Most Las Vegas residents never file bankruptcy in their lives, and they seldom discuss it with people who do. Thus, their knowledge of bankruptcy procedure consists of filing paperwork, attending court dates, and negotiating with creditors. Unfortunately, it isn’t so straightforward and never was. In fact, the process is much more difficult due to the changes Congress made to the bankruptcy code in 2005. Now, debtors who wish to file must take “financial management courses” designed to educate them about debt and financial responsibility. The reason for this course? The 2005 law was written by people who thought that debtors were irresponsibly taking on excessive debt, discharging it in bankruptcy, and then thumbing their noses at former creditors. This has never been true: people file bankruptcy out of necessity, rarely malice, but Congress didn’t see it that way. Now, debtors must take financial management courses before filing. What are these all about?
- Debtors are required to take a financial management course before filing, and they must file the certificate of completion with the court 45 days after the meeting of the creditors.
- These courses are sold by nonprofit agencies approved by the U.S. Trustee’s office. They accommodate non-English speakers by providing translations and other services.
- Married couples must take the course.
- The financial management course can occur on the Internet, over the phone, or in person.
- The course can cost between $20 and $75, which is often much more money than debtors can afford when they’re considering bankruptcy.
- Failure to complete the course will result in your case being closed without receiving a discharge.
- Attorneys should remind their clients to take the course, and they should promptly file the certificate of completion with the bankruptcy court. If they don’t, they’re not good attorneys.
The financial management course requirement is a needless and expensive hurdle that has a low likelihood of helping debtors become more “responsible.” Unfortunately, it’s also mandatory, without exceptions.
For more questions about bankruptcy in Las Vegas, please feel free to contact an experienced Haines & Krieger Las Vegas bankruptcy attorney for a free initial consultation. Call us at 1-702-880-5554 to set up your free consultation.