The Bankruptcy Code requires you to take not one, but two financial information courses when you file Chapter 7. The first course is called a Credit Counseling Course and is intended to help you decide if bankruptcy really is your best option. You cannot file a Chapter 7 without first taking the Credit Counseling course and bringing the course completion certificate to your lawyer.
You must complete a second course after you file, but before your case closes. This second course is called the Financial Management Course and your attorney will need to electronically file the course completion certificate as well. If you do not complete the Financial Management course, your case will be closed without a discharge. You can reopen your case to file the course certificate but this will involve a filing fee and extra attorney’s fees.
Both the pre-filing Credit Counseling course and the post-filing Financial Management course can be taken on-line, over the phone or in person. Most people choose the on-line option. There are dozens of vendors who offer these courses – the price per course will be in the $20 to $30 range.
A list of approved credit counseling and financial management course vendors may be found by clicking on the link. Once you have completed your courses, the vendor will email a copy of the certificate to both you and to your lawyer.