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 » Osenton Explains Bankruptcy Counseling Requirement

Osenton Explains Bankruptcy Counseling Requirement

If an individual wishes to file for personal bankruptcy, it’s not just a matter of applying and going to court.

Under the U.S. Bankruptcy Code, debtors must attend credit counseling within 180 days before filing for bankruptcy and, subsequently, debtor education. The counseling must be provided by an agency approved by the bankruptcy court.

“When debtor’s file for bankruptcy, you must provide a certificate proving you went through your credit counseling,” said Reginald Osenton of Olivero Laws in Brandon, Florida. “After you file your application but before your debt is discharged, you then must take a debtor education course and provide evidence of its completion, as well.”

Pre-Bankruptcy Credit Counseling

This counseling session usually lasts about an hour and includes a discussion of the individual’s personal finances, alternatives to bankruptcy and the putting together of a finance management plan. The session can be done either over the phone, in person or even online.

Costs for the program usually run about $25, though the fee can be waived if the person is unable to pay. Be sure to obtain a certificate of completion.

Debtor Education

This part of the process is done after the individual files for bankruptcy yet before his or her debts are discharged. During the debtor education class, which can last up to two hours, the attendee will learn about the proper techniques for managing his or her personal finances, about good credit versus bad credit, and receive tips on how to budget wisely.

“Same as with the pre-bankruptcy credit counseling session, a debtor education course can be done in person, online or over the phone,” Osenton said. “You must also obtain a certificate. If you cannot pay the fee, which also may run around $25, it too can be waived.”

The pre-bankruptcy counseling and debtor education course requirements were put into effect during the 2005 amendments to the U.S. Bankruptcy Code.

If someone is thinking of filing for bankruptcy and has questions about the process, including the counseling and educational components, it is best for them to talk with an experienced attorney who can answer all of their questions.

To learn more visit, http://www.brandonlawoffice.com.

Posted on Monday, November 15th, 2010 at 8:01 pm under News and Press.
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