Bankruptcy Basics: What Is Debtor Education (aka Financial Management Course)?

02 Sep Bankruptcy Basics: What Is Debtor Education (aka Financial Management Course)?

In 2005, Congress implemented the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005. In that Act, new requirements were imposed on consumers who want to file for bankruptcy. In addition to having to take a course in credit counseling within 180 days of filing bankruptcy, a debtor has to take and complete a second course called “Financial Management” or “Debtor Education”. The certificate of completion for that course must be filed with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court before a discharge order can be entered. The debtor can pick any approved course he/she wants to take. The course is expected to take about 90 minutes to complete.

What education is provided within that 90 minutes? Unlike the credit counseling that is done pre-bankruptcy, this course is actually helpful to most debtors and their attorneys. The provider of the education reviews the good and bad uses of credit and budget concerns.

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I'm a consumer protection lawyer in Oregon, working with people in Klamath; Lake; Jackson; Josephine; Curry; and Deschutes County. I speak regularly on bankruptcy and consumer protection issues nationwide.
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