In 2005, Congress added a step to the bankruptcy filing process. Individuals filing for either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy must participate in an approved credit counseling course prior to filing for bankruptcy. And before you get a discharge at the end of your case, you must take another class on personal financial management. There are limited exceptions for both requirements -- but very few people will qualify for them.
Here you'll find detailed information on these requirements, including where to find approved courses near you.