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CFP Board
January 18, 2012

Dear CFP® Professional,

CFP Board requests comments on proposed changes to the way it addresses bankruptcy filings by CFP® professionals and candidates for CFP® certification. The complete proposal is available at www.CFP.net/downloads/CFPBoard_Bankruptcy_Disclosure_Proposal_2012-01.pdf.

Proposal Overview
Candidates for CFP® certification are asked on the Initial Application for CFP® Certification whether they have filed bankruptcy. Once an individual attains CFP® certification, the same question is asked on the Renewal Application for CFP® Certification, which a CFP® professional is required to complete every two years. Currently, CFP Board inquires about bankruptcies to determine whether a candidate is fit for CFP® certification and, in the case of a CFP® professional, to determine whether the bankruptcy filing resulted from conduct that could warrant discipline. Each of these approaches is punitive in nature in that candidates may be denied the right to certification for a period of time, and CFP® professionals may receive a sanction as severe as a revocation.

CFP Board proposes replacing the current disciplinary approach to cases involving a single bankruptcy filing (bankruptcy-only cases) with a non-disciplinary, disclosure-oriented approach in which the public has access to notice of the bankruptcy filing to assist it in making an informed decision when evaluating whether to work with a CFP® professional who has filed for bankruptcy.

Under the proposed approach, CFP Board would no longer investigate, and the Disciplinary and Ethics Commission (DEC) would no longer hear, bankruptcy-only cases. Rather, CFP Board would verify the bankruptcy filing and note it in the individual’s public profile, which is available through the “Find a CFP® Professional” and/or “Verify an Individual’s CFP® Certification” search functions in CFP Board’s website, as well as through responses CFP Board provides to individuals who contact CFP Board regarding an individual’s certification status. This disclosure of the bankruptcy in an individual’s public profile would continue for 10 years from the date CFP Board is notified of the bankruptcy, whether through disclosure by the individual or discovery by CFP Board.

Additional details of this proposed approach are available on CFP Board’s website at: www.CFP.net/downloads/CFPBoard_Bankruptcy_Disclosure_Proposal_2012-01.pdf

CFP Board believes the proposed approach of noting all bankruptcies filed in the past five years in an individual’s public profile is aligned with its mission to benefit the public. CFP Board also believes that this proposed approach will benefit CFP® professionals and candidates for CFP® certification because they will no longer be subject to potential discipline in bankruptcy-only cases.

Comment Submission Guidelines
CFP® professionals wishing to comment on the proposal should submit written comments no later than February 17, 2012. Comments may be sent to CFP Board by email to compliance@cfpboard.org or by mail to:

CFP Board
c/o Michael P. Shaw, Esq.
1425 K Street NW #500
Washington, DC 20005

Comments received will be reviewed and considered by CFP Board and will be posted on CFP Board’s website in their entirety. Final proposed changes are expected to be presented to the Board of Directors for approval in March 2012.

We appreciate the opinions of all CFP Board's stakeholders and welcome your comments on this proposal.

Sincerely,

 

CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER BOARD OF STANDARDS, INC.
mail@cfpboard.org
P 800-487-1497 • F 202-379-2299 • CFP.NET
1425 K STREET, NW #500 • WASHINGTON, DC 20005
 
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Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc. owns the certification marks CFP®, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, CFP® (with plaque design) and CFP® (with flame design) in the U.S., which it awards to individuals who successfully complete initial and ongoing certification requirements.

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