What is the Personal Financial Management Course (Debtor Education)?

Debtors are required to complete an instructional course in personal financial management as a condition for receiving a discharge.  This course is in addition to the credit counseling requirement.  When the personal financial management course is completed, the debtor must file a Certification About a Financial Management Course (Bankruptcy Form 423).  If you and your spouse filed a joint petition, both of you must attend the course and both of you must file separate Bankruptcy Forms 423. Bankruptcy Form 423 should NOT be filed when you file the petition.  It must be filed within 60 days after of the first date set for the Meeting of Creditors.  If the Certification About a Financial Management Course is not filed, the court may close the case without a discharge.  If you then file a motion to reopen the case to allow the filing of Bankruptcy Form 423, you must pay the full filing fee due for filing such a motion.

There are limited exceptions to the personal financial management course requirement such as incapacity or disability (defined in 11 U.S.C. §109(h)) or active military duty in a military combat zone.  You must make the appropriate selection on Bankruptcy Form 423 and file a Request for Exemption from Financial Management.

Click here for a list of approved Debtor Education Providers.