Debtor Education

“Approved to issue certificates in compliance with the bankruptcy code. Aapproval does not endorse or assure the quality of a provider's services.”

Introduction to Debetor Education

Bankruptcy law requires that Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy filers complete an instructional course on personal financial management referred to as Debtor Education. This Debtor Education Workbook is your course instruction material. You should carefully read through this workbook and perform the various financial exercises contained in this course material.

Debtor Education is a mandatory obligation for Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy filers. You will not receive a discharge of your debt without having timely filed a “certificate of completion” with the Bankruptcy Court proving you have satisfied this legal requirement.

The Debtor Education Workbook is intended to help you understand the importance of a reliable monthly budget, learn money management skills, and to use credit wisely. It will also help you learn about credit reports, the importance of insurance, and be aware of identity theft.

You are about to receive a discharge of your unsecured debt as you complete the bankruptcy process. You will no longer be obligated to repay discharged debt, and your creditors can no longer contact you to demand payment of the discharged debt. Almost all of you were experiencing credit defaults, which led to your bankruptcy filing. Many of you experienced debt collection pressures resulting from excessive debt, job loss, mortgage foreclosures, health problems, medical bills, divorce, and a sinking credit score. Many of you experienced wage garnishments, bank levies, sheriff sales, lawsuits, judgments, and repossessions.

On the one hand, your bankruptcy filing gives you the opportunity for a “fresh start” in your financial affairs. The bankruptcy filing stopped the sum total of the debt collection pressures, garnishments, etc., that you were facing. On the other hand, your bankruptcy filing has consequences. Your bankruptcy filing is a matter of public record and will appear in your credit bureau report for 10 years after discharge. Until you reestablish your credit score, you will most likely be charged higher interest rates for future credit. You may have to pay higher automobile insurance premiums, and you may be a prime target for predatory lenders. You may be asked to disclose whether you have ever filed bankruptcy in job applications.

Your bankruptcy filing has provided you the opportunity for a fresh financial start. You no longer have to deal with collection agency calls, wage garnishments, and the threat of lawsuits. For those of you who have filed Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you can begin to reestablish your credit history almost immediately after discharge. The effect of the bankruptcy filing will diminish over time, particularly if you establish new credit and pay bills on time.

We wish you healthy financial wellness in your future financial affairs.

Mandatory Disclosures

Please read the following statements carefully to indicate understanding of each provision contained in this disclosure.

  1. I/we understand that the provider, Hoglund, Chwialkowski & Mrozik, PLLC (HCM), is an approved agency to issue certificates evidencing completion of a personal financial management instructional course in compliance with the Bankruptcy Code.  HCM will provide you with a Certificate of Completion within three business days of course completion. Approval by the Executive Office of the United States Trustee does not endorse or assure the quality of a Provider’s services.
  2. I/we understand that the course instruction will be delivered by Phil Chwialkowski who is both an employee of Hoglund, Chwialkowski & Mrozik PLLC and a brother to Keith Chwialkowski, a general partner of HCM. His qualifications are that he has a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting and has delivered over 9,200 personal financial management instructional courses via the telephone since 2007. You are not required to select Hoglund, Chwialkowski & Mrozik PLLC to complete the personal financial management instructional course. Other approved providers can be found at www.justice.gov .
  3. I/we understand that the purpose of the educational services offered is to help me/us better develop and understand financial skills.
  4. I/we understand that upon completion of the personal financial management instructional course, I/we will be issued a Certificate of Completion that meets the requirements of the Executive Office of the United States Trustees.
  5. I/we understand that HCM serves all members of the community. I/we understand that HCM does not engage in the practices of discrimination in the selection and/or participation of clients in their services with respect to race, religion, color, gender, national origin, or handicap.
  6. I/we understand that in the event I/we am/are dissatisfied, I/we can utilize the Client Grievance Procedure.
  7. I/we understand that my/our information may be used for confidential research and/or a neutral third party may contact me/us to request an evaluation of the agency’s services.
  8. I/we understand that HCM does not pay or receive fees or other consideration for the referral of students to or by the provider.
  9. I/we hold the agency, its employees, agents, and volunteers harmless from any claim, suit, action, or demand of my/our creditors, myself/us or any other person resulting from advice, education, or counseling. Nothing herein shall apply to actions or claims under the provisions of the United States Bankruptcy Code, 11 U.S.C. § 101 et seq.
  10. HCM charges a fee of $50 per individual or $88 per couple for the personal financial management instructional course, payable by money order. HCM provides services without regard to a client’s ability to pay.
    The fee will be waived if your gross household income is at or below 150% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines. The fee may be reduced if your gross household income is above the Federal Poverty Guidelines but you are receiving government assistance or you filed your bankruptcy pro se. Additionally, fee reduction will be granted in the event of unexpected job loss, injuries, illness, divorce, separation, excessive utility bills, vehicle breakdown, etc.
  11. HCM can provide limited bilingual counseling services and can engage a professional interpreter in cases of limited English proficiency through All Hands Interpreting Services, Inc. Additionally, HCM works with Z Video Relay Service in providing services for the deaf and hearing-impaired. HCM provides these services at no cost to you.
  12. HCM does not engage in the practice of paying or receiving referral fees for the referral of clients. HCM will provide a Certificate of Completion within three business days upon documented completion of the personal financial management instructional course.
  13. HCM may be required to disclose client information to the United States Trustee in connection with the oversight of our agency, or during a complaint investigation, on-site visit, or during a quality of service review. The United States Trustee has reviewed only HCM’s personal financial management instructional course only, and has neither reviewed nor approved any other services HCM provides to clients.
  14. HCM does not require you to select our instructional course in connection with your bankruptcy case.

If you have any questions, please call Phil Chwialkowski toll free at 855-221-5434, or 844-364-9944 (TTY) during the times listed below.

Monday – Thursday: 8am to 9pm
Friday: 8am to 8pm
Saturday: 9am to 3pm

Non-Discrimination Policy

Hoglund, Chwialkowski & Mrozik, P.L.L.C. (HCM) does not engage in the practice of discrimination in the selection and participation of debtors in our debtor education personal financial management instruction course with respect to race religion, color, gender, national origin, or handicap.

Grievance

In the event debtors are dissatisfied with our service, they can utilize the Client Grievance Procedure.

Instructor Qualifications

The instructor who will deliver the required personal financial management instructional course is experienced and has taught this course since its inception in 2007. He has taught over 9,200 instructional courses via the telephone.

HCM may be required to disclose debtor information to the United States Trustee in connection with the oversight of the debtor education personal financial management instructional course, or during a complaint investigation, or during a quality of service review.

The United States Trustee has reviewed only HCM’s debtor education service and has neither reviewed nor approved any other services provided by HCM to its clients.

Scheduling an Appointment

To schedule an appointment, please call Phil Chwialkowski toll free at 855-221-5434, or 844-364-9944 (TTY) during the times listed below.

Monday – Thursday: 8am to 9pm
Friday: 8am to 8pm
Saturday: 9am to 3pm