My father is originally from Korea and his English is not fluent. He is getting ready to file for bankruptcy. I am helping him with the forms, but he needs to take the pre-bankruptcy credit counseling course. Can he get counseling in Korean?
Yes. The U.S. Trustee website has a list of approved credit counseling agencies that will provide the required pre-bankruptcy credit counseling in Korean. It’s likely that your father will have to participate in counseling over the telephone – but that is sufficient to meet the bankruptcy requirement.
The Credit Counseling Requirement in Bankruptcy
Anyone filing for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy must participate in credit counseling from an approved agency before filing for bankruptcy. Participation can be in person, over the telephone, or online. You must participate within the 180-day period before you file, and then file the certificate of completion with your bankruptcy petition or within 15 day of your bankruptcy filing. The credit counselor will explore other ways you can handle your debt, perhaps through a payment plan. You don’t have to pursue the options recommended by the counselor, however. Once you get counseling, you can file for bankruptcy. (Learn more about the credit counseling requirement for bankruptcy, including the rare instances when a bankruptcy filer does not have to get counseling.)
Finding an Approved Agency That Has Korean Speakers
Your father must get this counseling from an agency that is approved by the Office of the United States Trustee. You can find a list of approved agencies, by state, on the U.S. Trustee’s website. If you click on your state, you’ll find an extensive list of providers – but these counseling agencies only provide services in English and Spanish.
To find a list of providers that speak Korean, scroll down to the section that says “Approved Agencies Offering Services in Languages Other Than English or Spanish,” and then choose “Korean.” Many of the credit counseling agencies only offer counseling in Mandarin over the phone. But this is sufficient to meet the bankruptcy filing requirement.