For all bankruptcy cases in the last five years, individuals must, before their case begins, take a Credit Counseling Course and, before their case closes, take a Financial Management Course. Debtors are required to file Official Form 23 along with the certificate of completion from the Financial Management Course to receive a discharge in any bankruptcy case. This last step is easy to forget and often neglected.

Many debtors who file bankruptcy cases without the help of an attorney eventually receive a shocking notice in the mail which reads: “Case closed without discharge. Debtor has not filed a Financial Management Course Certificate proving compliance with the required instructional course requirement for discharge.” They have often done everything else required of them except taking the required financial management course or filing the required Form 23. All that time and effort and no discharge?

If this has happened to you, it’s not too late. You can fix this, and can do so without hiring an attorney.

Fortunately, the law is flexible and courts understand that sometimes people make mistakes. Pursuant to 11 U.S.C. 350(b), and Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure 5010 you can file a motion to reopen your case and, if granted, file the required financial management course certificate. There is a court mandated filing fee for the Motion to Reopen for the purpose of filing Official Form 23 (presently $260.)

The bankruptcy process can be very intricate. If you are thinking about filing bankruptcy you should consult with a qualified attorney before filing. If you have questions regarding any part of the bankruptcy process, please contact me at [email protected] or (248) 246-6536 to schedule a free, initial consultation.