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What Is Credit Counseling and Do I Have To Do It To File Bankruptcy?

A new law that came out in 2005, the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act, requires consumers that file for bankruptcy to complete credit counseling within the 6 months prior to filing. This is a program that can be done online, in person, or over the phone. You can search the Internet for a provider. Also, there is usually a free course given once per month at the Federal Courthouse. Once you have completed the course, the provider will email or fax a Certificate of Credit Counseling to your Jacksonville bankruptcy attorney. Your The date you completed your credit counseling must be before your petition is filed.

There is also a second education requirement when filing bankruptcy, the Certificate of Debtor Education. This is very similar to the credit counseling but this one must be done after you file your bankruptcy. You must fulfill this requirement before the court will grant you a discharge. So for a Chapter 7, the debtor education must be completed within 60 days of your 341 meeting of creditors. For a chapter 13, the debtor education requirement must be completed before the last payment under your Plan is due, so this could be up to five years.

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