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A bankruptcy action can be considered “commenced” even when a debtor has failed to meet a requirement imposed by Congress that he first receive credit counseling, the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Thursday.

Interpreting a “statutory tangle” of bankruptcy provisions, the circuit said the counseling requirement under 11 U.S.C. §109(h) is not jurisdictional in nature and a case can still be regarded as begun by the filing of a bankruptcy petition, which triggers an automatic stay.

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