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Debtor education and credit counseling in Chapter 7 bankruptcy

When it comes to filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, debtors in Florida need to do more than fill out the required forms and paperwork. Debtors must also complete a credit counseling session prior to filing for bankruptcy and a post-filing debtor education course.

As the name suggests, the pre-bankruptcy credit counseling course must be completed before filing for bankruptcy. Upon completion of the course, the debtor will receive a certificate proving the debtor completed the counseling session. Debtors can complete the session in a variety of ways, including online, over the phone or in person. There may be fees involved, although these can be waived in certain circumstances. A number of topics will be discussed in the credit counseling session. These subjects include budgeting, discussing other means of debt relief and examining the debtor's current finances.

The debtor education course must be completed after filing, but prior to the conclusion of one's bankruptcy case. As with the credit counseling, the debtor will be issued a certificate proving he or she completed the course. The course can be completed online, over the phone or in person. Again, like credit counseling, it may be possible under certain circumstances to waive the fees involved. Topics that may be discussed include the proper use of credit, financial management and budgeting.

These are only two steps debtors must take in order to complete the Chapter 7 bankruptcy process. This post is not legal advice. Therefore, it may benefit debtors who have questions about filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy to speak with a legal professional in order to have their concerns addressed.

Source: consumer.ftc.gov, "Filing for Bankruptcy: What to Know," Accessed May 25, 2015

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