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Pursuant to the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 (BAPCPA), all individual debtors looking to file bankruptcy must complete credit counseling before filing bankruptcy and must complete a financial management course after filing. Bankruptcy law is complex and a seasoned bankruptcy attorney is the best source of information, but here are the answers to some common questions about the financial management course you must complete after filing bankruptcy:

What Types of Bankruptcy Require the Course?

The financial management course is required to receive a discharge in Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy cases.

What Happens if I Do Not Complete the Course?

The court will not grant your bankruptcy discharge if you fail to complete a financial management course offered by an approved instructor.

Are There Any Exceptions to This Requirement?

There are three specific exceptions which may allow you to discharge your debts without completing the financial management course. First, if you are on active military duty in an active combat zone. Second, if you are unable to complete the course because you are incapacitated or disabled. Finally, if the United States Trustee, which is responsible for creating a list of approved financial management courses, determines that there are inadequate services in your area.

What Do I Have to Do Once I Complete the Course?

After you complete the financial management course, you must file a certificate of completion with the bankruptcy court. You will receive this certificate from the agency that provided your course. This certificate must be filed by a set date. In Chapter 7 cases, the certification must be filed within 45 days of the date of the 341 meeting of creditors. In Chapter 13 cases, the certification must be filed by the date of the last payment you make.

If you are considering filing bankruptcy, then it is important to speak with a bankruptcy attorney.