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Credit Counseling

Pre-Filing Credit Counseling Now Mandatory

The Bankruptcy Code now requires that you obtain a credit counseling  certificate from an approved credit counseling agency prior to filing a  Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 case.  While you are free to select any credit  counseling vendor, Clark & Washington can make specific recommendations.

Whenever possible, you should obtain your credit counseling  certificate as soon as you can.  Remember, this certificate is mandatory (with very limited exception) and the certificate remains valid for 180 days.  Call our office if you have any questions about the  pre-bankruptcy credit counseling requirement.

At the current time, Clark and Washington recommends that you obtain your credit counseling at least one day prior to the day you actually file your case.  In 2006, Judge Richard Stair from the Eastern District of Tennessee wrote a decision (In re Cole,  347 B.R. 70 (Bankr.E.D.Tenn.2006) in which he found that the credit counseling requirement of Section 109(h)(1) of the Bankruptcy Code did not allow you to file bankruptcy the same day that you received credit counseling.

Not every Bankruptcy Judge in Tennessee or elsewhere in the nation follows this interpretation, however, in our opinion, the safest course of action would be for you to obtain your credit counseling at least one day prior to the day you actually file.

You can read more about bankruptcy credit counseling and financial management course requirements on our Tennessee Bankruptcy blog.


Before filing for bankruptcy in Tennessee, obtain your credit counseling certificate from the Nashville bankruptcy lawyers at Clark & Washington.

Erase your debt with help from the Chattanooga bankruptcy lawyers at Clark & Washington

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