There are two courses you have to take when you file bankruptcy. The first course is a credit counseling course. It must be taken before the bankruptcy case is filed. The second course is a financial management course. You have to take this course after you file bankruptcy but before you receive a discharge. North Texas bankruptcy trustees offer the second course for free at their office on the day the trustee meets with the debtors to discuss their case. Usually this course will take place in the morning and after lunch the meeting will take place. As a result, the day that the debtor meets with the trustee is an all day event and some debtors who are unable to miss an entire day of work choose to work in the morning, missing the course, and then come to their meeting in the afternoon.
Missing the course offered by the trustee is not the end of the world. Debtors can take the course online. The problem is that sometimes the debtor forgets or procrastinates and never completes the course. The court will send you one reminder that you need to take the case and after that you are on your own. Every once in awhile a debtor will forget about taking this course and after completing their Chapter 13 plan their case is closed without the debtor receiving a discharge. This is a problem. The debtor spent three to five years paying their creditors back in a reorganization plan only to find that they don’t get to discharge their remaining debt. This problem can be corrected by a bankruptcy attorney. They can file a motion to reopen the bankruptcy case so that a certificate of completion of the second course can be filed and then the debtor will receive a discharge. However the court charges a filing fee to reopen cases and the attorney will likely charge additional fees. The cost of reopening a case for this purpose can be as much as $600.00 simply to file a piece of paper. If you are a debtor in a bankruptcy case, please keep this in mind. Reading this article may help you save a lot of money.