18 Apr Court Notices About Pre-Discharge Certification Cause Unnecessary Confusion
Over the past few weeks, I have been receiving frantic phone calls and emails from my clients regarding an ominous notice they have received from the Bankruptcy Clerk here in the Northern District of Georgia entitled “Notice to Debtor That Course of Financial Management is Required to Receive Discharge.”
The notice goes on to say that “a Chapter 7 debtor must file Form 23 within 45 days after the first date set for the meeting of creditors.” It further states in bold and capitalized letters that THIS NOTICE WILL BE THE ONLY REMINDER ABOUT THE COURSE REQUIREMENT.
This scary looking notice is referring to the Financial Managment Course that the BAPCPA law now requires. This course is the second required course for debtors, and Form 23 is the certificate you get upon completion.
Before you were able to file you had to $40 to $50 for your credit counseling certificate. Now, you must spend an additional $40 to $50 for a second certificate – the Form 23 financial management course certificate.
Needless to say, my clients have never heard of Form 23 – which kind of sounds like Area 51 or perhaps Catch-22, which is somewhat appropriate since the value of this course is ethereal and imaginary at best.
It also appears that these notices are being issued automatically, even to people who have already taken their courses and forwarded the Form 23 to their lawyers. So, if you receive one of these scary looking notices, do not be alarmed – just make sure that you remember to get your pre-discharge certification and forward the Form 23 certificate to your lawyer.
Jonathan Ginsberg, Esq.
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