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Chapter 13: Credit Counseling and Debtor Education Information

Below you will find in-depth information from the U.S. government on credit counseling and debtor education requirements for Chapter 13 bankruptcy filers. These requirements came about as a result of changes in bankruptcy laws that took effect in October of 2005. This page will be updated as new information on bankruptcy filing requirements and procedures becomes available.

Credit Counseling and Debtor Education

As part of the new bankruptcy laws, people wishing to file for bankruptcy (under Chapter 7 or Chapter 13) must now complete a credit counseling program before they will be allowed to file a bankruptcy petition. In addition, bankruptcy filers must obtain debt management counseling before being allowed to complete the bankruptcy process. In order to comply with these credit counseling and post-discharge debtor education requirements, filers must work with agencies that have been approved by the U.S. Trustee Program (a branch of the U.S. Department of Justice that is responsible for overseeing bankruptcy cases). Below are links to information on credit counseling and debtor education, and two lists of agencies that have been approved by the U.S. Trustee Program -- the first a list of agencies that provide pre-filing credit counseling to those wishing to file for bankruptcy, and the second a list of agencies that offer post-discharge debtor education to people who are completing the bankruptcy process. The third link below includes tips on choosing a credit counselor, from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

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