What is a Form B23 and Why do I Need It?
The Bankruptcy Form B23 is essential to finish the last steps of your bankruptcy discharge. In a Chapter 7 case, the Form B23 along with your Personal Financial Management Course Certificate (pre-discharge certificate), must be filed within 45 days after the first 341(a) Meeting of Creditors has happened. In a Chapter 13 case, it must be filed no later than the last payment made by the debtor as required by the plan or the filing of a motion for a discharge. If an individual delays in doing this, the bankruptcy case will likely be closed (not dismissed) without a discharge of debts being granted.
The form is also known as the Debtor’s Certification of Completion of Instructional Course Concerning Personal Financial Management. Every individual debtor in a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 case must file this certification. If a joint petition is filed, each spouse must complete and file a separate form.
You must take a personal financial management course (a.k.a. debtor education course) after you file for bankruptcy, but before the court will order the discharge of debts. You must take the course from an agency approved by the U.S. Trustee. If you live in Alabama, North Carolina or Oregon you must take the course given by the Bankruptcy Administrator, and not from a credit counseling agency.
There are a few exceptions to this requirement. You don’t have to complete the required debtor education course if:
- There are no courses available in your bankruptcy district. (This is very rare!)
- Your disability or incapacity makes it impossible for you to take the course. (As defined in 11 U.S.C. § 109(h) of the US State Codes)
- You are on active military duty in a military combat zone.
The instructions on the certification are pretty easy to understand. If you are filing jointly, both you and your spouse must file separate forms. Even if you qualify for an exception to the debtor education course requirement, you must still file the Form B23. In that situation, you check the box that corresponds to the exception that applies to you.
Use this link to find the official US Gov Form B23: http://www.uscourts.gov/forms/bankruptcy-forms/debtors-certification-completion-instructional-course-concerning-financial
Important Notice: It’s a federal law that prior to filing for personal bankruptcy, you must complete a pre-filing bankruptcy counseling session from a non-profit organization, like Advantage CCS. This provision of federal bankruptcy law ensures that you understand all of your options and that you have the necessary knowledge and tools to develop a sound financial plan for the future. You can complete this session with Advantage CCS online by Clicking Here, over the phone or in-person. As with anything regarding Bankruptcy, it’s best to seek the help and advice of a licensed bankruptcy attorney.
Advantage Credit Counseling Service is approved* by the Executive Office of the United States Trustee (EOUST) to provide the required pre-discharge bankruptcy education class (debtor education course) and issue certificates.
*ACCS is approved by the Executive Office of the Unites States Trustee to issue certificates in compliance with the Bankruptcy Code. Approval does not endorse or assure the quality of the Agency’s services.