I forgot to take my second bankruptcy class. Can the court extend the time to file my financial management course certificate (Form 423)?

Yes, you can extend the time.

And no, this is not really how my client asked the question. To quote as best I can, he called me and said,

Man, I got your email and text and totally forgot to take that class. Am I screwed? The court letter says it was due last week and I don’t have $260 to pay those bastards.

For a little explanation, you have to take two online classes as part of your bankrutptcy. Before you file bankruptcy, you have to take an online class and receive a Certificate of Credit Counseling. At the end of your case, you have to take a second class which issues a Certificate of Completion for your second Financial Management Course.

When your case is about to close out, the court will send you a reminder letter. The letter says “Notice to Debtor of Deficiency Concerning Discharge and Requirement to Complete Debtor Education.” The letter also warns that if you miss the deadline, your case will close out with NO DISCHARGE. This means that you still owe all of your creditors in full. Finally, the letter threatens that if your case closes without discharge, it will cost you a reopening fee of $260 to reopen your case and file that certificate. This is in addition to whatever your attorney charges to file a Motion to Vacate Dismissal and notify all of your creditors.

Today one of my clients called me saying that he missed the deadline. I looked up his case, and it was still open, but poised to close out at any moment. He promised to take the class this weekend. I quickly drafted up a very shoddy motion, which I’ll include below:

            On July 15, 2020, this Court issued a Notice to Debtor(s) of Deficiency Concerning Discharge and Requirement to Complete Debtor Education, giving a deadline of July 27, 2020 to file Form 423.  Debtors have not taken the Personal Financial Management Course yet.  However, Debtors will be taking the course over this coming weekend and will be able to have the Form 423 filed no later than August 4, 2020.
            THEREFORE, Debtors request that this Court extend their deadline to file Form 423 until August 4, 2020. 

Apparently this happens more than I thought. When I went to file the Motion, the court’s filing system (CM/ECF) actually has a dropbox choice under “Motions/Applications” for a “Motion to Extend Time to File Financial management Course Cert (Form 423).”

From a practice standpoint for other attorneys reading this, I did NOT file a certificate of service. I did NOT set it for hearing. I know that the court clerk will see this and give me the week before calling me and asking if I want to set it for hearing.

Hopefully my client will take that second class this weekend. I can file his certificate (along with the accompanying Form 423) on Monday, and he’ll receive a discharge of his debts.