Before you file your bankruptcy petition, you must receive credit counseling from an approved credit counseling agency. (See sections 109 and 111 of the Bankruptcy Code)
- Credit Counseling takes about 2 hours and can be done over the phone or on the internet.
- There is a fee for the credit counseling course that varies by agency.
- The counseling must be completed within 6 months (180 days) before you file for bankruptcy.
- You must file a Certificate of Counseling within 14 days after filing your petition.
It is very important that you DO NOT file for bankruptcy before you obtain the required credit counseling.
- If you do file your petition before you receive the credit counseling your case will be dismissed and you cannot have it reinstated or reopened. You will need to file a new bankruptcy case and pay another filing fee. Also, you may not receive the automatic stay in your second case.