Credit Counseling Course ("pre-petition certificate") v. Financial Management Court ("post-petition certificate")

By Gregory Nassar

Credit Counseling Course ("pre-petition certificate") v. Financial Management Course ("post-petition certificate")

Under the changes to the Bankruptcy Code which took effect October 17, 2005, Debtor(s) are now required to take two short credit counseling courses, one within six months before you file a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy ("Pre-bankruptcy") and one after you have filed for the bankruptcy and before a discharge is granted ("Pre-discharge").

Credit Counseling Course ("pre-petition certificate")

A "pre-bankruptcy" counseling session should include an evaluation of your personal financial situation, a discussion of alternatives to bankruptcy, and a personal budget plan. A typical counseling session should last about sixty minutes, and can take place in person, on the phone, or online. Once you have completed the required counseling, you must get a certificate as proof. Credit counseling fee are approximately $25.

Financial Management Court ("post-petition certificate")

Similar to a "Pre-bankruptcy" course, you must attend a second counseling session within 45 days after you file for bankruptcy and before a discharge may be granted. This session might last longer than the "pre-bankruptcy" counseling session– about two hours – and the typical fee is $15 or more. Once you have completed the required counseling session, you should receive a certificate as proof that will be filed with the court to complete your requirements.

Note: As a rule, the pre-petition certificate may not be provided at the same time as the post-petition

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