What You Need to Know About Credit Counseling in Michigan

Many people, depending on their financial situation, believe that credit counseling in Michigan will harm their credit report, but this isn’t the case.

This won’t show up on your credit report if you go to a Michigan credit counselor to get debt advice or assistance to manage your money.

Michigan credit counselors will guide you on several matters, such as credit card debt, consumer credit, student loans, budgeting, and debt and money management.

What is credit counceling?


Michigan credit counseling is a counseling session that helps people with financial difficulties or those who are unable to pay their debts.

You will establish new financial goals through counseling services, that will give you excellent financial tools.

When do I need credit counseling?

If you are being pressed by many debt collectors, Michigan credit counseling may be the best choice for you. It’s also an excellent option if you have a large number of student loans.

How good are you at financial literacy?

If your financial situation and your credit score are keeping you awake at night, it is time to begin to think seriously about how to get out of debt.

Credit counseling can help you to manage debt by getting better in your personal finance. Forget about credit card bills and unsecured debts.

Debt counseling will give you debt repayment strategies that will bring back your peace of mind.

Things to know before your initial counseling session

There are several frauds on the market that claim to provide debt relief, such as credit counseling, credit repair, and debt settlement.

When an organization claims something is too good to be true, it’s almost certainly a scam.

So, if you’re seeking a way to reduce your debt and not sell yourself short on money, consider shopping around before settling with a debt settlement business or a credit repair firm.

Only deal with a Michigan credit counseling business that has been approved.

A debt management plan in Michigan

If you’ve been paying only the minimum amount on your credit cards, or if you’ve missed a few payments, seeing an expert Michigan credit counselor can truly help you get rid of most of your financial problems.

A debt management plan combines all of your debts into a single monthly payment, making it easier to handle.

If a debt management plan is appropriate for you, your Michigan credit counselor may suggest one for your debt repayment.

What to look for in a credit counseling agency in Michigan

A free or nonprofit credit counseling agency can help you prepare a budget, avoid bankruptcy and handle student loans. They will also advise on money management to keep your debts under control.

The state of Michigan offers free credit counseling, a service that can help you avoid the need for debt settlement services.

Although bankruptcy is available in this state, it isn’t always the most effective or efficient way to deal with your financial challenges.

Certified credit counselors

Look for credit counseling agencies that have been approved by the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC).

You should also ask the Better Business Bureau (BBB) for the counseling organization you have chosen. Look for reputable credit counseling organizations that have high ratings.

The Consumer Financial  Protection Bureau can also help you find a reputable financial counseling association in Michigan that includes a free credit counseling session.

What must I share with my Michigan credit counselor about my personal finance?

If you want to reach debt consolidation and be relieved about your monthly expenses, find a reputed credit counseling organization with whom you can share your entire financial situation (even if you think you have too much debt, which can be not as much compared with other individuals).

What services does a nonprofit credit counselor offer?

A credit counselor from a reputed credit counseling organization may offer a variety of services.

After you’ve shared all of your financial information, a credit counseling session may include free educational resources such as basic money management advice as well as a plan to help you pay off debt.

In some situations, credit counselors may be able to negotiate reduced interest rates, decreased monthly payments, and other benefits with your lenders, which might help you save money.

You will also get better at your money management skills by making timely payments, paying off your credit card debt, and knowing the steps to get a better consumer credit score.

How to become a certified credit counselor in Michigan

If you wish to help people with a credit counseling service, you need to become a certified credit counselor.

The Michigan Debt Management Act of 1975 PA 148 requires a licensed counselor to be certified to help people in financial hardship with credit counseling services and debt management plans.

Individuals who have completed a training or certifying program, and who have been authorized by the director are considered certified credit counselors.

Look for facilities in Michigan that are authorized to verify the competence of people who give education and assistance to others in connection with debt counseling and financial counseling activities.

What’s The Timeline I Can Expect When I File for Bankruptcy?

A standard Chapter 7 bankruptcy timeline

Step #1 – Free consultation

At the first consultation, a legal representative from the Babi Legal Group will work with you to pick the finest option for assisting you towards the best financial management. If bankruptcy is not a good fit for you, then a settlement may be an option.

However, if a bankruptcy case is the only viable option, our law firm will evaluate whether you should file Chapter 7 bankruptcy or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. The choice of which one to pursue will be determined based on your unique circumstances and ultimate goals.

Step #2 – First credit counseling course

Before a person files bankruptcy, he or she must first take a credit counseling course from an authorized credit counselor. Every bankruptcy case is required to provide a credit counseling certificate with the bankruptcy case filing and Babi Legal Group will connect you with our partnered credit counselors to complete the course by phone or online.

Here you can find the list of approved debt management providers in Michigan.

Step #3 Filing your bankruptcy petition

The bankruptcy court also requires financial papers to verify that the bankruptcy documents accurately reflect your current financial situation. Because each customer’s situation is different, your attorney will provide you with a prioritized list of documents that our office and the court will need to achieve a bankruptcy discharge.

After your documentation has been evaluated and reviewed by our attorneys, we will submit all of the required paperwork to the bankruptcy court and bankruptcy trustee. The documentation you may have to include are as follows:

  • pay stubs or profit and loss statements if you are self-employed
  • vehicle statements
  • real property documents such as mortgage statements; recorded mortgages and deeds and property tax statements.
  • bank statements
  • an estimated value for real estate
  • tax returns
  • other certain debts

We scan all of the papers and return them at the end of your appointment if you bring only originals.

The client will come into the office once it is ready, and a lawyer will review the bankruptcy petition with him or her to ensure accuracy. After a thorough review of the petition, the client will sign it and we will submit it to the Court for electronic filing. This is done through their website and other automated technology.

Once the petition is filed, the bankruptcy automatic stay comes into action. The bankruptcy law then protects you from creditors and helps to prevent a sheriff’s sale, wage garnishment, vehicle repossession, creditor intimidation, and much more.

After your bankruptcy lawyer files your petition, you will receive a case number. Your case is assigned to a bankruptcy trustee at random.

Step #4 Second counseling course and 341 creditors meeting

A second credit counseling course must be completed once your case is filed and must be completed before you can receive a bankruptcy discharge. 

The Court will schedule a 341 meeting, also known as a meeting of creditors, within days of filing the bankruptcy petition. This is when the trustee may look over your situation and ask a few questions they may have.

The 341 hearing or meeting of creditors is usually held 30 days after filing your case. In the mail, you’ll get your notice of 341 hearing as well as a reminder from our office the day before the hearing.

You must bring your driver’s license, social security card, and any other document requested by your attorney to the 341 hearing.

Step #5 Discharge of debts

After 60 days from your 341 hearing being concluded, you can start checking your mail. The official order discharging you of all your debts will be sent to you by the United States Bankruptcy Court. The bankruptcy judge will officially enter your bankruptcy discharge and the bankruptcy court will send to both you and your attorney the official discharge order.

What does a bankruptcy attorney do?

Filing for bankruptcy is one of those moments in life when you appreciate any legal advice. Having a professional attorney by your side in any bankruptcy case, whether it is Chapter 13 or Chapter 7 bankruptcy, is worth it every step of the way.

Remember that as in any attorney-client relationship, even if these are only financial affairs, any sensitive or confidential information, as well as case details, contact info, or important dates, have to be necessarily secure and remain inside the confidential relationship.

What will I learn in credit counseling?

Trusted credit counseling organizations have professionals with training and certification. An approved agency will have the court’s permission to assist you in crafting a unique strategy for addressing your financial concerns.

A one-hour consultation is generally followed by multiple follow-up sessions. A legitimate organization should provide information about its services without requiring potential customers to disclose any information about their difficulties.

How to find a trusted attorney?


In your bankruptcy timeline, finding a bankruptcy attorney should be at the top of your list.

First, be aware of any lawyer referral service. Some websites try to provide that but bear in mind they are not thinking about the excellence of a bankruptcy attorney or their professionalism.

Other websites provide attorney listings and attorney advertising by zip code search. Be careful here when third parties are offering the contact information. Choose attorneys which are recommended by people you know that have been in the same situation or by reading client reviews about that attorney or their office.

In your bankruptcy timeline, finding a lawyer that provides a free evaluation of your case is an asset. This of course does not constitute acceptance of their terms. Having free consultations might guide you to the best attorney that will help you with your bankruptcy case.

Remember once you have chosen a law firm, you have to sign a written fee agreement disclosing the services that will be provided by the attorney. Then you can continue with the next steps in your bankruptcy timeline.