Since BAPCPA took effect in latter 2005 it has been a requirement that all debtors, no matter the chapter of bankruptcy filed, first complete a credit counseling course and obtain a credit counseling certificate before filing their bankruptcy case. The certificate must be filed with the bankruptcy petition.
Credit counseling was intended to prevent unnecessary filings. I have yet in the ten years I have practiced under BAPCPA to see a credit counseling certificate denied, or even questioned.
We use Abacus for our credit counseling course. It costs $30 through us whether you are an individual or couple taking the course. It is a cost that is borne by the debtor. There are other companies, and some slightly cheaper or more expensive, but we use this one because purchasing through our account gets us the certificate automatically by email once you’ve completed the course, thereby streamlining the workflow process.
We have you take the credit counseling course once we have a draft of your schedules that is reasonably accurate so that you can use that information to populate the fields in the website with the same data as we’ve assembled in your case. The credit counselor will want to see the same thing we do, in all its particulars; that you are insolvent. So you need to put in all your property, debt and your income and expenses. We make that easy at LeverLaw by integrating it into your signing appointment. We also use the data as a last go through for your expenses Schedule J to make sure it’s accurate.
You must take this course to file any chapter of bankruptcy, by law we cannot do it for you although we set it up for you and make it flow into our processes, and use it to make sure we have truly mastered your expenses.