If you have been considering the possibility of filing for consumer bankruptcy in Middle Tennessee, you might have started to look into the specific requirements for bankruptcy. In doing so, you may have come across particular requirements like “credit counseling” and “financial management”. What are these requirements, and do they apply to all bankruptcy cases? And if these requirements are likely to apply to your bankruptcy case, when will you need to complete them? It is critical to know that there are various requirements in every type of bankruptcy case, so you should always discuss your case with an experienced Middle Tennessee bankruptcy lawyer to be certain that you comply with all required rules so that you can be eligible for a debt discharge. In the meantime, our bankruptcy attorneys want to provide you with general information about credit counseling and financial management requirements.
Most Individual Cases Must Complete Both Credit Counseling and Financial Management Requirements
First, you should know that, under U.S. bankruptcy law, both credit counseling and financial management are requirements for most individual bankruptcy cases. As such, if you are planning for Chapter 7, Chapter 11, or Chapter 13 bankruptcy as an individual or married couple, you will likely need to plan to complete credit counseling and a financial management course before you can be eligible for a discharge.
Understanding What is Involved in Credit Counseling and Financial Management Courses
Both credit counseling and financial management are what they sound like — processes you must go through that is designed to help you learn more about your personal financial situation. Both are types of courses, but they must be completed at different stages of the bankruptcy process. Sometimes credit counseling is known more specifically as pre-filing credit counseling since it must happen before you file for bankruptcy. Differently, you must complete a financial management course after you have filed for bankruptcy but before your discharge.
The U.S. Trustee Program provides a list of approved credit counseling agencies and financial management providers for consideration. Also, your bankruptcy attorney could have a credit counseling agency that he or she or the firm regularly works with to make the selection process easier. You can often complete the requirements online or by phone, and the certificates of completion will be required to be filed with the bankruptcy court.
Timing for Credit Counseling and Financial Management
The credit counseling or more specifically pre-filing credit counseling certificate that is obtain upon successful completion for an individual filing is only valid for 180 days. Therefore, if you take the credit counseling in anticipation of filing, but wait longer than 180 days to file, then you will likely need to repeat the credit counseling since the certificate will have expired. After the filing of the bankruptcy, Then, you will need to complete your financial management course after you have filed your petition but before your debts can be discharged. If you wait too long to complete the financial management course, then your case could be closed without a discharge. So, it is important that you understand the timeframe for taking the financial management course.
Contact a Bankruptcy Lawyer Serving Clients in Middle Tennessee
When you are considering consumer bankruptcy in Nashville, Cookeville or elsewhere in Middle Tennessee, it is critical to seek advice from a lawyer who can assist you. One of our experienced Middle Tennessee bankruptcy attorneys can provide you with more information about the specific requirements of your bankruptcy case and details about complying with the credit counseling and financial management requirements. Contact Lefkovitz & Lefkovitz online at www.lefkovitz.com or call us in our Nashville office at 615-256-8300 or our Cookeville office at 931-528-5297.