MA Case Dismissed for Absence of Counseling

23 Oct MA Case Dismissed for Absence of Counseling

A nightmare came true for the filer in In re Falcone, 370 B.R. 462 (Bankr D MA 2007) (Hillman, J), which ruled that the absence of debt counseling before the filing was fatal to the filing even though she only had two days’ notice of the imminent foreclosure and her counsel’s paralegal misunderstood the counseling requirement.

An extension for achieving the counseling requirement can be obtained if (1) there are “exigent” circumstances, (2) the debtor unsuccessfully tried to get counseling for the five days after first making the request before filing, and (3) the court is satisfied with debtor’s certification of the first two requirements. The court ruled that there was no attempt to achieve the counseling before the filing and her circumstances were not extraordinary.

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L. Jed Berliner practices exclusively in consumer bankruptcy, foreclosure defense, and related consumer protection litigation such as credit card defenses and suing debt collectors. He established his Springfield, MA practice in 1988. Attorney Berliner is a regular and active contributor to the Bankruptcy Law Network, the Bankruptcy Roundtable, and the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys, three specialized consumer bankruptcy forums on the Internet, and is an informal mentor to regional practitioners. He is recognized by his peers as an expert in consumer bankruptcy issues. He thoroughly enjoys being rated "excellent" in his client surveys.

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