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Debtors filing for bankruptcy must undergo financial counseling

In general, when a person in Texas decides they want to file for bankruptcy, within 180 days of doing so they must complete a credit counseling course. Also, before a person's debts can be discharged through bankruptcy, the debtor must complete a debt management course. These courses are designed to help ensure that debtors make sure they truly want to file for bankruptcy, and also to provide them with the information needed to hopefully deter having to file for bankruptcy a second time.

The pre-bankruptcy course will cover a number of topics. First of all, the debtor's personal finances will be reviewed. If the debtor has any choices besides filing for bankruptcy, these will be gone over. Finally, a budget will be developed. The course is not onerous. It usually lasts only around 60 minutes. Moreover, while it can be done in-person, it can also be completed on the Internet or through a phone call. When the course is completed, the debtor will be given an official certificate to include in their bankruptcy filing.

The post-filing course also covers a number of topics. Again, a budget will be developed. The course will educate the debtor on the proper use of credit. Finally, the debtor will learn how to manage money. Again, the debtor has options for completing this course. It can be done in-person, through the Internet or via a phone call. It usually lasts around two hours. Once the debtor completes the court, he or she will be issued a certificate.

These requirements are meant to help debtors who have found themselves in a tight financial spot. It is important to complete them. If a debtor has questions about these courses, or about filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in general, it may help to speak with an attorney.

Source: FindLaw, "Bankruptcy: Counseling Before Filing," Accessed Aug. 14, 2017

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