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Roger, Attorney
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Satisfied Customers: 26554
Experience:  BV Rated by Martindale-Hubbell; SuperLawyer rating by West
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I filed Chapter 7, and I did not get my pre counseling certificate

Customer Question

I filed Chapter 7, and I did not get my pre counseling certificate into the courts in time. My case was dismissed, now I am trying to see what I need to do.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Expert:  Roger replied 5 years ago.

Since the new bankruptcy laws went into effect in 2005 consumers filing for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy are required to go through a government-approved credit counseling program within six months before they file for bankruptcy protection. Credit counseling can take place in person, over the phone, or online. The credit counseling session will last about 90 minutes and will include an analysis of their personal budget, including income, expenses and current debt. The credit counseling organization is allowed to charge a reasonable fee for services which is usually in the $50 range depending on location, services offered, and administrative costs. Credit counseling organizations approved by the government are required to waive the fee for anyone who cannot afford to pay. After completing their credit counseling session, consumers must get a certificate of proof. Some credit counseling organizations charge extra to receive the certificate proving that the session was completed. For the current list of government approved credit counseling agencies, visit:


If no certificate is submitted, the court will hold a hearing to determine if the debtor has good cause for not attending pre-filing credit counseling.


If there is no good cause (not knowing is not good cause), the judge will have to dismiss the bankruptcy, and you'll have to start over.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I actually took the counseling course but I finished it on the day of the meeting of the creditors.
Expert:  Roger replied 5 years ago.
It has to be completed 180 days prior to the filing, and the certificate has to be filed no later than 15 days after you file.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
<p> I was actually asking about the answer, response to the court, how to respond.</p>
Expert:  Roger replied 5 years ago.
<p>You would have to respond in writing and show that there is good cause or excuseable neglect for failing to obtain the counseling. </p><p> </p><p>However, it is not good enough to say you didn't know. You would generally have to have a physical or mental disability that prevented you from getting the counseling. </p>

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