to educational games after course completion
It is also important that the provider demonstrate exceptional customer service. The process should be educational and efficient for the client and seamless for the attorney. Counselors should be compassionate, knowledgeable, readily available, and easy to understand. All of these important factors were considered when developing www.PersonalFinanceEducation.com, a leading industry website that provides pre-file and debtor education courses.
In addition to bankruptcy courses, some providers also offer free credit counseling as well as debt management programs (DMP). Offering such a wide range of financial counseling services can be a very healthy exercise for attorneys since financial literacy education provides consumers with a solid foundation of the bankruptcy process should they be referred to a bankruptcy law firm for advice.
InCharge takes great care to treat bankruptcy attorneys as partners. We know that the door swings both ways and so we partner with attorneys by giving them free referrals. InCharge has referred more than 13,000 to our bankruptcy attorney partners and, with its affiliate InCharge Education Foundation, has helped clients complete over 1 million bankruptcy courses since 2006.
In addition to the bankruptcy courses and counseling it provides, InCharge Debt Solutions offers credit counseling and housing counseling services to consumers and service members in need of financial literacy education, money management guidance, and help finding the right debt solution for their specific situation.
If you would like more information please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
About InCharge® Debt Solutions
InCharge® Debt Solutions is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization specializing in personal finance education, housing counseling, bankruptcy services, and credit counseling. Founded in 1997, InCharge interacted with over 1.1 million consumers in 2011 alone. InCharge is affiliated with InCharge® Education Foundation, Inc. (ICEF) which is dedicated to providing educational products, services and research supporting the personal financial literacy of consumers across America. ICEF also provides financial literacy training to servicemembers and their families through MilitaryMoney.com. InCharge is a member of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC), and is accredited by the Council on Accreditation (COA).
Beth Mason has been with InCharge since April 2004, holding positions as Quality Engineer, Operations Project Manager and currently Outreach Programs Director. In her current position, she is responsible for reaching out to bankruptcy attorneys and their clients in order to educate them about InCharge’s bankruptcy courses and create partnerships that provide mutual business benefits. Beth attends most bankruptcy attorney conferences held in the USA for face-to-face attorney meetings, presents the latest in InCharge programs, courses and attorney client management tools, and interfaces with thousands of attorneys per year. She is very knowledgeable about the bankruptcy process, course and counseling requirements. Beth brings extensive quality management and communications skills from previous employment with PCC Airfoils and Textron, providing her with over twenty years of experience in a manufacturing environment. During eight of those years she served as a quality engineer acting as a liaison between the customer and supplier.