Courses Required for Filing Bankruptcy

Tue, Oct 4, 2011


Bankruptcy gavelBankruptcy laws require everyone who files for bankruptcy to take educational courses. This is required for both Chapter 7 and 13 bankruptcy filers. You are required to take a class before and after filing.

Many vendors offer the required bankruptcy classes in the state of Florida. The bankruptcy courts set guidelines about what must be included in the class, but classes will vary by vendor otherwise. These classes are relatively inexpensive and most are offered online. Classes may be offered free, if your income (or lack of it) qualifies you.

The bankruptcy education classes must be completed (and passed) and the results filed with the court using proper documentation. If the proper procedures are not followed, the bankruptcy will not be finalized. This includes not completing the classes within the allowable time frame.

When choosing a vendor for your courses, check out the list of approved vendors at this website: Your lawyer will also be helpful in selecting a good course provider. After choosing one, be sure and ask a few questions of them. Ask them about their fees, forms, and other policies. Be sure and ask them questions about their course content and timing to complete it in time for your case. If taking a class in-person or online is important to you, make sure your chosen vendor can do that. Also, ask about their procedure for issuing your certificate of completion, as this may vary by vendor.

The class taken before filing is called the pre-bankruptcy credit-counseling course. You will fill out forms and speak with a counselor. Some of this can be done online, but many vendors require in-person meetings or a phone conversation to complete the class. You will discuss your current financial situation with the counselor and fill out information about your debts and so on.  You will end up making a budget as part of this process. The counselor will also discuss any alternatives you may have to filing for bankruptcy.

The class taken after filing is called pre-discharge debtor education. It involves learning more about managing your money and making a budget. Also included are lessons on credit and using it wisely. It is typically longer than the first course, as it usually involves more reading and activities.

The classes offered as requirements of a bankruptcy offer valuable information about your credit, debt, and budget. SmithLaw finds the class content helpful for many clients.


Photo by The-Lane-Team (Flickr/Creative Commons License)

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