Joseph P. Doyle Articles Bankruptcy Credit Counseling

Bankruptcy Credit Counseling

By Joseph P. Doyle  May. 6, 2011 11:22a

The 2005 bankruptcy law reform made credit counseling mandatory for all individuals who file bankruptcy. In order for you to file for bankruptcy in Illinois, you are required by law to complete a U.S. Trustee approved credit counseling course within six months before filing your bankruptcy petition. Upon completion of the 45-90 minute course, you will receive a certificate verifying your completion of the course, which must be filed along with your bankruptcy petition. Typically, the credit counseling courses are in a question and answer format, and can be completed via telephone, online or in person.

The purpose of the pre-filing credit counseling course is to educate debtors on budgeting, money management, and alternatives to bankruptcy. A bankruptcy attorney can provide you with information on where to find a list of approved Illinois credit counseling providers.

Pre-Discharge Bankruptcy Debtor Education Counseling

Once you have already filed your bankruptcy petition, the next step will be completing your pre-discharge bankruptcy debtor education course. Completion of the course is required before your bankruptcy can be discharged. You will receive a certificate verifying that you completed a U.S. Trustee approved debtor education briefing, which your bankruptcy attorney will forward to the bankruptcy court.

In a Chapter 7 case, you are required to complete your post-petition financial management briefing within 60 days after the 341 meeting of the creditors. In a Chapter 13 case, you must complete the post-petition financial management briefing prior to the completion of your repayment plan. The objective of the post-petition briefing is to educate debtors on how to manage their finances post bankruptcy. The post-petition financial management briefing takes approximately 2 hours and can be completed via telephone, online or, in person.

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