Bankruptcy

What Is the Credit Counseling Requirement in Bankruptcy?

By Cara O'Neill, Attorney
Find out about the course you must take before you file for bankruptcy.

To qualify for bankruptcy relief, you must first take a mandatory course from a nonprofit credit counseling agency within 180-days before filing your petition. The credit counseling course is designed to help you come up with an alternate debt payment strategy that will allow you to avoid bankruptcy altogether.

After completing the course, the counseling organization will give you a certificate that you’ll file along with your other bankruptcy paperwork. You’ll also receive a copy of any repayment plan you developed. You aren’t obligated to follow the recommendations, however.

Most providers have classes online and over the phone, and you’ll likely complete the course within one to two hours. You can find a course approved by your local bankruptcy court by visiting the U.S. Trustee’s website.

(For more information about pre-filing requirements, see What Do I Need to Do to Start the Bankruptcy Process?)

Go to the main bankruptcy FAQ page.

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