I’ve heard of people taking classes both before and after filing bankruptcy. What are these classes? Are they required in Texas? (Pre-filing bankruptcy credit counseling and Pre-discharge debtor education) How long do these classes take and what can I expect?
There are two required financial courses in Bankruptcy. The first course is taken before you file bankruptcy and the second course is taken after you have filed the bankruptcy.
The First Class – Pre-Filing Bankruptcy Credit Counseling
This class is intended to help you prepare for bankruptcy. It goes over several budget/finance related questions to help you gain clarity on your personal finances. Some of the questions relate to how much you spent on your home, vehicle, food, utilities, etc. The course is very straight forward and easy to take. There are several online providers that you can use (see the list here).
How Long Does The First Class Take?
The class takes anywhere from 30 to 45 minutes in most cases.
Is the Class Required?
Yes, if you do not take the pre-filing case before you file for bankruptcy then your case will be dismissed by the Court. However, there are a few narrow exceptions for disability related issues.
The Second Class – Pre-Discharge Debtor Education
The second class is required to be taken after you have filed for bankruptcy. You cannot take this course until you have a bankruptcy case number. This course is designed to guide you through the post-bankruptcy process and really focuses on life after bankruptcy. It goes into money management, using credit wisely and how you can make the most of your bankruptcy discharge.
How Long Does The Second Class Take?
The second class is a little longer takes 2-3 hours to complete.
Is the Second Class Required?
Yes. This is mandatory and if the course is not completed you will not receive a discharge. There are some limited exceptions but those only apply in the most rare of circumstances such as disability/incapacity.