Chicago Bankruptcy Alphabet: C is for Credit Counseling

Letter C Chicago Bankruptcy Alphabet:  C is for Credit CounselingA lot goes into preparing to file a Bankruptcy in Chicago.  If you’ve spent a decent amount of time with your Attorney, then you probably have gotten the notion that it never seems to end.  However, you will find that the day will come when you’ve provided all of the paperwork that your Attorney needs, and you’ve signed your Bankruptcy Schedules.  There’s just one last thing to do:  complete a credit counseling course.

What is Credit Counseling, and Why do I have to do it to File a Bankruptcy?

When the Bankruptcy Code was changed in 2005, a provision was added requiring debtors to complete credit counseling before filing their case.  The course must meet minimum requirements as established by each jurisdiction, and a certificate is given to each debtor upon completion.  Without the certificate, your case can be dismissed after it has been filed.  There are limited circumstances under with a debtor may get the requirement waived, but this is rare.  As such, it doesn’t warrant much discussion here.

I Already Completed a Credit Counseling Course, Do I have to do it Again?

You may have to complete your credit counseling again to file a Bankruptcy in Chicago.  It depends on how long ago you completed the course.  The certificate is only valid for 180 days after you have taken the course.  This is why I work with my clients to time when they should take their course.  Obviously, if you walk in to my office for a consultation and already have a certificate that we can use when filing your Bankruptcy, then every effort will be made to do so.

Don’t Forget About the Second Credit Counseling Course?

After you have file Bankruptcy in Chicago, you are required to complete a second credit counseling course.  This course differs from the first in many ways, and I have had clients state that it was more informative than the other course.  If you have any questions about which course you should take, your Bankruptcy Attorney can often point you in the direction of a qualifying course that is affordable and worthwhile.

Photo: TooFarNorth/flickr

Other Letter C’s in the Chicago Bankruptcy Alphabet

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