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Houston Bankruptcy - Mandatory Bankruptcy Credit Counseling

Houston Bankruptcy Credit Counseling & Debtor Education

If you are considering filing for “consumer” or personal bankruptcy in the Houston, Texas area, you are required to get credit counseling from a credit counseling agency approved by the US Trustee’s Office for the Southern District of Texas. This mandatory credit counseling must be completed before you file for bankruptcy.

The mandatory Credit Counseling can be done over the phone, via the internet, or in person. It is a mandatory requirement that it be completed within the 6 months before filing for bankruptcy. You are required to provide the Bankruptcy Court a certificate of credit counseling with the filing of your bankruptcy case evidencing you actually received the counseling session.

The majority of approved credit counseling agencies charge around $50.00 for the session which takes about an hour. Although the bankruptcy law states that an approved Credit Counseling agency must provide the counseling session based on your ability to pay a fee, there is no standard or test to determine your ability to pay the counseling fee.

This mandatory Credit Counseling may be waived for those who are disabled, physically incapacitated, or who may be active duty military in the middle of a war zone. Additionally, the bankruptcy law may allow you to take the credit counseling course within 30 days after the filing of the bankruptcy case if you can show that you were unable to take it right before the filing, and that some extremely special circumstance required filing the bankruptcy case right away. Now even though there is an exception available, it is quite a rare occasion where the Bankruptcy Court has allowed this exception. Don’t wait to the last minute or the morning of a foreclosure sale to take the mandatory Credit Counseling or it may be too late.

In our experience the mandatory pre-bankruptcy credit counseling has had little or no impact on eligible those who decide to file for Bankruptcy. Most people who visit our office are usually beyond the counseling stage when they come in. In the majority of cases we file, by the time a person starts to think about Bankruptcy as a Debt Relief option, there are seldom any viable non-bankruptcy options that can address their financial problems.

We recommend that you not complete the counseling course until after you have spoken with an attorney.

In addition to the pre-bankruptcy credit counseling, the new bankruptcy law also requires debtors to obtain post-petition debt education or budget counseling session before they can receive their discharge in bankruptcy. So after your bankruptcy case is filed, you’ll need to complete a financial management course approved by the US Trustee’s Office. If you don’t complete this course then you will be denied a discharge.

The cost for this course is between $50.00 to $75.00 and like the pre-bankruptcy Credit Counseling, it can be completed online. The course usually takes a couple of hours to complete.

For Chapter 7 Bankruptcy cases, you must complete the course within 45 days after the creditors meeting which is usually around 3 months after your case is filed. For Chapter 13 Bankruptcy cases, you must complete the course before making the last payment in your Chapter 13 repayment plan which is between 3 and 5 years after your case is filed.

If you live in Harris County, Fort Bend, Montgomery, Waller, Wharton, Austin, Colorado, Fayette, San Jacinto, Walker, Grimes, Brazos, or Madison Counties then you are located in the Southern District of Texas Houston Division. The list of Credit Counseling Agencies Approved by the US Trustee’s Office pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 111 and the list of Post Bankruptcy Debtor Education providers is available by Clicking Here

If you live in the Houston, Texas area and are considering filing for bankruptcy debt relief or if you have questions regarding more detailed or specific questions about mandatory pre-filing Credit Counseling contact The Law Offices Of R.J.Atkinson for a free bankruptcy evaluation.

Houston Texas Bankruptcy Debtor Education & Mandatory Bankruptcy Credit Counseling

Contact Houston Bankruptcy Attorney R.J.Atkinson: 713-862-1700

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