As we discussed in this prior post there are two requirements for counseling in a Bankruptcy case. The first credit counseling session has to be completed within six months before filing the case. If the counseling is not completed and the certificate is not filed, the case will almost always be dismissed. However, although this is a requirement for eligibility to file a case, there are very infrequent cases in which it can be waived by the Court. Under Bankruptcy law the requirement may be waived if the filer shows “exigent circumstances” that prevented the filing. In recent cases in Georgia, Judges have waived the counseling requirement where the person had to file the same day to stop a foreclosure and could not complete the counseling in time, and when the debtor returned from vacation and found that her car had been repossessed and the creditor would be seeking garnishment of her wages. As these cases indicate, there are a few circumstances in which the requirement can be waived after notice and hearing. However, for every case in which the requirement is exempted there are probably many more cases in which the exemption was denied or the case is simply dismissed. Counseling can usually be completed by phone or online within a few hours of contacting the counseling services. If Bankruptcy is even a possibility, take a few minutes to speak with a Bankruptcy lawyer and do not wait until the last minute. If it is truly an emergency, the old saying about begging for forgiveness rather than asking for permission applies. A filing will still stop the foreclosure, garnishment or collection, but you will have to go before the Judge to explain why the counseling could not be completed.