If you plan on filing for bankruptcy protection you'll need to review qualifications and requirements in order to obtain a successful discharge. This includes getting credit counseling with an approved government organization within 180 days of filing your petition. A debtor education course is also required for debt discharge approval. It is important to consult with your bankruptcy attorney to ensure you meet these requirements.
Some debtors have avoided filing for bankruptcy because of the credit counseling and debtor education requirements. These requirements help debtors obtain pertinent information that will help in regaining control of their personal finances. When seeking an approved credit counselor or debtor educator they should be listed on the U.S. Trustee Program list as an approved provider.
Credit counseling should be completed prior to filing your petition and debtor education should be completed before debts are discharged but after you file your petition. When you file bankruptcy you'll present a certificate of completion as prove of completing the counseling. The same should be provided upon completing the debtor education course.
Counseling sessions last about 60 to 90 minutes with a minimal fee that should be reviewed with you before obtaining services. This may be obtained free of charge to those who qualify. The debtor education course follows a similar protocol. Course details can be received online, by phone or in person. Choosing a credit counselor includes a provider that meets law requirements in your local jurisdiction. Your bankruptcy attorney can provide additional details.