Debtor Education


To be eligible to receive a discharge in a bankruptcy case, an individual debtor must complete an approved debtor education course (also known as a personal financial management course). The debtor education course must be received in person, by telephone, or on-line over the Internet from an agency approved by the United States Trustee’s Office for the district in which the bankruptcy is filed. The debtor education session should cost no more than $50 online. A certificate showing completion of the debtor education should be provided to your attorney and filed with the bankruptcy court either (a) no later than 45 days after the meeting of creditors in a chapter 7 case or (b) before plan payments are completed in a chapter 13 case.

If a debtor does not timely file the certificate showing completion of the debtor education requirement, the court will close the case without entering a discharge of the debtor, and creditors can resume collection action. If that happens and a debtor wants a discharge of debts, a new court filing fee and a motion to reopen the case is required in order to file the debtor education certification and to obtain a discharge.

Debtor education agencies approved for debtors in Colorado are listed on the web sites of the Executive Office for United States Trustees (EOUST) and of the United States Trustee Program for Region 19. Be sure to obtain the debtor education or personal financial management course from an agency on the list approved for the District of Colorado. 

Some agencies charge more for counseling by telephone or in person counseling than by Internet. Most agencies charge the same amount for individual or joint counseling. Double-check prices, and confirm that the agency is still approved for use by Colorado bankruptcy debtors. Make arrangements to have the certificate showing completion of the debtor education requirement provided to your attorney for filing with the court.

A debtor whose household income is less than 150 percent of the poverty guidelines established by the United States Department of Health and Human Services may be eligible for fee reductions or waivers. Proof of income is required for fee waivers. Check with debtor education providers for more specific information about the availability and qualifications for fee reductions or waivers.

Debtor Education - Personal Financial Management 

Payment to third-party provider required and not included in the basic bankruptcy fee

In a chapter 7 case, the bankruptcy case may be closed without the entry of a discharge of debts if a certificate of course completion is not filed with court within 60 days after the 341 meeting of creditors.

In a chapter 13 case, the court will not enter a discharge order if the certificate of course completion has not been filed when plan payments are completed.