Do I Have to Take a Course to File Bankruptcy?
by: Jonathan Goldsmith Cohen
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I commonly get asked this question by potential clients. The short answer is yes, you do have to take a course to file bankruptcy in NJ. However, this is course is completed online through a third party and is nothing to sweat.
When Congress amended the Federal Bankruptcy Code in 2004, a requirement to complete Credit Counseling prior to filing bankruptcy in NJ and Financial Management Education after the case is filed and before discharge can be entered was put into place. Every person or business filing bankruptcy in the United States today must complete Credit Counseling and Financial Management Education.
Both NJ “courses” are done online and each one takes about 1-1.5 hours to complete. The timeframe is federally mandated as I learned at the last National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys Conference (NACBA).
The NJ Bankruptcy courses are done by a non-profit third party counseling agency approved by the Office of the United States Trustee. In my office, I tell my clients that they can use any of the third-party counseling agencies.
I tend to like Greenpath, www.greenpathbk.org because they provide excellent customer service and are extremely reasonable. There is a nominal cost from the third-party counseling agency to complete credit counseling. Once a client finishes a section of the counseling requirement, they enter my attorney code for Greenpath, IMC732, and the certificate(s) are then e-mailed directly to me so that I can file them with the bankruptcy court.