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Credit Counseling And Your Bankruptcy Case


No two bankruptcy cases are exactly alike, but filing for bankruptcy protection is never anyone’s first attempt to get out of debt.  People only file for bankruptcy after they have made every effort to reduce their discretionary spending, increase their earnings, and buy time to repay their debts.  Why, then, does the court require most bankruptcy filers to enroll in credit counseling?  Do they think that we don’t know that it is dangerous to borrow money when you are not sure if you will be able to pay it back?  The purpose of pre-filing credit counseling courses in bankruptcy cases is to prevent consumers from having to go through bankruptcy court again.  The court allows the same person to file for bankruptcy protection multiple times over the course of a lifetime, but there are time limits regarding how long you must wait between filings.  To get the greatest possible amount of debt relief out of your bankruptcy case, contact a Plantation chapter 7 bankruptcy lawyer.

Is Credit Counseling a Prerequisite to Filing for Bankruptcy in Florida?

Whether you must complete a credit counseling course before filing for bankruptcy depends not on the type of bankruptcy filing but on whether you are filing as an individual or a business.  All individuals who file for bankruptcy must complete a court-approved credit counseling course, whether they are filing under chapter 7, chapter 13, or any other category of bankruptcy protection.  You must complete the course less than 180 days before you submit your bankruptcy filing petition to the court.  If you and your spouse are filing for bankruptcy jointly, you must each complete the credit counseling course separately.  In other words, you must submit two certificates of completion for credit counseling courses attached to your bankruptcy petition.

The court maintains a list of approved courses.  Some of these courses take place in person, while others are online or by telephone.  If you do not have Internet access at home, you may use a computer at a public library to complete the credit counseling course.

What Happens If You Do Not Comply With the Credit Counseling Requirement?

If you do not submit proof of completion of a credit counseling course, or if the date on the certificate is more than six months before the filing date, the court will reject the bankruptcy filing.  Procedural errors, such as noncompliance with credit counseling requirements, are one of the most common reasons that bankruptcy courts reject petitions.  The aim of bankruptcy laws is to protect consumers from becoming destitute due to inability to pay their debts.  To ensure that the court accepts your filing, even if you have previously had a bankruptcy filing rejected, it is best to work with a bankruptcy lawyer.

Contact a Debt Lawyer About Filing for Bankruptcy Protection

A South Florida debt lawyer can help you prepare to file for bankruptcy so you can avoid delays and get your eligible debts discharged.  Contact Nowack & Olson, PLLC in Plantation, Florida to discuss your case.




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