Bankruptcy counseling and education is required under law before filing bankruptcy. There are two parts to the required bankruptcy counseling and education conducted by certified counselors: Pre-filing Bankruptcy Counseling and Pre-Discharge Education. You might think of the pre-filing bankruptcy counseling sessions as your ticket into bankruptcy and the pre-discharge education session as your ticket out of bankruptcy.
Bankruptcy counseling must completed through a bankruptcy counseling agency that has been approved by the United States Trustee to offer bankruptcy counseling services.
Pre-filing Bankruptcy Counseling
During pre-filing bankruptcy counseling sessions, certified credit counselors usually work one on one with a debtor to develop a personal financial assessment. The personal financial assessment can help determine the right solution for a debtor's financial situation. Bankruptcy counselors work with debtors to develop a manageable spending plan and possibly an action plan for future financial success.
Most bankruptcy counseling services are available online 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It is also possible to set an in-person meeting with a bankruptcy counselor. Most of my clients prefer to do bankruptcy counseling by phone because it is quicker than either the online or in-person option.
After pre-filing bankruptcy counseling is completed, a Certificate of Counseling is delivered by fax or email to my office for filing with the bankruptcy petition.
After the bankruptcy has been filed, but before the bankruptcy case can be discharged, the pre-discharge session must be completed by debtors. The pre-discharge education program covers many different financial topics to help a debtor succeed after completion of the bankruptcy. The pre-discharge certificate must be filed with the court so the debtor can receive their discharge of debts, which is the goal in any bankruptcy case.