AMES, Iowa -- Individuals filing for personal bankruptcy can turn to Iowa State University Extension and Outreach for the education that is required during the bankruptcy process. “Financial Success: Recovery after Bankruptcy” is available through the national eXtension website, www.extension.org, at a cost of $20 per person.
As a result of the 2005 Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act, anyone filing for personal bankruptcy has been required to participate in a two-hour educational workshop before the bankruptcy is discharged. The online workshop is designed to help participants strengthen their financial management skills to prevent future problems.
“While dealing with bankruptcy may build awareness and motivation to take control of your finances, the skills, tools and strategies for being in control do not appear out of nowhere,” said Jan Monahan, an ISU Extension and Outreach family finance specialist.
“The online workshop covers skills and tools for planning and controlling spending, for finding money to save for emergencies and specific goals, and for monitoring and controlling debt. These skills improve a family’s ability to maintain stability and get ahead, despite the financial challenges that every family faces occasionally,” Monahan said.
To access this online workshop, go to www.extension.org and type “debtor education” in the search box, or go directly to www.extension.org/pages/67265/financial-security-for-all-debtor-education. The course is available 24/7, and certificates of completion are emailed to participants the next business day after they complete the course.
Monahan noted that www.extension.org offers a wide variety of financial education and information.
The $20 fee for the online workshop can be waived in cases of financial hardship, Monahan said, if household income is below 200 percent of the federal poverty level or if the bankruptcy case is being handled pro bono by an attorney.
To find information about all approved providers of workshops that meet the educational requirements outlined in the bankruptcy law, go to the U.S. Trustee Program website, www.justice.gov/ust/eo/bapcpa/ccde/de_approved.htm.