If you decide to file a Chapter 7or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you will be required to complete credit counseling and a debtor education course. However, this is required of all individual or non-business bankruptcy filers throughout the United States, not just here in Pennsylvania.
Anyone who files for personal bankruptcy must complete pre-bankruptcy credit counseling, as well as pre-discharge debtor education. You cannot do these concurrently – you must complete them at different times. You must take the credit counseling beforeyou file for Chapter 7 or 13 bankruptcy. On the other hand, you must complete the debtor education aspect afteryou file for bankruptcy.
Obtaining a Certificate of Completion
Before your debts can be discharged through bankruptcy, you must obtain a certificate of completion for both the credit counseling and the debtor education course. You can only obtain these certificates from credit counseling and debtor education providers that are approved by the U.S. Trustee Program. To find an approved credit counseling provider, click here. To find an approved debtor education provider, click here.
What is Debtor Education About?
You may have gotten into this predicament because you were in an accident, became disabled and unable to work, or because you got sick. Or, your debt may have snowballed because you lacked a solid financial education.
In many cases, debtors got deep into debt because they didn’t have a good understanding of how finances work. Because of this, the laws were changed and now all debtors who file personal bankruptcy must receive debtor education before their debts can be discharged. The good news is this education is valuable and easy for most people to learn.
Types of topics covered in the debtor education course:
- Credit cards
- Interest rates
- Comparison shopping
- Tracking your spending
- Using credit appropriately
- Secured vs. unsecured loans
- Keeping financial records
- Car, medical, life, and homeowner’s insurance
- Saving for emergencies
- What bankruptcy can do
- What bankruptcy can’t do
- Life after bankruptcy