Debtors considering bankruptcy may be aware of the credit counseling requirement needed for filing.  You are required to complete a credit counseling course before you file and then a financial management course before your discharge can be granted.  This qualification became effective when the bankruptcy code was revised in 2005.  The idea is to help debtors become more educated and informed to improve financial management.  Debtors, in turn, gain better insight on money matters such as budgeting and credit eligibility.

When the courses became a qualification in 2005 for bankruptcy filing and discharge approval, many were under the impression that filing for protection became more difficult.  It is just a matter of understanding how debtors can benefit from the changes made in the bankruptcy code.  Each course has a certificate debtors receive upon completion, but this is additional information you need to know to ensure a smooth filing process.

A credit counseling agency that is approved by the bankruptcy court offers each course.  Meaning, you can’t just sign up with any agency that claims to offer credit counseling and financial management resources.  Your local bankruptcy court or attorney can present you with approved agencies to consider.

Within 180 days of filing your bankruptcy petition, you should have the credit counseling course completed.  Present your certificate received when you file.  Before obtaining a discharge the financial management course needs to be completed.  Usually, sometime before the meeting of the creditors takes place, the course can be completed.  This ensures your discharge goes through as scheduled without delay.

The courses may seem like another hurdle to the filing process, but those who have completed them feel it was worth the effort in helping them plan a better financial future.