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Credit Counseling Deadline Strictly Enforced in Bankruptcy

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One requirement that is very specific in the Bankruptcy Code is:

Within 180 days from filing bankruptcy, the Debtor must complete a debtor’s education course.  

What does 180 days mean?

Before the date and time the petition is filed, that course must be completed.   In other words, you cannot take it after the Petition is filed.  Not even a minute later.

As I have pointed out in the past, Bankruptcy Code and Courts are very strict with deadlines.

Background on Case:

  • An attorney representing a debtor did not realize that his client had not taken the course before he filed her case.
  • Attorney came to Court to asking the Judge to exercise his discretion by waiving the counseling requirement.
  • Attorney called this a minor procedural issue and his client took the course a day after filing.
  • Attorney did not have proof that the Debtor took the course and did not verify. Yet he went ahead and filed the Petition.

Court’s Decision:

  • The request from the Debtor’s attorney did not sit well with the Judge.
  • Debtor did not comply with Section 109(h) and does not fall into one of the statutory exceptions.
  • Debtor does not qualify to be a debtor in Bankruptcy Court.
  • It is fitting for the case to be dismissed.
  • To routinely waive the requirements is akin to simply ignoring the requirements.
  • Counsel is requesting the Court to disregard the timeliness requirements.

Hiring a Board Certified Bankruptcy Attorney (like I am) would have avoided this.   When you go to a Bankruptcy mill-type bankruptcy firm, attention to details can be lost.    Choosing the right attorney is paramount in your Bankruptcy Filing Success.