Individuals who file bankruptcy are required to take part in a post petition financial management course. Debtors who failed to file the required form (formerly Official Form B23) verifying completion of the mandated post petition financial management course learned the hard way when the court closed their bankruptcy case without a discharge.  This “all to often” scenario prompted a change in the filing process, giving debtors a helping hand in this last step to make sure they will get the requested discharge in their bankruptcy proceeding

Providers Allowed to File Proof of Completion of Post Petition Financial Management Course

A recent amendment to Bankruptcy Rule 1007 effective January 8, 2014, changes the requirements for filing Form B423, debtor’s certification of completion of the mandated post petition financial management course. Prior to December 1, 2013, a person in Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy had to take a financial management course and then file this form to receive a bankruptcy discharge. (Note that bankruptcy filers must also take a similar course prior to filing for bankruptcy. The rule change doesn’t apply to this requirement.) After December 1, 2013, the bankruptcy debtor does not have to file Form B423 if the approved provider of the course notifies the court that the debtor has completed the course. The instructions on Form B423 have been changed to show this difference in procedure.

What Happens When Official Form B423 Is Not Filed?

It is still the debtor’s responsibility to make sure that proof of completion of the post petition financial management course has been submitted in their bankruptcy proceeding – failure to do so will result in the case being closed without a discharge. Therefore, if the financial management class has been taken through a vendor approved to file proof of completion with the court directly, it may be wise to double-check to make sure this has, in fact, been done.

For help in filing bankruptcy without the high cost of an attorney, contact a bankruptcy petition preparer. Unfortunately our office no longer offers bankruptcy document preparation services, however, if you are in the California Central District, the court offers a free online bankruptcy document preparation service which you may want to check out.