About Those Required Bankruptcy Classes…
Everyone who files a bankruptcy case has to take an online class before filing, and one after filing. You
can’t file a case without the first class (your case would get thrown out), and you can’t get a discharge of debts
without the second class (you’d have to pay $261 plus other fees to reopen your case to file the certificate).
Make sure to not pay for any of the six or so additional services – we don’t need paper or faxed copies of
the certificates, or expedited anything. Uncheck all the boxes for extra stuff. Also, you can avoid the $3 card fee
by paying with a checking account. Just pay for the class.
The purpose of the first class, Credit Counseling, is to make sure you need to file a bankruptcy case in
the first place. While any good attorney will go over this with you, Congress wanted to make sure that people
weren’t getting sold a bankruptcy case without an impartial review of your financial circumstances.
The key thing to remember while taking the first class is that financial numbers you provide will NOT
be matched up with your bankruptcy petition. Your bankruptcy petition needs to be accurate, especially as to the
income and your assets. However, a reasonably close estimate is good enough for the class; just remember the
numbers you provide so that you can provide them again for the chat session at the end, if asked.
The class requires you to spend 1 hour going over the various web pages of the class. You can get
through them all more quickly than that. If so, then just click on a new page every 10 minutes or so until the hour
is up. You can always log back in and finish later if need be.
After that, you will have a chat session (online, typing messages) with a counselor. It helps to open the
web pages, in separate windows, where you listed your income, expenses, assets, and debts. Counselors like to
verify those with you. Just answer their questions nicely, and hopefully they’ll wrap things up for you quickly.
The purpose of the second class, Personal Financial Management, is to try to keep you from needing to
file a bankruptcy case again. We all make mistakes or get blindsided by life; it’s important to recover
(bankruptcy can help a lot with that), learn what we can, and try to not make the same mistakes twice.
The second class covers budgeting and some ways to save money. However, you’ll do much better with
my Life After Bankruptcy article, at OrthnerLaw.com. That’s how I rebuilt my credit years ago, for real and for free.
You have to spend a total of 2 hours on the second class, so click on a new page every 10 minutes or so,
to avoid getting logged out. The quiz at the end isn’t very hard, and there’s no chat session for the second class.
Feel free to contact me with any questions you may have.
Dale Orthner (916) 588-5011 – attorney code AA28531