In your ARM Lawyers Welcome Packet, you will get a flyer for the pre-bankruptcy credit counseling. Sometimes people call this the “pre-filing course”. This is aptly named because you must take the course before filing a bankruptcy petition. We actually have to attach your completion certificate to your bankruptcy petition. If you don’t take the course prior to filing, the Bankruptcy Court can dismiss your case.
When do I need to complete Pre-Bankruptcy Credit Counseling?
You must complete your pre-bankruptcy credit counseling session within at least 180 days before you file your bankruptcy petition. In addition, you must complete the counseling at least one day before you officially file. In other words, you can’t participate in the credit counseling session and then file later the same day.
Our office will review your certificate to make sure that you are within the proper time requirements, but we would ordinarily recommend that you take the course when you are absolutely certain you will be filing your bankruptcy within six months. If your certificate expires, you will have to retake the course.
How do I complete Pre-Bankruptcy Credit Counseling?
You can complete the pre-bankruptcy credit counseling course can in-person, over the phone, or online. The cost can range anywhere from $10 to $50, but discounts may be available if you are unable to afford the counseling. There are a number of agencies that have been approved by the United States Trustee’s Office to provide this pre-filing course. The full list is available here and is frequently updated by the United States Trustee’s Office.
We typically recommend CC Advising. We’ve found them to be competitive on price , easy to use, and the customer service is very responsive. You can use the Attorney Code “BESTBANKRUPTCY” to automatically import my information to make your life easier.
What bankruptcy district am I in?
ARM Lawyers has offices in four states so we get this question a lot. We broke this down by state and by county for you in our article “What bankruptcy district am I in?”
What happens at the Pre-Bankruptcy Credit Counseling?
While we would be happy to discuss this with you, it makes sense to differ to the experts. CC Advising put together a video explaining the entire process for you:
Are there any exceptions to the Counseling Requirement?
Yes, like everything else in law, there are exceptions to this requirement. For example, the court may grant an exception if you have a physical or mental disability that prevents from receiving counseling or if you are service active duty as a military service member in a combat zone.
If any of these exceptions apply, please let us know. In most cases though, you will need to take the course.