FAQ About Pre-Bankruptcy Credit Counseling

Debt counselingIn most cases, people that file for bankruptcy protection are required to complete pre-bankruptcy credit counseling before the bankruptcy petition can be filed. Most individuals like to know what to expect and therefore have questions about credit counseling. Here are some of the more commonly asked questions.

Do I have to get credit counseling?

Yes. All individual debtors filing for Chapter 7, Chapter 13 or any other chapter of bankruptcy must complete credit counseling unless otherwise instructed by a judge. Couples filing together must complete credit counseling separately.
But can I get out of it?
There are three situations in which individuals are exempt from credit counseling. They are as follows:

  1. Incapacity due to mental illness which makes the individual incapable of making rational decisions.
  2. Physical impairment that makes it impossible to get counseling in-person, over the phone or online.
  3. Active military duty in a combat zone.

When do I have to get the counseling?
You must complete the counseling before you can file the petition. You have a 180 day window to complete credit counseling.
Do I have to get counseling in-person?
You may complete the counseling through an approved agency either in-person, over the phone or online.
How do I prove I have completed the credit counseling?
Upon completion, the agency will provide you with a hard copy certificate. Attach it to the Exhibit D section of the petition form.
Do I need to give a copy of the certificate to the court?
Yes. If you do not provide a hard copy to the bankruptcy court either in-person or by mail, your case may be dismissed.
Can I email or fax the certificate?
No. There are no email accounts or fax numbers that will accept it. However, if you have an attorney, he or she may be able to submit the certificate online if registered to do so.
Law Firm of Kevin D. Judd – Your Gateway to Financial Freedom



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