Debtor Education

To be eligible to receive a discharge in a bankruptcy case, an individual debtor must complete an approved debtor education course (also known as a personal financial management course). The debtor education course must be received in person, by telephone, or on-line over the Internet from an agency approved by the United States Trustee’s Office for the region in which the case is filed. The debtor education session should cost no more than $50. A certificate showing completion of the debtor education should be provided to your attorney and filed with the bankruptcy court either (a) no later than 45-60 days after the meeting of creditors in a chapter 7 case or (b) before plan payments are completed in a chapter 13 case. 

If a debtor does not complete the debtor education requirement before the case is administered, the court will close the case without entering a discharge of the debtor, and a new filing fee and motion will be required to reopen the case to file the financial management certification and to permit the entry of a discharge.

Debtor education agencies approved for debtors in Colorado are listed on the web sites of the Executive Office for United States Trustees (EOUST) and of the United States Trustee Program for Region 19. Be sure to obtain the debtor education or personal financial management course from an agency on the list approved for the District of Colorado.

Some agencies charge more for counseling by telephone or in person counseling than by Internet. Most agencies charge the same amount for individual or joint counseling. Double-check prices, and confirm that the agency is still approved for use by bankruptcy debtors in Colorado. Make arrangements to have the debtor education certificate provided to your attorney.

Clients with household incomes less than 150 percent of the poverty guidelines set forth by the United States Department of Health and Human Services may be eligible for fee reductions or waivers.  Proof of income is required for all fee waivers. 

Debtor Education - Personal Financial Management 

Payment to third-party provider required and not included in the bankruptcy fee

In a chapter 7 case, the bankruptcy case may be closed without the entry of a discharge of debts if a certificate of course completion is not filed with court within 60 days of the 341 meeting of creditors.

In a chapter 13 case, the court will not enter a discharge order if the certificate of course completion has not been filed when plan payments are completed.