DO I HAVE TO TAKE A CREDIT COUNSELING COURSE BEFORE MY BANKRUPTCY CASE IS FILED?
With limited exceptions, the Bankruptcy Code requires that all individual debtors who file for bankruptcy relief receive a briefing that outlines the available opportunities for credit counseling and provides assistance in performing a budget analysis (a "Credit Counseling Course"). The Credit Counseling Course must be given within 180 days before the bankruptcy filing. The course may be given individually or in a group setting (which includes courses conducted by telephone or on the Internet) and must be provided by a nonprofit budget and credit counseling agency approved by the United States trustee or bankruptcy administrator. The cost of the course ranges from $25 to $50, depending on the agency that you choose.
In addition, after filing a bankruptcy case, an individual debtor generally must complete a financial management instructional course before he or she can receive a discharge. This course may (but does not have to) be taken with the same agency that you took the Credit Counseling Course with. The cost for this course ranges from $15 to $30, depending on the agency you choose.
A list of agencies that are approved in the Eastern District of New York can be found here. Our office will also provide you with information on approved agencies at your initial consultation.
Bankruptcy law can be very complicated. Should you decide to file for relief under the Bankruptcy Code, we can help you understand your rights and responsibilities under the law.
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