Since October 17, 2005 the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act, or BAPCPA, has required all debtors contemplating bankruptcy to attend an “individual or group briefing.” The Orlando consumer credit counseling course is conducted by an approved nonprofit budget and credit counseling agency and it can be completed either in person, by telephone, or on the internet.
You must complete the briefing within 180 days prior to filing for bankruptcy. This briefing explains opportunities available to you for Orlando credit counseling and will help you to perform a budget analysis. In the course of this counseling, if a debt management plan is compiled, the plan must be filed with the Bankruptcy Court.
The Bankruptcy Trustee’s Office must approve all counseling courses and a list of acceptable consumer credit counseling courses in Orlando can be provided to you by our office. Information on available courses can also be found on the Bankruptcy Court’s website at www.usdoj.gov.
Once you have completed your first credit counseling session, you will be provided with a certificate of completion which must be given to your attorney and/or filed with the Bankruptcy Court at the time your Bankruptcy Petition is initially filed.
After your bankruptcy case has been filed, you must take a second credit counseling course that covers personal financial management. Again, the Bankruptcy Trustee’s Office must approve all counseling courses and a list of acceptable financial management courses in Orlando is available from our offices or on the Bankruptcy Court’s website.
After completing your second course you will again receive a certificate of completion, which must also be filed with the Bankruptcy Court. You cannot receive a discharge in your bankruptcy until you have completed both credit counseling requirements. Be warned: if you fail to complete the second counseling requirement, your bankruptcy case can be closed with discharge of your debts. This can result in additional fees and costs to you if your case has to be reopened. We recommend that you complete the second course immediately after filing your bankruptcy petition.
There are certain exceptions to the credit counseling requirement, including the inability to participate while on active military duty in a combat zone, incapacitation by mental illness or deficiency, inability to participate with reasonable effort due to a physical impairment, or where a Bankruptcy Trustee has determined that there are insufficient approved counseling agencies available in your particular area.
The Bankruptcy Court may furthermore waive the requirement for counseling in the case of certain “exigent circumstances” where an agency was unable to provide counseling within five days of a Debtor’s request for service. If you think you may fall into one of these exception categories, call our offices today to discuss your particular circumstances.
Contact the Orlando bankruptcy attorneys at Tudhope Law for a free consultation to further discuss Orlando consumer credit counseling requirements and to learn where you can take the courses. Our attorneys have extensive experience in all aspects of bankruptcy law and we are here to assist you in your bankruptcy filing at every step along the way. Call us today for a free and confidential appointment at (407) 969-0044.
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