What is Bankruptcy Counseling? Pre-Discharge Education

Individual debtors filing bankruptcy are required to complete both pre and post discharge counseling courses. Pre-filing counseling or “Credit Counseling” must be completed before the filing of bankruptcy.


After the filing of bankruptcy debtors must again complete a counseling course. The post filing course has several common names; including, “Debtor’s Education,” “Financial Management Course,” and “Pre-Discharge Education.”


The course must be completed in order to get a discharge of debts. If a debtor fails to complete the course then the debtor’s bankruptcy case will be dismissed and no discharge granted debtor. The course must be completed and the certificate filed with the Court no later than 45 days after the first scheduled date of the §341 meeting of creditors. However, it is my recommendation to complete the course before the meeting.


The course can be completed, on-line, over the phone or in person.  There are many agencies that provide pre-discharge education to bankruptcy debtors. These organizations must be non-for-profit corporations AND must be approved by the US Department of Justice; commonly debtors use the same company for both the pre-filing and post-filing course.


I provide all my clients with a referral to an approved counseling course, however, clients are free to use any agency they wish to complete the course.