Consumer Bankruptcy:

Required Counselling

With the passing of the new bankruptcy law in 2005, nearly all applicants must enroll and take credit counseling and financial management courses. 
 
Before filing for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13, a credit counseling course must be taken in a program that is government approved. The purpose of this is to provide the debtor with an understanding of the financial situation, and also to present, if possible, ways of dealing with debt other than filing for bankruptcy. A list of these approved programs can be found on the website of the Department of Justice, here. This requirement is not waived, even if there is clearly no option other than filing for bankruptcy or if you object to one or more of your debts. The debtor is only required to enroll in and taken the course, not to comply with any repayment plan that it suggested. However, in the event that the a plan for debt repayment is suggested, it must be submitted to the court, along with proof that the credit counseling was taken, before the debtor can file for bankruptcy.
 
In the final stages of the bankruptcy proceedings, the debtor will have to attend additional courses in financial management. Proof that this requirement has been met must be submitted to the court before debts are discharged. The Department of Justice also has additional information on this requirement on their website, here.

 

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