Completing Your Bankruptcy Credit Counseling Courses
Completing Your Bankruptcy Credit Counseling Courses
As Michael Scott famously needed to be informed in The Office, you don’t just simply “declare” bankruptcy. It is a lengthy and involved process that starts with creating your bankruptcy petition. A bankruptcy petition will generally be dozens of pages long, and any mistakes throughout could put your case in jeopardy. Another crucial part of discharging debt through bankruptcy is completing your online credit counseling courses. Failure to complete these educational courses will usually result in your case being dismissed. When your case is dismissed, the protections you gained from filing will lapse at least temporarily, and your debts will remain unscathed. Read on to learn more about completing your bankruptcy counseling course requirements and call our office if you have more questions 702-370-0155.
Bankruptcy Credit Counseling Course Requirements
Whether you file for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you will be required to take two credit counseling courses if you want to complete your case and discharge your debts. The first course must be completed before your case is filed, as you will need to attach your first-course completion certificate with your bankruptcy petition. Things are likely to be hectic in the timeframe immediately before a bankruptcy filing. If you wish, you can take your first credit counseling course early to take one thing off your plate while you file. Your first-course certificate will be valid for 180 days, meaning you can take your first case up to 180 days before filing your bankruptcy petition.
You will have a 60-day window to take your second credit counseling course which begins after your 341 Meeting of Creditors. This 60-day window is also the time your creditors have to file an adversary proceeding or other objection to their debt being cleared in your bankruptcy. At the 60-day point, the court can proceed with your bankruptcy assuming your creditors haven’t objected and you have filed your second credit counseling course certificate. You can take the second credit counseling course at any point after the hearing.
Exceptions To Nevada’s Credit Counseling Course Requirements
There are two reasons why Nevada bankruptcy courts will excuse a debtor from completing credit counseling courses. The first is exigent circumstances. The second is incapacity, disability, or active military duty in a military combat zone. For the former, the debtor needs to file a different certificate with the court. It must describe the exigent circumstances that caused the debtor not to be able to complete the course, as well as a statement that the debtor requested credit counseling in the 7 days before bankruptcy but was unable to receive it. For the latter, the debtor should request to be excused by providing notice to the court of incapacity, disability, or active military duty.
Frequently Asked Questions
Which credit counseling course provider should I choose? If you have retained bankruptcy counsel, they likely have a preferred course provider. If not, you will need to find your court-approved provider.
Do I need to provide my attorney with a copy of my course completion certificate? Most credit counseling course providers will automatically send your completion certificate to your attorney when you finish the course. You should have to enter some of your attorney’s information at the start of the course for this to occur. If you are filing pro se, it will be your own responsibility to procure a copy of the course completion certificate and file it with the court.
What if I wait more than 6 months to file after completing my first course? Unfortunately, this means you will need to retake the course and receive a new certificate. The first-course completion certificate expires after 180 days.
Are the credit counseling courses pass/fail? No. As long as you complete the course, you will “pass.” There is no final exam that you can fail, so you don’t have to worry about retaking the course.
Are there different courses for Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy? No. Bankruptcy counseling course certificates are valid for both Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 filings.
What type of information will I learn from the credit counseling courses? The credit counseling courses are meant to help you learn more about budgeting and finances in general to reduce the chances that you will need to file for bankruptcy again in the future. You will also chat with a course counselor about how to overcome your financial difficulties.
How much does it cost to take credit counseling courses? The fees for credit counseling courses vary by provider. You might pay anywhere in the range of $10 to $50 for each course.
What if my spouse and I are declaring joint bankruptcy? If you and your spouse file for bankruptcy together, you need to take the credit counseling courses together. Both debtors are required to complete the courses under U.S. bankruptcy law.
Why do I need to speak to a credit counselor at the end of the course? You will have to complete a chat with a course counselor to make sure you have soaked in the information from the course and confirm budget information specific to your situation. The course provider will not produce your course completion certificate until you complete the chat with the course counselor.
How long does it take to complete the courses? While you may finish it much faster, you should set aside at least 2 hours to complete each course. You can expect it to take longer if you have slow internet or have to complete the course in a distracting environment.
What happens if I don’t submit my course completion certificate within the court deadline? Your case will most likely be dismissed if you don’t submit your course completion certificates within the prescribed deadlines. We recommend taking the second credit counseling course as soon as possible after the 341 Meeting of Creditors to avoid technical issues, forgetting, and other factors that could make that 60-day deadline a problem.
What if I can’t afford the fees for my courses? Bankruptcy law provides that the fees to file bankruptcy, including credit counseling course fees, can be waived for those who are unable to pay them. However, the guidelines to qualify for a bankruptcy fee waiver are fairly strict. Most people who have an income at or below 150% of the federal poverty level will qualify for a fee waiver. Nevada has its fee waiver guidelines, and course providers will have their policies for fee waivers as well.
Contact Our Nevada Bankruptcy Law Firm For Your Free Consultation
The credit counseling courses may seem burdensome, but they are some of the simplest components of filing for bankruptcy. Mistakes in your case could have consequences like dismissal, asset seizure, and in worst case situations, bankruptcy fraud charges. When you hire a bankruptcy attorney for your case, it will greatly reduce the amount of work you are personally responsible for filing. Your course completion certificates being filed by your attorney are just one of the countless examples of how skilled representation can make bankruptcy easier. At Las Vegas Bankruptcy Lawyers we are experienced and offer fair rates. Contact us to schedule your free consultation by phone, call 702-370-0155.