§ 6.4 — 11 U.S.C. § 109(h): Prefiling Briefing

Revised: April 20, 2016


Added to the Bankruptcy Code by the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 (BAPCPA)1, § 109(h) conditions eligibility of an individual to be a debtor in a bankruptcy case that, during the 180 days preceding the petition, the individual must receive a “briefing” from an approved nonprofit, budget and credit counseling agency that “outlined the opportunities for available credit counseling and assisted such individual in performing a related budget analysis.”2 There are temporary exemptions from the prepetition briefing requirement and permanent waivers in § 109(h)(2)–(4).3 No temporary exemption is available if the debtor doesn’t at least request a briefing before filing bankruptcy.4 Failing to request or obtain a briefing before filing is a big deal that threatens the vitality of any Chapter 13 case that might be filed.5