When you file for bankruptcy, debtor education classes are a part of the process. The first class called Credit Counseling is mandatory. After successfully completing the class, you receive a certificate. Please understand that it’s actually a waste of time to prepare and file your petition without the certificate. Also, please note that the certificate expires after 6 months.

Credit Counseling Debtor Education to Meet Bankruptcy Filing Requirements

Next, if you expect a discharge, then, immediately after filing your case, you must take the second class called Debtor Education. Interestingly, active-duty military people are normally exempt from the counseling requirement. Also, if you are not able to complete the course online, you can get counseling over the phone.

If you are below the poverty guideline income, the fee for credit counseling and debtor education may be waived. However, to receive this waiver, providers require you to present and prove your income level.

Forgetting to take the second Debtor Education class is a costly common mistake. If you forget to take the second course (Debtor Education) before your case closes you have to file a motion to reopen the case, pay another filing fee, and a small attorney fee. However, this $600 dollar cost is completely avoidable by taking the second class and filing the certificate immediately after your case is filed.

Debtor Education and Credit Counseling Course Providers

We searched the entire web for you to find the two best course providers. I believe BKcert and StartFreshToday are the best providers. They’re convenient because they file the second Debtor Education class automatically for you. There are less expensive providers but the other educational providers may try to force you into debt settlement programs they offer. BKcert is not the least expensive provider but they are quick.

BK Cert

For an emergency, BKcert.com is open 24/7. The big advantage to BKcert is we get certificates immediately in case of an emergency filing.

Start Fresh Today

Interestingly, StartFreshToday offers custom counseling to fit your specific needs. This is a good feature because counseling for foreclosure clients is different than counseling for clients with medical debts or tax problems. So, it may be more relevant to you if you are listening to credit counseling that specifically addresses your problems.

The Start Fresh Today platform conveniently offers the Credit Counseling and Debtor Education courses online or by phone at the same price for single or joint filers with full customer support and fast certificate delivery. 800-435-9138 our attorney code is NT4459. They do close however at 10 pm.

If you can’t afford the above alternatives, contact my Administrative Assistant Toni at 502-625-0903, and she will help you find the least expensive course.

Credit Counseling Briefing Video from Start Fresh Today

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How to Receive a Free Credit Report and Repair Your Credit

The video below tells you how to get a free credit report at AnnualCreditReport.com or 877–322–8228. This is also a great way to get all your creditor’s recent information for your bankruptcy. That’s because a credit report should contain all of your debt’s account numbers and addresses. This is also the way that you file all your debts with your bankruptcy with the correct contact information for each creditor.

If you need credit repair, you can remove old, untrue, and misleading information from your credit file. But, it takes is organization and perseverance to clean up your credit report as much as possible. In fact, we strongly suggest if you file for bankruptcy, that you repair your credit file for about one full year after your discharge. However, for the average person, credit repair might become very difficult.

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Other Helpful Bankruptcy Links for Your Convenience

You can follow your entire case at this website NDC.org  and also look at 13DataCenter for your Chapter 13 case data.

For a copy of your tax returns: Jefferson County PVA.

Deeds and mortgage documents for Jefferson County: Jefferson County Land Records.

If you need a new social security card, call 1-800-772-1213 or go to www.ssa.gov.

IRS Returns: You can get a copy of your tax transcripts for the prior 2 years by calling 1-800-829-1040. Tax returns and/or a copy of your account with the IRS are available. Failing to file tax returns or provide copies of your taxes or your Social Security card is the basis to automatically dismiss your case.

Hopefully, you will have filed your taxes for the prior 2 years. If you need to bankrupt income taxes you will need both the account transcripts and your returns. Please note that these are two different documents.

Turn to the IRS transaction codes on the transcript to learn if your debt is old enough to discharge and what was done in your account. You may also download this information at ProofOfTax.com or IRS.gov/Individuals/Get-Transcript.

You can also download our manual that explains step by step how to handle foreclosures, student loan debt, and how to bankrupt income taxes.

If you need help with your bankruptcy filing, you are in the right place. Contact my office right away for more information. Nick C. Thompson, Attorney: 502-625-0905

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