The debtor education course is a requirement for both Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy filers. Debtors who do not complete this course on time will not receive a discharge, and will have to later have their cases reopened in order to get their discharge order.
The Basics of the Debtor Education Course
The debtor education course is designed to give you the financial knowledge and tools to fully take advantage of the fresh start offered by the bankruptcy discharge. Once you have your nonpriority unsecured debts discharged, you won’t have to deal with calls from creditors or huge credit card bills, but you need to use smart budgeting to make sure you don’t end up back in the same situation. The bankruptcy discharge is only available every eight years (in Chapter 7), so you won’t have the option of filing another bankruptcy for some time.
The debtor education course will teach you about various personal finance subjects, including budgeting, how to use credit effectively, and how to handle financial setbacks. You will use these tools to stay on track financially after your bankruptcy discharge and continue to pay off your debts, if you have nondischargeable debt.
How to Find a Debtor Education Course Provider
All debtor education courses must be approved by the U.S. trustee program. You can take courses in-person or on the internet. Online courses will have a test at the end, but you will have the chance to retake the test if you don’t receive a passing score the first time.
Debtor education course providers may charge a reasonable fee, which is typically $50 or less, but you can find online courses that are even cheaper than that. You can also request a fee waiver if your income is below 150% of the poverty level.
Once you complete the course, you will need to file your certificate of completion with the bankruptcy court. After you’ve fulfilled this requirement, you will be one step closer to receiving your bankruptcy discharge and getting a fresh start for your financial future.
If you have questions about the mandatory debtor education class, consult with your bankruptcy attorney.
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