One of the more onerous provisions of the 2005 Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act was to require consumer debtors to take a financial management course before filing bankruptcy. The goal was to ensure that debtors knew that they were responsible for paying their debts, but in truth most people who file Las Vegas bankruptcy aren’t irresponsible spendthrifts. Nevertheless, the requirement is remains.
The critical aspect about the financial management course is not merely taking it but proving that you have taken it. Petitioners are required to file the certificate of completion with the bankruptcy court within 45 days of the meeting of the creditors, which occurs shortly after the case begins. Failure to file the certificate on time, obviously, results in automatic dismissal of your case, but that doesn’t mean filing the certificate should be at the top of your to-do list.
The primary reason in favor of waiting to file the certificate is that debtors might end up taking on significant debt after filing bankruptcy that they cannot include in their petitions. For instance if you have to charge medical bills after a sudden accident, you will be unable to include them in your petition. This has serious consequences because once you receive a discharge in Chapter 7, you will be unable to do so again for another eight years. That’s a long time, and if you had to take on sudden debt in an emergency, you will be left with a lot of debt that you will be unable to do anything about.
Instead, what you can do is withdraw your petition and then refile it later. The benefit of a voluntary withdrawal is that you retain your right to a discharge, so you benefit by not filing the certificate of competing the financial management course needlessly. This is just one more reason to hire an experienced Las Vegas bankruptcy attorney.
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.