23 Aug Can I File Bankruptcy The Same Day I Complete Counseling?
A Northern District of Illinois decision says no. In re Gossett, No. 06B14628 (NDIL April 24, 2007). Judge John Squires interpreted 11 U.S.C. 109(h)(1) and during the 180-day period preceding the date of filing to require a calendar date separating the credit counseling and the bankruptcy filing. Judge Squires determined that Congress did not define the time frame for the 180 day period and Judge Squires looked to Bankruptcy Rule 9006(a) for guidance. There, he found that Rule 9006(a) excludes the day of filing when counting the 180 day period.
Credit counseling is a prerequisite to filing bankruptcy, and the penalty for failure to comply is harsh. Judge Squires dismissed the Gossett case. Yet only a handful of courts have written published opinions on 109(h)(1). This uncertainty forces debtors to second guess filing any case on the same day of counseling in any district that has not addressed this issue.
Andy Miofsky, Esq.
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