Before you file for bankruptcy, you must undergo mandatory credit counseling with a credit counseling agency approved by the U.S. Trustee Program. This credit counseling certification must have been completed within the 180 days immediately preceding the filing of your bankruptcy case.
Not all credit counseling agencies are approved by the U.S. Trustee Program. You can find a list of approved credit counseling agencies here online or by calling your local branch of the Federal Trade Commission or U.S. Bankruptcy Court Clerk’s Office. You must file your certification of credit counseling when you file your petition for bankruptcy.
At your credit counseling session, you can expect to go over your finances in detail with a credit counselor. This session is required under the law, but it’s not like most credit counseling. In fact, many agencies let you get the certificate online in just a few minutes.
Personally, I think the credit counseling requirement is nothing more than a waste of time and money for you (it costs anywhere from $25-$40 depending on who you decide to use). Nonetheless, it’s required so you don’t get a choice of saving time or money.