NCLC Report on Credit Counseling & Bankruptcy

Yesterday, Professor Sovern blogged about a roundtable on credit counseling and bankruptcy. A new National Consumer Law Center study on the same subject finds that new counseling and financial education requirements imposed on debtors by 2005 changes in the nation’s bankruptcy laws have so far failed to deliver measurable benefits to affected debtors. New Burdens but Few Benefits: An Examination of the Bankruptcy Counseling and Education Requirements in Massachusetts questions the value of making consumers spend time and money on counseling before filing for bankruptcy. Creditors and agencies have failed to offer flexible and innovative programs that present real choices to those receiving counseling, the report says. “Consumers can be counseled and educated, but at the end of the day, if there are no good alternatives to bankruptcy,there isn’t much value to the effort,” says Deanne Loonin, NCLC staff attorney and coauthor of the study.