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Credit Counseling

Credit Counseling and Debtor Education

All individual debtors must obtain credit counseling from an approved agency during the 180-day period BEFORE filing for bankruptcy. In a joint case filed by a husband and wife, the requirement applies to each spouse. Debtors must verify compliance with this requirement in Part 5 of the petition. A debtor must also file, not later than 14 days after filing the petition, a copy of the credit counseling certificate issued by the agency.

List of Approved Credit Counseling Agencies 

Temporary Waiver of Requirement

A debtor may request a temporary waiver of the requirement to obtain credit counseling prior to bankruptcy if there are exigent circumstances preventing the debtor from obtaining the pre-bankruptcy credit counseling within 7 days after requesting the counseling. You must check the appropriate box in Part 5 of the petition and attach a separate sheet explaining what efforts you made to obtaining the briefing, why you were unable to obtain t before filing your petition, and what exigent circumstances required you to file for bankruptcy. Note: If the court grants the waiver, you still must obtain the credit counseling during the 30-day period after filing.


A debtor may request a total exemption from the credit counseling requirement based only on the circumstances below. The request must be made by filing a Motion for Waiver of Credit Counseling/Debtor Education.

  1. Incapacity where the person is so impaired by reason of mental illness or deficiency that the individual is incapable of making rational decisions with respect to financial responsibilities;
  2. Disability where the person is so physically impaired that the individual cannot, after reasonable effort, participate in an in-person, telephonic, or Internet briefing; or
  3. Active duty in a military combat zone.