Washington residents filing for bankruptcy may not be aware of the credit counseling and financial management requirements. These requirements involve taking and completing two separate courses before debts can be discharged in bankruptcy.
The credit counseling course is taken prior to filing bankruptcy and the financial management course is taken after the bankruptcy is filed, but before debts are discharged and the bankruptcy completed.
Every individual filing for bankruptcy must complete a credit counseling course within 180 days before filing for bankruptcy. The course must be approved by a United States Trustee and there may be a small fee involved; however, the fee may be waived depending on your circumstances. After the course is completed, you will receive a certificate of completion which must be presented for filing.
After the bankruptcy is filed, completion of a financial management course is required before the bankruptcy can be completed through a discharge of debts. It is very important to complete this course, as failure to do so can result in your bankruptcy case being closed and your debts not being discharged. As with the credit counseling course, a certificate of competition will be issued to you once the course is complete.
Fortunately, these classes can be completed in person, over the phone or online. It is important to note that if a married couple is filing a joint bankruptcy, each spouse must complete both courses and two certificates of completion must be presented for each course.
The bankruptcy process involves many steps, some of which may be complex or confusing. Completing each required step is vital to ensure a successful discharge of debts and allow you to move forward and make a fresh financial start.