Amended Bankruptcy Rule Provides More Time

Venus flytrap with victim One of the traps for debtors instituted with BAPCPA is the provision that an individual's bankruptcy case be closed without a discharge if proof of completion of a financial management class is not timely filed. Rule 1007(b) requires the filing of the certificate of debtor education as among the debtor's duties. Section 727(a)(11) provides that the discharge can be withheld for failure to take the class. The amendments to the rules effective December 1, 2010 gave the debtor an extra 15 days to get the certificate of completion of that class on file with the court. Official form 23 now provides that the form must be filed within 60 days of the date first set for the 341 meeting, rather than the previous 45 days. Remember that Rule 4004(c)(2) allows the debtor to request that entry of the discharge be deferred for 30 days or until a date certain. I have used that provision to gain a bit more time to get the client's financial management class completed and the certificate on file. In Chapter 13, Form 23 still has to be filed before the last payment is made. If the client blows that deadline, courts may be willing to enter an order permitting the filing of the certificate after the date of the last payment, allowing the debtor to get a discharge without reopening the case. My thanks to my friend Jill Michaux for the prompt for this post and for her BLN post that got me started. Image courtesy of blmurch

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