My parents have exorbitant medical bills that they cannot pay. They live in Texas and plan to file for bankruptcy there. They speak German, and a little English, but not enough to transact business. I can help them fill out the bankruptcy petition and schedules, but my German isn’t good enough to translate for them when they go to get their mandatory prebankruptcy credit counseling. They might hire an attorney, but my understanding is that they will still need to complete their credit counseling on their own. Do any of the agencies provide credit counseling in German?
Yes, your parents can participate in the required credit counseling from an approved provider in German. They can do so over the telephone or the Internet – but Texas also has an approved agencies in two cities that will provide counseling in German in person.
The Bankruptcy Credit Counseling Requirement
As you know, your parents must participate in credit counseling – in person, over the phone, or online – within the 180-day period before they file for bankruptcy. After participating in the session, the counseling agency will provide your parents with a certificate of completion; they must file this with their bankruptcy petition or within 15 days of their bankruptcy filing. (Learn more about the credit counseling requirement for bankruptcy, including the rare instances when a bankruptcy filer does not have to get counseling.)
Finding a Credit Counseling Agency That Offers Services in German
In order to meet the bankruptcy requirement, your parents must get 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 German, scroll down to the section that says “Approved Agencies Offering Services in Languages Other Than English or Spanish,” and then choose “German.” In most states, German speakers will have to get counseling over the telephone or through the Internet – both are sufficient to comply with the bankruptcy requirement. But Texas offers the services in person in two cities – McKinney and Plano. If your parents live near either of these cities, they can get credit counseling in German in person.