- A credit counseling briefing within 180 days before filing for bankruptcy, and
- A debtor education course after filing for bankruptcy
Both of these courses must be provided by agencies approved by the U.S. Trustee Program. Two states, Alabama and North Carolina, do not come under the U.S. Trustee Program. In these states, courses must be approved by Bankruptcy Administrators.
The first step is the pre-bankruptcy credit counseling briefing that must be completed before you can file for bankruptcy. As part of the briefing (which can be completed online) you will need to provide detailed information about your financial situation including income and deductions, expenses, debts owed, and assets and property. It is important to be aware that the counseling agency providing the briefing should not give you advice on whether to file bankruptcy or when to file for bankruptcy. This could be considered unauthorized practice of law. Only a bankruptcy attorney can specifically advise you on bankruptcy options.
After you have completed the credit counseling briefing, have filed for bankruptcy, and attended the 341 meeting of creditors, you may also need to complete the second course: pre-discharge debtor education. This course must be completed before your debts will be discharged.
Pre-Discharge Debtor Education Course Requirements
The debtor education course must be taken after you have filed for bankruptcy but before yours debts can be discharged by the bankruptcy court. The course must be provided by a U.S. Trustee-approved provider and is meant to help you:
- Develop a budget
- Manage money
- Use credit wisely
Once you complete the course, you will be issued a certificate of completion which must be filed with the bankruptcy court. If you fail to file the certificate of completion in a timely manner, the bankruptcy court will close your case without discharging your debts. This is the same as if you never filed for bankruptcy. You will still owe your debts since they will not be wiped out. Your creditors will be able to call you, sue you, or take any other actions to collect the debts you owe them.
We Offer an Affordable Pre-Discharge Debtor Education Course
We offer an online pre-discharge debtor education course that is easy to navigate and understand. It’s available in both English and Spanish and costs just $19 per household. You pay the same low price whether you take it alone or with your spouse. You must have already filed for bankruptcy and completed the required pre-bankruptcy credit counseling briefing. Like our debtor education course, our credit counseling briefing is available online and in English or Spanish. We offer the briefing for the low price of $15 per household.
Don’t delay. Make sure your bankruptcy is successful by taking our affordable credit counseling briefing before you file for bankruptcy and completing our debtor education course so your debts will be discharged and you can improve your future finances.