After you file a bankruptcy case, you may get a letter from a company that makes it seem as if you have to use their company to take the Financial Education Course that is required by bankruptcy law.
You do have to take a second course, now that you have filed, but you don’t have to take it from any particular company. There are a number of approved companies to choose from, and if you have a lawyer, there is usually one your lawyer will recommend.
Read the letter carefully, because it might be an advertisement for the Financial Education Course that is given by a number of different companies. I find some of the letters to be misleading since many debtors receive these letters and think that they must use that company, not realizing that it is an advertisement.
- Before filing, you have to take a special credit counseling course or you are not eligible to file. This is not a debt management program, but a specific credit counseling course you must take in order to file for bankruptcy.
Most of my clients just use the same company that they use for the credit counseling course they had to take before filing. Any lawyer who represents a bankruptcy client should have a list of companies, and probably has a favorite company that they work with.
- After filing you have to take the second course called the Financial Management Course, or Debtor Education Course, or you won’t receive a discharge.
There are a number of U.S. Trustee approved companies that give these courses.
While it seems like a good idea to require financial education, that assumes that most people are in financial trouble due to things within their control. However most individuals are in trouble due to the economy, loss of job/income, medical issues and domestic/family issues. It isn’t a lack of education or knowlege, but hard times that often can’t be avoided.
See also: You Can’t Borrow Your Way Out Of Debt: Debt Management Programs by Susanne Robicsek, Charlotte NC Bankruptcy Lawyer, Bankruptcy Law Network
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Last modified: October 22, 2012