Filing Bankruptcy in Henderson, Nevada? Don’t Forget to Complete Your Mandatory Courses
The U.S. Bankruptcy Code requires debtors to enroll in courses before filing and before the discharge of their bankruptcies. The required courses provide debtors with credit counseling and debtor education. These courses must be taken during specific phases of the bankruptcy process and not all at once. When questions exist over this requirement, a bankruptcy attorney can explain why this requirement is necessary.
Limited Exceptions to the Rule
All bankruptcy filers must complete the course requirements. There are limited exceptions to this rule, but very few will qualify for exemption from the required courses. For example, if the consumer is on active military duty in a combat zone or is physically or mentally impaired and unable to take and complete a course, he or she can be exempted.
Debtors who attempt to fulfill the pre-filing course, but cannot complete it before filing for bankruptcy may petition the court to allow them to take the course after filing. However, all debtors must take the second course before their bankruptcy can be discharged.
What Is the Purpose of Pre-Filing Credit Counseling?
Filing for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 is a serious and involved process. The pre-filing credit counseling course assists debtors in considering all their options before choosing to file for bankruptcy. The counseling agency will prepare a budget for the debtor based on income and expenses and compare the consumer’s available funds to his or her debt. While the agency may find that the debtor could pay the debts with a repayment plan versus bankruptcy, the debtor is not obligated to follow that advice. However, the agency’s plan, along with the certificate of course completion must be filed with bankruptcy documents.
A Final Step Before Discharge…Debtor Education
There is a presumption that when an individual files for bankruptcy, it will be a one-time life event. The purpose of the debtor education course is to provide financial management education. This course helps debtors develop strategies for staying financially healthy after their bankruptcies are discharged. Once completed, a certificate will be provided that must be submitted to the court before the discharge can be approved.
Where Can the Courses Be Taken?
The Bankruptcy Code requires that debtors take the pre-filing credit counseling course and the debtor education course from a U.S. Trustee-approved bankruptcy credit counseling service. These courses can be taken online, which allows debtors the ability to take the courses at their own pace at their own convenience 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Because prices can vary, debtors should compare providers before signing up for a course.