In 2005 some changes were made to the bankruptcy code through the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act (BAPCPA). One such change is the requirement that individuals must participate in a bankruptcy credit counseling course given by an approved non-profit agency within 180 days before filing a petition. The course takes about 2 hours and is available in person, by phone or online. A New York City bankruptcy lawyer can give you a list of recommended providers or you can find one by going to the U.S. Trustee’s office website
We have established an account with two of the approved counseling agencies which allows us to take care of the registration process for you and have the agency send us the certificate directly once you’ve completed the course. Regardless of where you take it, upon completion of the bankruptcy credit counseling course you will receive a certificate to present to the bankruptcy court. If you do not file within 6 months of the certificate date, you will have to take the course again. If you are filing with a spouse, both spouses must take the course.
Beware of credit counseling or debt settlement scams.
There has been some confusion around this directive, as many “for profit” companies, offering “credit counseling” and or “debt settlement” services have cropped up offering alternatives to bankruptcy that have nothing to do with the BAPCPA credit counseling requirement. Many of these companies charge high fees and offer services that are not in the best interest of debtors.
To learn more, please see New York City bankruptcy lawyer Bruce Weiner’s posts entitled “What you should know about the credit counseling requirement” and “Don’t believe the hype”.
To learn more about the bankruptcy credit counseling requirement, or to find out if bankruptcy is the right solution to your financial problems, schedule a consultation online or call 718-855-6840 to speak with a New York City bankruptcy lawyer at Rosenberg Musso and Weiner today.