Yes, you do. As part of the bankruptcy law changes handed down in 2005, Congress now requires each debtor in bankruptcy to have to go through a US Trustee qualified credit counseling and obtain a certificate (which gets filed with the bankruptcy court) prior to filing Chapter 13 Bankruptcy. If you fail to complete this course and file a certificate with the bankruptcy court, your bankruptcy case will get dismissed. Crazy stuff right?
Well, now that we know each Chapter 13 debtor must go through and obtain a certificate to be filed with the bankruptcy court, what is this course like? How can it be taken? When do I have to do it? The most common ways to do the credit counseling course are by phone or on line. The on line course typically takes people about a half hour and after the half hour course, you get a certificate which you give your attorney to be filed with the bankruptcy court.
I think you can probably take this course in person too but I am not sure I have ever had a client do an in person credit counseling course. 95% of our guests do the credit counseling course on line. Almost every single one of these people would tell you the course is simple and truthfully, not very helpful. The course gets taken before the Chapter 13 Bankruptcy is filed.
However, it is a hurdle Congress has said debtors must go through in order to file Chapter 13 Bankruptcy. If you have any questions about this course or where you should go to take the course, ask your licensed and local bankruptcy attorney. They will steer you in the right direction.