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Before filing for bankruptcy, am I required to go through credit counseling?

Fort Lauderdale, FL |

I'm going to file for Chapter 7, and have been told I need to go through credit counseling first. What's the point of this? I think it's past the point where credit counseling will be able to fix anything.

Attorney Answers 3


  1. Pre-bankruptcy credit counseling is a requirement under the Bankruptcy Code before you can file for bankruptcy. You will also have to go through Debtor Education after your filing, before you can get a discharge. Both credit counseling and debtor education can be done online or over the phone.

    Below is a link with more information on credit counseling.

    DISCLAIMER The answer given above serves for educational purposes only and is meant to provide general information for a basic understanding of the applicable law. Take notice that the answer above does not create an attorney-client relationship as this website is not intended to provide anyone with case-specific legal advice. Further take notice that any information on this site should not be used as a substitute for case-specific legal advice. Readers should also be aware that laws and their applications frequently change. As such, any information provided on this site is general in nature and may not apply to specific factual and legal situations. Contact a professional, competent attorney licensed to practice law in your jurisdiction to receive case-specific legal advice before making any important decisions regarding your legal issue.


  2. You are so right! Your problems, and the problems of all my clients, is too little income and not inability to manage expenses. Everyone (except Congress) knows that the pre-bankruptcy course is a waste of time. But it's the law. So suck it up and take the course. Think of it as a rite of passage.


  3. Congress got it in their minds that attorneys were talking folks into filing bankruptcy when there was no need to, so they created the credit counseling requirement. Now debtors will get the unbiased facts so they can make a reasoned decision after credit counseling. All studies are clear that this requirement is worthless. By the time folks contact attorneys, they are well beyond any meaningful way to get out of debt other than bankruptcy. So, yes, it is pointless, but the law requires it, so it has to be done.