My mom would like to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy to get rid of her credit card debt. She speaks Tagalog. I’ve been helping her, and understand that she must participate in credit counseling before she files for bankruptcy. I don’t know enough Tagalog to translate for her. Are there any approved agencies that offer credit counseling in Tagalog? If so, will she have to travel far to complete the counseling requirement? She lives in Northern California.
Yes, the U.S. Trustee’s Office has a list of approved credit counseling agencies that can provide services in Tagalog. In most states, you’ll find only two agencies that provide Tagalog-speaking counselors. But because these agencies provide Tagalog counseling over the telephone or Internet, your mother won’t have to travel to fulfill the requirement.
The Bankruptcy Credit Counseling Requirement
Anyone filing for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy must participate in credit counseling – in person, over the phone, or online – within the 180-day period before filing for bankruptcy. After participating in the session, the counseling agency will provide the debtor with a certificate of completion; the debtor must file this with his or her bankruptcy petition or within 15 days of the 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 Tagalog
In order to meet the bankruptcy requirement, your mother 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 have Tagalog-speakers, scroll down to the section that says “Approved Agencies Offering Services in Languages Other Than English or Spanish,” and then choose “Tagalog.” In most states (including California), Tagalog speakers will have to get counseling over the telephone or through the Internet – both are sufficient to comply with the bankruptcy requirement. In a few states, you can get Tagalog services in person.