Trustee Blog

Recycled Credit Counseling Certificate

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Trustee Helen Frazer  receives the bankruptcy case after the matter is filed with the court.  In order to meet the qualifications, a debtor must take the Credit Counseling within 180 days before the case is filed.  Below is a recent Judge Houle case where the debtor tried to “recycle” a previous certificate.

On November 27, 2013, UST asserts that Debtor makes false statements in her opposition. The Debtor filed her bankruptcy case on October 17, 2013. On that same day, she filed a Statement of Compliance with Credit Counseling Requirement (the “Statement”). In the Statement, the Debtor checked a box, which provided that she had obtained credit counseling within 180 days before filing the bankruptcy case, and that she had attached a copy of that certificate to the Statement. Despite claiming to have received counseling within the previous 180 days, the
Debtor attached a copy of a Certificate of Credit Counseling dated November 29, 2012 (the “Old Certificate”). On November 1, 2013, the Debtor re-filed the Old Certificate.

The US Trustee filed a Motion to Dismiss her case.

On November 20, 20xx, Debtor filed a notice of opposition. Debtor provides that she filed the case in good faith. Debtor asserts that she mistakenly used the certificate from her last bankruptcy and did not intend to defraud the Court. Debtor attaches a certificate of credit counseling which she purports to be the new certificate. Debtor does not attach a declaration.

The US Trustee further asserted:

On November 27, 20xx, UST asserts that Debtor makes false statements in her opposition. The Debtor filed her bankruptcy case on October 17, 20xx. On that same day, she filed a Statement of Compliance with Credit Counseling Requirement (the “Statement”). In the Statement, the Debtor checked a box, which provided that she had obtained credit counseling within 180 days before filing the bankruptcy case, and that she had attached a copy of that certificate to the Statement. Despite claiming to have received counseling within the previous 180 days, the
Debtor attached a copy of a Certificate of Credit Counseling dated November 29, 2012 (the “Old Certificate”). On November 1, 2013, the Debtor re-filed the Old Certificate. The UST filed the Dismissal Motion on November 5, 2013, and it was entered on November 5, 2013 on the Court’s docket at 1:32 p.m. On the same day, the Debtor filed the New Certificate, which states that the

Debtor received credit counseling on November 1, 2013 (although the credit counseling agency did not execute the New Certificate until November 4, 2013. The New Certificate was not entered on the Court’s Docket until November 6, 2013, at 8:23 a.m. Because the New Certificate was executed on November 4, 2013, the Debtor’s filing of the Old Certificate could not have been a clerical mistake; when she filed the Old Certificate on October 17, 2013, and on November 1, 2013, the New Certificate did not yet exist. Third, the New Certificate was filed after the petition date. Thus, the Debtor’s sworn representation that she had obtained a credit counseling certificate within 180 days before the filing of the bankruptcy case was false.

Find out tomorrow what happened to this debtor….

 

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