For bankruptcy seekers, it is very unlikely that they will not come into contact with a credit counseling center at some point in their quest, as the amendments made to American bankruptcy law through the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act (BAPCPA) of 2005 so mandate. Most likely, if people cannot make it to credit counseling centers within the 180-day window prior to filing bankruptcy in accordance with the mandatory provisions of the BAPCPA, they will be citing exigent circumstances as the reason for their inability to attend.
“Exigent circumstances,” in this context, does not refer to the same principle of police officers entering a home without a search warrant in times of emergency or great peril. Instead, these are circumstances by which urgent needs preempt the ability to visit a credit counseling center beforehand, most likely when the filing of bankruptcy is to avoid a foreclosure.
Certain handicaps—which are also uncontrollable, unforeseeable circumstances—may make the requirement to appear before a credit counseling center in the flesh unrealistic. Certainly, an individual may possess some sort of development disability or other difficulty that makes comprehension of the fundamental concepts behind credit counseling difficult if not impossible.
In addition, military personnel who are filing for bankruptcy after previously serving in a combat area are, for good reason, not compelled to have a certificate of competing credit counseling prior to filing for bankruptcy. The sad reality is that this is applicable for so many of our servicemen and women. Unfortunately, their service to the United States does not mean they will necessarily be able to keep their heads above water, so to speak, when it comes to their finances.