Credit Counseling And Filing Bankruptcy

19 Jul Credit Counseling And Filing Bankruptcy

The law requires that all debtors take a credit counseling course before a bankruptcy is filed.  That means that both spouses in a joint case must take the course.  It isn’t a multi-session course: just one class of an hour to two on the phone or the internet.  And yes, you’ll have to pay for it, but the fee runs about $49.00 for one or two participants.

The class must be completed no more than 6 months and no less than a day before a bankruptcy is filed. If the class isn’t completed at least the day before filing, the bankruptcy will be dismissed.  (There are exceptions in the law to this requirement, but you would have to prove that you were incapacitated due to mental deficiency or mental illness, on active military duty in a war zone or you tried to get counseling and it wasn’t available during a five day period before filing – an impossible feat in this day and age of telephones and the internet.)

Credit counseling is available 24/7 on the internet and by phone.  The US Trustee’s Office maintains a list of the approved counseling providers.  Or, your attorney can provide you with such a list.

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Douglas Jacobs is a California bankruptcy attorney and partner in the Chico law firm of Jacobs, Anderson, Potter & Chaplin. Since 1988, Mr. Jacobs has taught Constitutional law and Debtor-Creditor/Bankruptcy law at the Cal Northern School of Law. He has served as Dean of Students since 1994. He is a frequent lecturer on the subject of consumer bankruptcy law, and has spoken at both state and national levels.
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