Credit Counseling and Debt Education Courses
Pursuant to The U.S. Bankruptcy Code, all debtors throughout the United States filing for personal bankruptcy protection, whether it be a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13, must complete a credit counseling course prior to filing for bankruptcy protection and a debtor education course within a short time after filing for bankruptcy protection. After successfully completing the courses, a certificate of completion is issued, which certificate must be filed with the debtor's petition being filed with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court. The courses are completed either over the telephone or online and typically take between 60 and 90 minutes, although numerous debtors have informed Mr. Alster that they can be completed in is the little as the 30 to 45 minutes. There are numerous course providers located throughout the country; a typical fee is somewhere between 22 - $25 per course.
Credit Counseling Course
The credit counseling course must be completed prior to filing bankruptcy, specifically within 180 days prior to the debtor filing his/her bankruptcy petition. The 1st completion certificate for the 1st course, being the credit counseling certificate must be filed with a debtor's Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 Bankruptcy petition or the debtor must provide an explanation as to why it was not filed and when the completion certificate will be filed.
The debtor education course needs to be taken and completed after debtors filed their Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy petitions and should be completed prior to the debtors’ 341(a) Hearing, which typically approximately 4 -5 weeks after the petition is filed. If for any reason this 2nd course is not completed, the court will not issue a Discharge Order in the debtors' petition will eventually be dismissed. As with the 1st, credit counseling seminar, this course can be completed over the telephone or online and typically takes between 60 and 90 minutes, but our office often hears clients telling us they were able to complete the course in 30 to 45 minutes.
There are a variety of firms that provide these courses in New Jersey and New York. You can find a list of approved credit counseling and debt education firms by asking Mr. Alster and/or his staff for information about this at your consultation. The Law Offices of Marc G. Alster works with some of best bankruptcy course providers and will recommend which provider to use at your consultation and will recommend which provider to use for your first and second bankruptcy courses. Click here for a list of course providers- the access code can only be used if and after you have retained the Law Offices of Marc Alster. In the meantime, please feel free to contact our law firm with any questions you have pertaining to either the credit counseling or debtor education courses.