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.
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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.
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.