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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) – Debtor Education

The FAQs have been separated into two major areas: Consumers and Providers/Applicants. Some issues may be cross-cutting. Debtors/Consumers, applicants, and approved providers may find it helpful to review the questions in each area.

Click on the area of interest to view the related questions; then on the question to view the answer.

  1. Finding a Debtor Education Provider
  2. Taking the Debtor Education Instructional Course
  3. Paying for the Debtor Education Instructional Course
  4. Certificates
  1. New Final Rule (codified at 28 C.F.R. §§ 58.25 –58.36)
  2. Application Process
  3. Amendments to the Application
  4. Debtor Education Instructional Course Process
  5. Client Payment Issues
  6. Certificates
  7. Certificate Generation System (“CGS”) - Printing Issues
  8. CGS - Password Issues
  9. Activity Report Issues
Questions and Answers

For Consumers

1. Finding a Debtor Education Provider

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Q: Can the United States Trustee Program (USTP) help me find a debtor education provider or recommend a provider?

A: To assist individuals in finding a debtor education provider, the USTP maintains a list of approved providers on its Web site. The USTP cannot endorse or recommend any particular provider on its list of approved providers, or guarantee the quality of its post-filing debtor education instruction or services.

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Q: How can I locate an approved debtor education provider that offers services in languages other than English?

A: Visit the USTP’s list of approved providers and scroll down to the section entitled “Approved Agencies Offering Services in Languages Other than English and Spanish.”  Select the language from the pull down menu.

2. Taking the Debtor Education Instructional Course

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Q: May I complete my debtor education and credit counseling requirements in the same session?

A: No, the Bankruptcy Code requires individuals to complete credit counseling before filing for bankruptcy, subject to certain exceptions, and requires debtor education to be completed after the bankruptcy case is filed. Therefore, an approved provider may not offer both services to clients in the same session.

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Q: May an individual with a power of attorney for a debtor (such as an incarcerated debtor) complete a debtor education course on behalf of that debtor?

A: Yes, if the power of attorney is valid under state law and grants the representative the authority under state law to file a bankruptcy petition. The debtor education certificate must list both the name of the debtor and the name of the representative along with that representative’s legal capacity (e.g. John Doe, as Attorney-In-Fact for Jane Doe).

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Q: Will the USTP advise whether a power of attorney is sufficient to allow the authorized representative to complete debtor education on behalf of a debtor?

A: No. Because the USTP cannot provide legal advice to private citizens, the USTP cannot advise whether a client’s power of attorney is valid under state law and legally sufficient to authorize completion of debtor education.

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Q: Do joint filers need separate instructional courses if they have filed a joint bankruptcy petition?

A: No. Joint filers may attend the same debtor education session. The provider must provide personalized instruction to each individual and must issue a separate certificate to each individual.

3. Paying for the Debtor Education Instructional Course

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Q: May a person other than the debtor (such as the debtor’s attorney) pay for a debtor education course?

A: Yes. Persons other than the debtor may pay for the instructional course, as long as such payments comply with applicable laws, regulations, and ethical requirements (such as state laws and rules concerning attorney ethics). The provider shall disclose to the debtor the fee actually charged and paid on the client's behalf for the instructional course. Such payments shall not adversely affect the quality of the services rendered.

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Q: May a debtor education provider charge a separate fee for issuing the certificate that the debtor files in bankruptcy court?

A: Yes. A provider must disclose clearly all fees that it charges for debtor education, including any separate fee for the issuance of a certificate, before providing any information to or obtaining any information from a debtor, and before beginning a debtor education session.

Also, an agency must always provide counseling services, including issuance of the certificate, without regard to a client’s ability to pay. See “What if I cannot afford to pay for my debtor education course?” below.

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Q: What if I cannot afford to pay for my debtor education course? – REVISED

A: A provider must inform debtors that services are available for free or at a reduced rate, based on a debtor's ability to pay, before providing any information to or obtaining any information from a debtor, and before beginning a debtor education session.

Fee waiver policies may vary by provider. At a minimum, however, a debtor whose household income is less than 150 percent of the poverty level is presumptively entitled to a fee waiver or fee reduction.

The poverty level is defined by the poverty guidelines updated periodically in the Federal Register by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services under the authority of 42 U.S.C. § 9902(2).

4. Certificates

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Q: What if I have lost my certificate or it contains an error?

A: Please contact the instructional course provider that issued your certificate to obtain a replacement or corrected certificate.

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Q: May a provider file certificates of completion or notice of completion on behalf of a student? – NEW

A: Federal Rule of Bankruptcy Procedure 1007(b)(7) permits a provider to file certificates or notice directly with a bankruptcy court. It does not require a provider to do so, however, and a provider may continue to issue certificates to students, who then must file them with the court. If a provider does not intend to participate in direct electronic case filing, the provider should make clear to debtors and/or their counsel that they are responsible to file the certificate with the court in a timely manner.

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Q: How does a provider file certificates of completion or notice of completion on behalf of a student? – NEW

A: For a provider to file certificates directly with a bankruptcy court, the provider must consult the local bankruptcy rules for that court, or contact the clerk of that bankruptcy court for instructions regarding filing. Registration terms will vary by court and will be set forth in most cases by local bankruptcy court rule. Some courts will require providers to register as CM/ECF limited filers and to file certificates or notice through CM/ECF. Other courts may use a locally-developed application for filing certificates.

To obtain more information on filing requirements for each bankruptcy court, you must visit its clerk’s office web page and/or contact each bankruptcy clerk's office in advance to obtain that court's filing instructions. You may obtain links to each court’s website here (external link), for courts offering CM/ECF.

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Q: Does EOUST provide guidance or assistance with filing certificates of completion with the bankruptcy court? – NEW

A: No. As bankruptcy court websites are administered by the courts, EOUST cannot provide guidance or technical assistance concerning registration with the courts, or the mechanics of filing certificates with the courts. Providers should contact each court for further information concerning registration and filing.

 

For Providers/Applicants

1. New Final Rule (codified at 28 C.F.R. §§ 58.25 –58.36)

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Q: What is the effective date of the final rule?

A: The final rule became effective on April 15, 2013.

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Q: How does the debtor education final rule differ from the debtor education provisions of the Interim Final Rule?

A: The final rule is significantly different from the Interim Final Rule. Below is a list of some of the major changes (all references are to the Code of Federal Regulations, title 28):

  • Adds a definition of “limited English proficiency” to mean the language proficiency of individuals who do not speak English as their primary language or have a limited ability to read, write, speak, or understand English (§ 58.25(b)(21)).
  • Requires providers to obtain advance consent from the USTP to engage an independent contractor to provide an instructional course (§ 58.31(a)(1)).
  • Prohibits providers from using direct mail or electronic mail solicitations to contact debtors, unless the solicitations include a prominent disclaimer stating “This is an advertisement for services,” and prohibits providers from using seals or logos that may be confused easily with those used by any federal government agency (§ 58.33(c)(4)).
  • Requires providers who offer instruction by telephone or Internet to meet specific identity verification requirements. Additionally specifies that providers shall not provide diminished instructional course services because any part of the course is delivered by telephone or Internet (§ 58.33(e)(1) & (2)).
  • Adds a new instructional topic entitled, “Coping with unexpected financial crisis,” which consists of the following: (i) identifying alternatives to additional borrowing in times of unanticipated events; and (ii) seeking advice from public and private service agencies for assistance (§ 58.33(f)(5)).
  • Requires providers who offer instruction by telephone or Internet to incorporate tests into the curriculum and ensure direct oral or in-person communication with debtor students who fail the test, or receive marks less than 70 percent. In the case of Internet instruction, the provider may ensure communication with debtor students who fail the test, or receive marks less than 70 percent, by e-mail, live chat, or telephone, as long as the provider responds to debtors’ questions and comments within one business day. (§ 58.33(g)(3) and (4)).
  • Requires providers to make additional mandatory disclosures concerning fees associated with generation of the instructional course certificate prior to rendering any instructional course services (§ 58.33(k)(1)).
  • Adds specific recordkeeping requirements (§ 58.33(m)).
  • Establishes a presumptively reasonable instruction fee of $50 per debtor (§ 58.34(a)).
  • Creates a rebuttable presumption that a debtor lacks the ability to pay the instructional course fee if the debtor’s current household income is less than 150 percent of the poverty guidelines for a household or family of the size involved in the fee determination (§ 58.34(b)(1)). The poverty guidelines are updated periodically in the Federal Register by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services under the authority of 42 U.S.C. § 9902(2).
  • Requires the USTP to review the basis for the mandatory fee waiver policy one year after the effective date of the rule, and then periodically, but not less frequently than every four years (§ 58.34(b)(2)).
  • Specifies that chapter 13 trustees who are approved providers may provide an instructional course only to debtors in cases in which the trustee is appointed to serve and may not charge any fee to those debtors for the instructional course (§ 58.34(e)).
  • Requires providers who publish information concerning their fees on the Internet to include their policies enabling debtors to obtain an instructional course for free or at reduced rates based upon the debtor’s ability to pay (§ 58.33(k)(2)).
  • Permits debtors to verbally request providers to send their certificates to their attorneys (§ 58.35(a)).
  • Requires certificates to be issued within three business days after instruction is completed (§ 58.35(b)). The certificate shall bear the provider’s incorporated name and shall identify the judicial district the debtor requests, the delivery method, the course date, the instructor’s name, and the debtor’s full name (§ 58.35(k)-(m)).
  • Requires certificates to be issued only in the form approved by the USTP using the Certificate Generating System maintained by the USTP (§ 58.35(d)).
  • Eliminates the requirement that providers provide original signatures on certificates (§ 58.35(j)(2)).

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Q: May an individual with a power of attorney for a debtor (such as an incarcerated debtor) complete a debtor education course on behalf of that debtor?

A: Yes, if the power of attorney is valid under state law and grants the representative the authority under state law to file a bankruptcy petition. The debtor education certificate must list both the name of the debtor and the name of the representative along with that representative’s legal capacity (e.g. John Doe, as Attorney-In-Fact for Jane Doe).

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Q: Will the USTP advise whether a power of attorney is sufficient to allow the authorized representative to complete debtor education on behalf of the beneficiary?

A: No. Because the USTP cannot provide legal advice to private citizens, the USTP cannot advise whether a client’s power of attorney is valid under state law and is legally sufficient to authorize debtor education.

2. Application Process

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Q: What is the deadline for submitting an application? – REVISED

A: There is no deadline for new applicants. However, a currently approved provider must re-apply no later than 45 days before its current approval period expires, unless the USTP grants a written extension.

Also, a provider must be ready to offer services by all requested methods of delivery (such as in-person, telephone, or Internet) immediately upon approval. If an approved provider is not prepared to offer services by all requested methods of delivery, it must inform the USTP during the application review process.

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Q: What is the application review process?

A: Upon receipt of a complete application package, the USTP will send an acknowledgment email to the applicant. A financial analyst will then review the application and will contact the applicant if more information is required.

To ensure adequate and prompt review, applicants should follow the application instructions closely, answer every question completely, provide up-to-date information, and provide all relevant responses and documents.

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Q: Will the USTP accept applications by electronic mail or facsimile?

A: The USTP accepts applications by electronic mail as well as by U.S. Postal Service mail or other shipping/delivery services, but not by facsimile. Applications can be completed using a fillable PDF form. Please see the Instructions for Application for Approval as a Provider of a Personal Financial Management Instructional Course, available on the USTP’s Web site, for further directions concerning application procedures.

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Q: If I am currently approved, can I continue to provide debtor education even if my application for re-approval is under consideration and more than one year has elapsed since my current approval was granted?

A: Yes, provided that your application for re-approval was submitted timely, meaning forty-five to sixty days before the expiration of your current approval, or you have received written USTP consent to an extension of time to apply.

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Q: May an attorney apply to be an approved debtor education provider?

A: Attorneys may be approved as debtor education providers if they meet the requirements set forth in 11 U.S.C. § 111 of the Bankruptcy Code and the final rule. State statutes, ethics rules or codes, rules of court, or other factors may limit an attorney’s ability to provide these services or restrict the manner in which services are rendered.

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Q: May educational institutions apply to be approved debtor education providers?

A: Educational institutions, including colleges and universities, may apply for approval as debtor education providers. A simplified application process is available. Please see the “Supplemental Instructions for Application for Approval as a Provider of a Personal Financial Management Instructional Course for Accredited Universities and Community Colleges” available on the USTP’s Web site.

3. Amendments to the Application

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Q: If applying for a limited number of judicial districts now, may a provider obtain approval for additional districts later? – REVISED

A: Yes. A debtor education provider, once approved, may request approval for additional judicial districts by submitting an amended application. The amended application shall list both the additional judicial districts for which approval is being requested, as well as the currently approved districts. See “May a debtor education provider change the services it provides?” below for complete procedures.

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Q: May a debtor education provider change its fee structure after approval of its application? – REVISED

A: A debtor education provider may not increase its fees without prior USTP approval. To request approval to increase fees, a provider must submit an amended application setting forth the proposed increased fees, as well as the reason for the increase. See “May a debtor education provider change the services it provides?” below for complete procedures. A provider may decrease fees without prior USTP approval.

A fee of less than or equal to $50 is presumed reasonable and does not require justification. Fees in excess of $50 must be approved in advance by the USTP by demonstrating, at a minimum, that the provider’s costs for delivering the instructional course justifies the requested fee. The provider bears the burden of establishing that its proposed fee is reasonable.

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Q: May a debtor education provider change the services it provides?

A: When a provider makes a material change to its services, the provider must obtain advance approval from the USTP by submitting an amended application. The following material changes require advance approval:

  • The engagement of an independent contractor to provide an instructional course;
  • Fee increases;
  • Changes in the provider’s fee waiver or fee reduction policy;
  • Expansion into additional judicial districts;
  • Change in the instructional method of delivery (i.e., in-person, telephone, or internet), whether adding or subtracting; or
  • Changes to the instructional materials or course curriculum.

To amend the application, complete only the relevant portions of the application form, including a newly executed Certification and Signature (Section 8 of the application) and any relevant appendices, and submit all documents to the USTP by electronic mail, U.S. Postal Service mail, or other shipping/delivery service.

4. Debtor Education Instructional Course Process

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Q: What efforts should approved debtor education providers undertake to accommodate debtors who have limited or no proficiency in the English language?

A: Approved providers should make every reasonable effort to accommodate debtors with limited English proficiency. Such accommodation may include providing services in the debtor’s language, or referring the debtor to an approved provider that offers services in the debtor’s language.

Individuals who have “limited English proficiency” are those who do not speak English as their primary language or have a limited ability to read, write, speak, or understand English.

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Q: May an approved credit counseling agency that is also an approved provider of a debtor education instructional course offer both services before a bankruptcy case is filed?

A: No. The Bankruptcy Code requires individuals to complete credit counseling before filing for bankruptcy, subject to certain exceptions, and requires debtor education to be completed after the bankruptcy case is filed. Therefore, an approved provider may not offer both services to clients in the same session.

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Q: Is there a standard curriculum for debtor education courses?

A: The USTP does not supply a standard curriculum. Providers should consult the final rule, 28 C.F.R. §§ 58.25 - 58.36, at http://www.justice.gov/ust/eo/bapcpa/proposed_rulemaking/docs/Federal_Register_EOUST_104.pdf for the topics an instructional course must cover. Course materials submitted with the application will be evaluated to ensure they comply with these requirements.

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Q: Must an instructional course last at least two hours?

A: Yes, an instructional course must last a minimum of two hours and cover each of the substantive topics set forth in the final rule.

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Q: May a debtor education provider seek approval for a self-study instructional course?

A: Although a self-study instructional course may be approved, it must include a mechanism to enable the provider to verify that the debtor is the person who completed the course and spent two hours on the course before a certificate can be issued. Additionally, the provider must be able to collect sufficient information upon course completion to permit the USTP to evaluate course effectiveness.

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Q: Must an agency provide separate instruction to joint filers?

A: No. Joint filers may attend the same debtor education session. The provider must provide personalized instruction to each individual and must issue a separate certificate to each individual.

5. Client Payment Issues

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Q: What factors are to be considered in determining an individual’s “ability to pay”?

A: The ability to pay is based on the provider’s application of its particular fee waiver or fee reduction policy to the debtor’s personal financial situation. At a minimum, debtors whose household income is less than 150 percent of the poverty level are presumptively entitled to a fee waiver or fee reduction, based on the debtor’s actual ability to pay. Ability to pay shall be determined based on income information the debtor submits to the provider.

A provider shall apply its stated fee waiver or fee reduction policy to the debtor’s personal financial situation. The poverty level is defined as the poverty guidelines updated periodically in the Federal Register by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services under the authority of 42 U.S.C. § 9902(2).

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Q: When shall a provider disclose its fees and fee waiver and/or fee reduction policies to debtors?

A: A provider shall disclose its fees, as well as its fee waiver and/or fee reduction policy, to the debtor before providing any information to or obtaining any information from a debtor, and before beginning an instructional course.

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Q: Once approved by the USTP as a debtor education provider, may the provider represent that the fee it charges is federally mandated or required by law or the Department of Justice?

A: No. A provider may not represent that its fees are federally mandated or required by law, or by the Department of Justice. Approved providers must offer instructional course services without regard to a debtor’s ability to pay and must inform debtors that services are available for free or at a reduced rate, based on a debtor’s ability to pay, before providing any information to or obtaining any information from a debtor, and before beginning an instructional course.

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Q: What is considered a “reasonable fee”? – REVISED

A: A fee of less than or equal to $50 is presumed reasonable. If a provider believes its operating costs require fees in excess of $50 per debtor, the provider may submit to the USTP its request to charge higher fees with supporting evidence.

The USTP will consider the fees customarily charged in the industry for similar services when determining the reasonableness of a particular provider’s fees. The USTP also will consider other variables such as geographic location, the types of services the provider supplies, administrative costs, and alternate funding sources.

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Q: May a person other than the debtor (such as the debtor’s attorney) make payment for a debtor education course?

A: Yes. Persons other than the debtor may pay for debtor education, as long as such payments comply with applicable laws, regulations, and ethical requirements (such as state laws and rules concerning attorney ethics). The provider shall disclose to the debtor the fee actually charged and paid on the debtor's behalf for the debtor education session. Such payments shall not adversely affect the quality of the services rendered.

6. Certificates

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Q: May a debtor education provider charge a separate fee for issuing the certificate that the debtor files in bankruptcy court?

A: Yes. A provider must disclose clearly all fees that it charges for the instructional course, including any separate fee for the issuance of a certificate, before providing any information to or obtaining any information from a debtor, and before beginning an instructional course.

A provider must always offer instructional course services, including issuance of the certificate, without regard to a debtor’s ability to pay. See “What if I cannot afford to pay for my instructional course?” above.

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Q: May a debtor education provider’s “d/b/a” appear on the debtor education certificate?

A: A certificate may be issued only under the name of the approved provider as it appears on the USTP Web site. This requirement assists the USTP in ensuring that only approved providers issue certificates.

A provider may request that the USTP list both its legal name and its d/b/a on the USTP Web site, e.g., ABC Education Inc., d/b/a XYZ Education Services. Both names will appear on the USTP Web site and the debtor education certificates.

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Q: May a provider issue blocks of certificates to attorneys or third parties?

A: No. Certificates shall be issued to each debtor as each debtor completes a debtor education session. See also “May a provider issue certificates before instruction is complete?” below.

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Q: May a provider issue certificates before instruction is complete?

A: No. Certificates shall be issued to each debtor only after the debtor has completed a debtor education session. Advance certificate issuance is improper and jeopardizes the integrity of the debtor education course process. Such conduct may result in revocation of a provider’s approval to offer an instructional course in any district.

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Q: May the provider e-mail a completed certificate of instruction directly to the debtor or the debtor's attorney, or provide it for uploading on the provider's Web site?

A: Yes. The provider may e-mail a completed certificate directly to the debtor or the debtor’s attorney, or make it available for uploading from a debtor account on the provider’s Web site.

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Q: May a provider file certificates of completion or notice of completion on behalf of a student? – NEW

A: Federal Rule of Bankruptcy Procedure 1007(b)(7) permits a provider to file certificates or notice directly with a bankruptcy court. It does not require a provider to do so, however, and a provider may continue to issue certificates to students, who then must file them with the court. If a provider does not intend to participate in direct electronic case filing, the provider should make clear to debtors and/or their counsel that they are responsible to file the certificate with the court in a timely manner.

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Q: How does a provider file certificates of completion or notice of completion on behalf of a student? – NEW

A: For a provider to file certificates directly with a bankruptcy court, the provider must consult the local bankruptcy rules for that court, or contact the clerk of that bankruptcy court for instructions regarding filing. Registration terms will vary by court and will be set forth in most cases by local bankruptcy court rule. Some courts will require providers to register as CM/ECF limited filers and to file certificates or notice through CM/ECF. Other courts may use a locally-developed application for filing certificates.

To obtain more information on filing requirements for each bankruptcy court, you must visit its clerk’s office web page and/or contact each bankruptcy clerk's office in advance to obtain that court's filing instructions. You may obtain links to each court’s website here (external link), for courts offering CM/ECF.

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Q: Does EOUST provide guidance or assistance with filing certificates of completion with the bankruptcy court? – NEW

A: No. As bankruptcy court websites are administered by the courts, EOUST cannot provide guidance or technical assistance concerning registration with the courts, or the mechanics of filing certificates with the courts. Providers should contact each court for further information concerning registration and filing.

7. Certificate Generation System (“CGS”) - Printing Issues

See “Certificate Generation System - Service Provider’s Guide to Generating Certificates - User Guide for Issuers and Managers,” located at https://ccdecert.ustp.usdoj.gov/ccdecert/.

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Q: What if a client loses the certificate?

A: Lost certificates should be reprinted. To reprint a lost certificate:

  • Search the CGS database by the certificate ID number.
  • Input the debtor’s name, as it appeared on the original certificate, in the “Client Name” field.
  • Select “Save for Reprint” and then “Create Certificate.”
  • At the next screen, select “Reprint Certificate.”
  • The CGS will generate a reprinted certificate and the CGS database will note that the new certificate is a reprint and bear the original certificate ID number. All of the information that was on the original certificate remains without alteration, the only difference being the word “DUPLICATE” across the document. A certificate can be reprinted in this manner more than once.

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Q: What if the certificate contains an error?

A: If the original certificate contains erroneous information (such as a misspelled name or incorrect judicial district), cancel the original certificate and issue a new certificate.

  • Prepare a new certificate that includes the original date and time of the instructional course, the method of delivery, and name and title of the original issuer.
  • Include the debtor’s correct name and correct judicial district.
  • The CGS automatically will insert the date of the new certificate.
  • When printed, the certificate of completion should contain the same information as the cancelled certificate, except for the corrected name or district (as applicable) and the new certificate issue date.

To cancel the original certificate:

  • Search for the certificate by issue date, ID number, or issuer name.
  • Select “VIEW” and manually cancel the incorrect certificate by choosing “Cancel a Certificate” in the upper left hand red banner on the screen.
  • Insert the certificate number to be cancelled and select “Continue.”
  • Select “Yes, Cancel Certificate” to confirm the cancellation.

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Q: I need to reprint a certificate for a debtor, but I issued the certificate during my provider’s prior approval period and am unable to reprint it now. What should I do?

A: You may e-mail a request for assistance to ust.de.help@usdoj.gov. Requests for assistance received outside ordinary business hours (9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Eastern Time, Monday through Friday, excluding holidays) will receive a response the next business day.

8. CGS - Password Issues

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Q: I am the provider’s CGS administrator and have forgotten the administrator password. How can I obtain or reset my administrator password?

A: Please e-mail ust.de.help@usdoj.gov or contact the Credit Counseling and Debtor Education Help Line, (202) 514-4100, between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Eastern Time, Monday through Friday, for assistance. Requests for assistance outside ordinary business hours generally will receive a response the next business day.

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Q: I have forgotten a user password for CGS. How can I obtain or reset a user password?

A: The provider’s CGS administrator, not the USTP, should be contacted to reset a user password. Please do not contact the Credit Counseling and Debtor Education Help Line for assistance resetting user passwords. To reset the password:

  • From the CGS Home Screen, the provider’s CGS administrator selects the Agency Accounts tab. The Agency Accounts - View Accounts screen will appear.
  • Locate the relevant user account and click Reset Pwd. The “Reset a User Password” screen will appear.
  • Type in a new password and confirm.
  • Provide the user the new password. Inform the user that, at the next login, he or she will need to change the password to one of his or her own selection.

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Q: I am locked out of CGS - that is, I have received the “User Account Disabled” notification. How do I regain access?

A: If a CGS user tries to log in using the wrong password three times, CGS will disable the account and prohibit the user from logging in. If you receive this notification, contact your provider’s CGS administrator and request that he or she reset your user password. Please do not contact the Credit Counseling and Debtor Education Help Line for assistance resetting user passwords, or if you receive the “User Account Disabled” notification.

9. Activity Report Issues

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Q: How long must a provider maintain its records?

A: Providers shall maintain records for a minimum of two years to enable the USTP to evaluate whether the provider is providing effective instruction, and acting in compliance with all applicable laws and regulations. All records shall be maintained in either hard copy form or electronically in a format widely available commercially.

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Q: When must a provider file the new debtor education activity report (Appendix E to the debtor education application)?

A: The reporting periods are January 1 - June 30, and July 1 - December 31 of each year. An activity report must be submitted within fifteen days of the end of each reporting period. The six month reporting requirement replaces the former annual reporting requirement.

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Q: We also are an approved credit counseling agency and currently submit the credit counseling activity report (Appendix E to the credit counseling application) twice a year as well. May we report both the credit counseling and debtor education data on the same form?

A: No. You must report credit counseling data and debtor education data on separate forms. You may, however, submit both forms to the USTP at the same time.

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Q: What does the term “certificates issued at reduced cost” mean?

A: This term refers to debtors who received instruction at reduced cost due to financial need. It does not include debtors who received a discount because they received instruction as part of a joint instructional course, or individuals who received the benefit of an attorney discount or other similar promotion. Do not include such promotions or discounts in the “reduced cost” column on the new debtor education activity report.

 

Tuesday, April 15, 2014 11:17 AM