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What is the bankruptcy counseling requirement?

If you are planning to file bankruptcy in Florida, it is essential to understand the federal bankruptcy laws that you must abide by. One of those rules is that you must complete credit counseling before you file and then after you file.

According to the Federal Trade Commission, the pre-filing counseling must be completed some time within the 180 days prior to filing your bankruptcy with the court. The program needs to include three main points. It should teach you about alternatives to bankruptcy, help you create a personal budget and evaluate your personal finances. It can be done in person, online or over the phone. 

You also must complete a counseling session after your bankruptcy is filed. This is called debtor's education. This also must be done through an approved program. It will cover a few different points, including how to use credit wisely, how to manage money and how to create a personal budget. This can also be done on the phone or online, along with being done in person. 

For both programs, you have to get a certificate of completion. This must be filed with the court to prove you have completed counseling requirements. It is also important to know that you must go through an approved organization to do your counseling. You should check with the U.S Trustee Program for an approved program. 

The idea behind counseling is to help you with your financial troubles. Anyone filing bankruptcy has obviously gotten in a situation where they are not able to manage their finances properly, so the goal is to help you avoid problems again in the future. This information is for education and is not legal advice. 

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