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Debtor Education

Instructional Course Concerning Personal Financial Management (Debtor Education)

In addition to the credit counseling obtained before bankruptcy, an individual debtor must complete a course in personal financial management, commonly referred to as "debtor education," AFTER filing the petition, and file a Debtor's Certification of Completion of Postpetition Instructional Course Concerning Personal Financial Management. This certification and the agency-issued certificate must be filed with the court (not submitted to the trustee). (Note: Many of the debtor education providers will file the certificate directly with the court. However, the debtor remains responsible to ensure that it is filed.) A chapter 7 debtor must complete the debtor education course within 60 days after the first date set for the meeting of creditors. In a chapter 11 or 13 case, the debtor generally must file the certification no later than the date of the last plan payment. Failure to complete the debtor education and file the certification may result in closing of the case without a discharge. If the debtor later wishes to reopen the case to file the certification and obtain a discharge, a reopening fee must be paid. Based on mental incapacity, physical disability, or active duty in a combat zone, as defined above, a debtor may seek an exemption from the debtor education by filing a Motion for Waiver of Credit Counseling/Debtor Education.

List of Approved Debtor Education Agencies