Bankruptcy – Requirement for Predischarge Financial Management Education
The bankruptcy court now requires two types of debtor education. Before you file your initial petition, you must take a course in credit counseling. After your file your petition, but before your debts are discharged, you must take a course in financial management from a court-approved provider.
A certificate of completion of the financial management course must be filed with the court in order to obtain the final discharge order. The certificate is called bDebtorbs Certification of Completion of Instructional Course Concerning Financial Management.b If you filed for bankruptcy jointly with your spouse, you must both file a certificate of completion and attach it to Bankruptcy Form 23.
The certificate must be filed no later than 45 days after the meeting of creditors was first scheduled for Chapter 7. If you miss this deadline, your petition may be dismissed without discharging your debt.
For Chapter 13, the certificate of completion must be filed no later than the day upon which you make your last payment to the trustee as required by your reorganization plan.
If you take the course online or by an automated phone system, you must be personally contacted by a credit counselor who will discuss with you your financial situation. The counselor must also give you, in writing, an analysis of your budget along with any specific recommendations that will be helpful to your own personal situation.
If you have taken a course online or by automated phone system, you must also take a test. If you score below 70 percent, or do not complete the test, the instructor must personally contact you. If the course was online, contacting you by email fulfills the personal contact requirement. If the course was by way of the phone, the instructor must contact you by phone.