Michael D. Hart, P.C.

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Do you really have to take a class on credit to file bankruptcy?

| Feb 23, 2021 | Bankruptcy |

You might have seen your financial issues coming. Perhaps your spouse lost their job and your budget took a blow, forcing you to put staples like utility bills and groceries on credit cards. Doing so was a calculated risk, but it is easy to overextend yourself with credit cards.

Despite having always been responsible with your money in the past, it only takes a few months of falling behind for all of your previous effort and goodwill with creditors to seemingly evaporate. Companies can quickly become aggressive when budget shortfalls limit whom you can repay each month.

Once you realize that bankruptcy is the best solution for your situation, you likely plan to maintain careful control of your finances moving forward. The very fact that you have determined to file bankruptcy likely indicates you understand how credit works and the best way to correct your situation. Do you really have to take credit classes in order to file for bankruptcy?

Individuals filing for bankruptcy have education requirements

If you must file bankruptcy on behalf of a business, credit counseling may not be part of that process. However, for individuals and couples filing for personal bankruptcy protection, credit education is necessary.

Federal laws mandate that those filing for bankruptcy must first complete pre-filing credit counseling that gives instruction on finances and budgeting. A certificate documenting your completion of this course is necessary for your initial filing.

You will also have a second course obligation before your bankruptcy is over. After your file your initial petition, you will need to complete a debtor education course before you receive your discharge.

Required courses can help set you up for future success

Credit education and counseling may seem like an embarrassing and remedial requirement. To some people, the course might even feel like a punishment.

However, the goal is to arm those who have overextended themselves in the past with more information about how to use credit wisely and how to balance a budget. Instead of looking at the education requirements as some kind of penalty, view them as an opportunity to refresh yourself on the jargon involved with credit so that when you need to start rebuilding after your discharge, you will be well-positioned to do so.