Declaring bankruptcy may well be your best course of action to get yourself out from under the burden of heavy debt, but it may not be as simple a process as you may have thought. There are some preliminary requirements that you must fulfill before you can file to receive a discharge. First up is credit counseling.
The purpose of credit counseling is to determine that there is no feasible alternative to bankruptcy. You will discuss the circumstances of your debt, your living expenses and your income to see if you could possibly afford a repayment plan on your own, without filing for bankruptcy. The counseling course usually turns out to be just a formality that can be completed in a personal setting, over the phone or online. You must complete the course within 180 days before you plan to file. If you can’t produce a certificate stating that you have completed the credit counseling course the court will decline your petition.
The debtor education course comes after you have filed. Its purpose is to prepare you to handle your future financial affairs so that you won’t make the same mistakes again. Money and credit management are the focus of debtor education. The course is mandatory so you can’t be discharged from your debt until you have followed it through.
Both the credit counseling and the debtor education courses are compulsory whether you’re filing a chapter 13 bankruptcy or a chapter 7 and they must be overseen by an agency that is accepted by the U.S. Trustee’s Office. There are however a few instances that may allow an extended time period for the completion of the courses.
If for example, you are facing imminent foreclosure on your home or property after having tried everything in your power to prevent it, the court may waive the course requirements so that you can file sooner. Active military duty is a legitimate exemption as well.
If you are contemplating bankruptcy seek legal advice from the experienced professionals at Parker Lawyers. Call the offices @ 303-841-9525.