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Credit Counseling

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 utilizes Debt Helpers Inc, due to its low cost which we pass on to you dollar for dollar. Debt Helper charges $45 for both the Pre and Post filing certificates.

You can visit the Debt Helpers website at

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. However in extreme circumstances we can work with court to allow you to file the same day.

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.

Clark & Washington has dedication credit counseling computer stations in all of our offices if you would like to complete the course right away.


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

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

Clark & Washington - Chattanooga Bankruptcy Attorneys