The Bankruptcy Credit Counseling & Debtor Education Course Requirements
In 2005, Congress added two requirements for debtors who file either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 – a Credit Counseling Course through an approved agency that must be completed prior to the filing of your bankruptcy petition and a Debtor Education Course which must be completed before your bankruptcy discharge is issued. Here’s how they work.
Credit Counseling Requirement
Before you file for bankruptcy you must complete a credit counseling course through an agency that is approved by the U.S. Trustee’s Office. Credit counseling can be completed either by phone or on the internet. It usually takes about an hour and the agency will provide a credit counselor that can help you through the process. This process is confidential but you will be required to provide a list of your debts, your assets, and your monthly income. At the completion of the course, the agency will issue a certificate that has to be filed with your bankruptcy petition.
Debtor Education Course
After you file bankruptcy but before your discharge is issued, you must complete a debtor education course through an agency that is approved by the U.S. Trustee’s Office. It can be completed either by phone or on the internet and most debtors use the same agency. The course consists of information on financial planning and a credit counselor is available if you have questions. At the completion of the course, the agency will issue a certificate that has to be filed with the bankruptcy court before your discharge is issued.
The Ballard Law Group can provide you with a list of approved credit counseling agencies and answer any questions that you might have about these required courses. To schedule a free initial consultation so that you can confidentially discuss your financial situation with an experienced Georgia bankruptcy attorney, call 404-220-9906 for an appointment at either our Lawrenceville or Atlanta location.