To file any type of bankruptcy, you must receive credit counseling from a government-approved credit counseling agency. You must complete it no more than 180 days prior to your bankruptcy filing.

Part of the credit counseling must include a two-hour financial management course. Agencies that offer this course aren’t always non-profit, but they should be able to offer free or lower cost services to you if you can’t afford the full price.

The Office of the U.S. Trustee has a state-by-state list of approved agencies.

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