Who can help me with debts outside of bankruptcy?

If you are looking for options outside of bankruptcy to help you deal with creditors then I recommend you consider going to a certified credit counseling agency.  In Kansas there is a list of non-profit agencies with the Kansas Banking Commissioner’s Office that help people deal with their creditors.  

If you go here and click on Credit Services Organization and then hit the Search button at the bottom of the page and a list of credit counseling agencies will appear with their contact information.  

These agencies are licensed under the Kansas Credit Services Organization Act, KSA 50-1116.  If you want help to negotiate with your creditors then you should consider the people on the list provided by the Office of the Banking Commission.  They are supervised and will try to help you get a plan together to deal with your creditors.  They also provide financial educational services as well and many of them can provide credit counseling services if you need to file a bankruptcy.  

I want to point out two of these agencies for their contacts in Kansas and their willingness to go the extra mile for people.  I think they provide excellent service and they have offices in the state.  Although neither of them are holding in person meetings right now they both have physical offices in Kansas.

If you live in or near Wichita or Salina I would suggest Consumer Credit Counseling Service. This is a full service credit counseling agency.  They can help you with credit counseling, debt management plans and housing counseling.  They are currently taking appointments by phone at 316-265-2000(Wichita) or 785-827-6731(Salina).  

If you live in or near Topeka, Lawrence, Manhattan or Emporia that I would suggest Housing and Credit Counseling, Inc. This is a full service credit counseling agency.  They can help you with credit counseling, debt management, and housing counseling.  They are currently taking appointments by zoom or phone at 785-234-0217 (Topeka), 785-749-4224 (Lawrence) or 800-383-0217 (Emporia or Manhattan).

The services these agencies provide are a starting point to determine if you can navigate your financial problems without hiring an attorney or considering a bankruptcy.  The most common service they provide to help deal with creditors is a debt management plan (also known as a DMP).  These plans are designed to get you into a monthly payment to handle your outstanding creditors usually over a 5 year period of time.  

I often have calls from people that are not sure they need a bankruptcy.  If I think it is appropriate and a bankruptcy is not needed at the moment I will refer them to one of these two services.  I have visited personally with people that work at both of these services and I have confidence that they will try to give you honest answers and alternatives.  

I like to think that if you are hiring someone to help you with your finances it would be nice to speak with someone that lives in Kansas and has offices in Kansas and is licensed in Kansas.  The more ties they have locally the more likely they are to be truthful and accurate.  I never send people or refer people to outside services that are not located in Kansas – I think the risk of people being taken advantage of by some fly by night agency is just too great.

If you have concerns or issues with your creditors and you want to get an evaluation of whether you need a bankruptcy or a debt management plan please give us a call.  We are happy to go over your options and if we think there are viable options outside of bankruptcy we will discuss them with you.  You might be better off with one of these agencies helping you but you don’t know until you ask.  All consultations with our bankruptcy attorneys are free.  

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