07 Aug What Must I Do To Obtain A Discharge: Why Is Bankruptcy So Expensive?
Beginning September 1, 2007 you must file Official Form 23 along with your Financial Management course certificate in order to receive a discharge of debt in the Southern District of Illinois. According to an August 3rd notice appearing on the Court’s website, debtors must file this speci’fic document to certify they have completed a personal financial management course.
When debtors complete the course they are given a certificate issued by the US Trustee through the counseling agency. In the past, debtors simply filed this certificate with the Court. The Judicial Conference has determined the certificate does not satisfy the requirements of the bankruptcy reform law. So, beginning September 1, the Southern District of Illinois Court will issue a deficiency notice warning of the need to file an additional document, Form 23. The warning is unclear when the deficiency notice will be issued and how much time a debtor will have to comply after receiving the notice.
This announcement creates another hurdle for debtors to overcome by requiring a signature, a date showing when the course was completed and the name of the agency and the certificate number. All information but the signature already exists on the certificate. Procrastination will be costly. If Form 23 is not on file by the time the Trustee files the final report, the case will be closed without issuance of the discharge. Debtors need that discharge to prevent creditors from collecting on their debt.
Debtors who fail to heed this warning must pay an additional fee to the Court, and possibly their attorney, to reopen a closed case in order to file a late Form 23. In order to avoid this extra work and cost, debtors should make sure they timely complete this new requirement.
Andy Miofsky, Esq.
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