Following the alphabet motif here, I am now on the letter “C”.   One of the relatively new bankruptcy-related “C” words is “credit counseling”.  OK, that’s two words, but for cases filed after October 2005,  it is now a prerequisite for any individuals filing a bankruptcy case.

Debtors must take a credit counseling course within 6 months prior to commencing any bankruptcy case under Chapter 7, chapter 11 or chapter 13.

Can I Get The Credit Counseling Done Anywhere?

No. The credit counseling course must be taken from an agency approved by the Office of the United States Trustee

What Happens if I Don’t Take the Course?

Taking the course is a prerequisite for being eligible to be a debtor in the Chapter that is filed.  Failure to file the required certificate of completion showing the course was taken prior to filing your case  is grounds for dismissal of the case.   However, some judges will allow the course to be taken after the case is filed.

Financial Management Course–Another Course?

Yes, Congress in its infinite wisdom decided to require individuals to take a post-filing course in debt (financial) management, and file that certificate as a prerequisite to obtaining a discharge.  If the certificate of completion for this course is not filed within required timeframes (different with each chapter), the case will be closed without discharge being entered.

The above are just a couple of the many intricacies of a successful bankruptcy case in today’s world and highlight the need for experienced representation by a qualified bankruptcy attorney.


Image courtesy of Alan Cleaver_2000