Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Trustee Program

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Credit Counseling and Financial Education Requirements for Bankruptcy Filers Are Waived Temporarily In Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Trustee Program (USTP) today announced a temporary waiver of the federal statutory requirements for credit counseling and personal financial management education for consumer bankruptcy filers in the District of Puerto Rico and the District of the U.S. Virgin Islands, due to the effects of Hurricanes Irma and Maria.


Under the Bankruptcy Code, individual bankruptcy filers are required to receive credit counseling from an approved agency within 180 days before they file bankruptcy. In addition, in order to receive a bankruptcy discharge, individual bankruptcy filers must complete a course in personal financial management offered by an approved provider.


The Bankruptcy Code permits U.S. Trustees to waive the credit counseling and financial education requirements within a judicial district where approved agencies and providers are not reasonably able to provide adequate services. Acting U.S. Trustee Guy Gebhardt made this determination with respect to the District of Puerto Rico and the District of the Virgin Islands. The waiver applies to bankruptcy cases filed on or after September 28, 2017.


The U.S. Trustee Program is the component of the Department of Justice that promotes integrity and efficiency in the nation’s bankruptcy system by enforcing bankruptcy laws, providing oversight of private trustees, and maintaining operational excellence. The Program has 21 regions and 92 field offices. The Program is responsible for overseeing bankruptcy cases in all jurisdictions except those in Alabama and North Carolina. The Districts of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands are located in the Program’s Region 21, which is based in Atlanta.


Updated September 28, 2017