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Debtor education requirements and Chapter 7

In our previous post, we began discussing how those who were perhaps on the fence about filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy should understand that while the process is both straightforward and incredibly valuable, it nevertheless requires a determination on the part of the filer to follow through with the process.

To that end, we began discussing how those who are looking to file for Chapter 7 must complete credit counseling, a somewhat challenging requirement. In today's post, we'll discuss another challenging requirement that those seeking the discharge of their debts via Chapter 7 must satisfy: a debtor education course.  

In general, a debtor education course, otherwise referred to as a personal financial management course, is designed to help people prepare for their post-bankruptcy future by providing instruction on such important topics as budgeting and financial management.

One of the key differences between the debtor education course and the credit counseling course is that it is actually completed after the filing of the bankruptcy petition. Specifically, bankruptcy law dictates that in all Chapter 7 cases, the debtor education course must be completed within 60 days of the first set date of the meeting of creditors.

It's important to note that the debtor education course and the credit counseling course cannot be combined in any way or performed consecutively. Rather this pre- and post-bankruptcy course schedule must be adhered to by anyone filing for Chapter 7.

Furthermore, as with the credit counseling course, there are three exemptions to the debtor education requirement, including disability, active military duty and incapacity, while the course may also be completed in a variety of languages.

As before, the purpose in sharing this information is not to discourage people, but rather to provide them with an accurate depiction of what they can expect from the bankruptcy process.

Furthermore, it also serves to demonstrate how anyone considering the fresh start offered by Chapter 7 should strongly consider speaking with an experienced legal professional who can answer questions, explain the law and outline options.

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