All debtors are required to complete a pre-filing credit counseling course before filing their bankruptcy case and file a certificate with the court. Failure to do so could result in the dismissal of your case. Waivers are available however one must demonstrate that he or she attempted to take the course but was unable to do so before filing.
UNITED STATES BANKRUPTCY COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
MELVIN ARTHUR WATSON,
Case No. 11-00561
Not for Publication in
West’s Bankruptcy Reporter
MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER DENYING REQUEST FOR TEMPORARY
WAIVER OF THE CREDIT COUNSELING REQUIREMENT OF 11 U.S.C. § 109(h)
On his Exhibit D to the voluntary petition, the debtor
checked the box requesting a temporary waiver of the prepetition
credit counseling requirement based upon exigent circumstances.
In describing the exigent circumstances that merit a temporary
waiver, the debtor states:
Debtor is 71 and cares for sick wife. Debtor has no
computer to complete course and the telephone course is
$55. Debtor does not have $55 till the first of the
month to pay for the course unless Debtor can borrow
money before the first of the month. Case is filed as
an emergency due to lawsuit trial date of tomorrow July
The debtor does not represent that he attempted to obtain
counseling prepetition, as required to qualify for waiver, but
instead indicates that he filed the petition with the intent of
U.S. Bankruptcy Judge
S. Martin Teel, Jr.
The document below is hereby signed.
Dated: August 1, 2011.seeking counseling postpetition. For reasons explained in more
detail below, the court will deny the debtor’s request for a
temporary waiver of the prepetition credit counseling requirement
of 11 U.S.C. § 109(h).
Section 109(h) of 11 U.S.C. provides that all individuals
filing for bankruptcy must obtain an individual or group briefing
that outlines the opportunities for available credit counseling
and assists the individual in performing a related budget
analysis from an approved non-profit budget and credit counseling
agency during the 180-day period preceding the date of the filing
of the individual’s petition. 11 U.S.C. § 109(h)(1).
Pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 109(h)(3)(A), the court can waive
this requirement temporarily if (i) the debtor certifies that
there are exigent circumstances that merit a waiver of the credit
counseling requirement, (ii) the debtor certifies that he
requested credit counseling services from an approved non-profit
budget and credit counseling agency before he filed his petition,
but was unable to obtain the necessary services within seven days
of the request, and (iii) the court finds good cause to grant the
waiver. This exemption applies only for the first thirty days
following the filing of the debtor’s petition, although the court
may grant a fifteen day extension of the exemption for cause. 11
U.S.C. § 109(h)(3)(B).
Even if the July 26, 2011 trial constitutes an exigent
2circumstance within the meaning of 11 U.S.C. § 109(h)(3)(A)(i), a
matter as to which the court expresses no opinion, the debtor has
failed adequately to describe any prepetition request for credit
counseling services from an approved non-profit budget and credit
counseling agency, and he has likewise failed to explain why he
was unable to obtain the necessary services within seven days of
making such a request.1
It thus appearing that the debtor is
ineligible for waiver, it is
ORDERED that the debtor’s request for a temporary waiver of
the prepetition credit counseling requirement of 11 U.S.C.
§ 109(h) based upon exigent circumstances is DENIED.
[Signed and dated above.]
Copies to: Debtor; Debtor’s attorney; Chapter 7 Trustee; Office
of United States Trustee.
The debtor states that he lacks the necessary funds to
pay for counseling, but he does not indicate that he requested
counseling services and was turned away on that basis. The court
notes that an approved non-profit budget and credit counseling
agency that charges a fee is required to “provide services
without regard to ability to pay the fee.” 11 U.S.C. § 111(2)(B).
R:CommonTeelSMLSOORDERS109(h)Order denying exigent circumstances waiver and dismissal_Melvin Watson.wpd