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The federal bankruptcy process requires all those filing for Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 to attend two separate credit-counseling sessions. These are intended to reinforce or teach financial management skills that may help households avoid bankruptcy in the future.

The Department of Justice certifies local clinics to provide pre-bankruptcy counseling and pre-discharge education. To find the list of approved centers, consumers must go to the Department of Justice’s website for the U.S. Trustee Program, and then select their state of residence to find in-person and online class options. Illinois residents have several hundred certificated classes from which to choose.

A judge will not sign off on a bankruptcy until the debtor has completed both rounds of credit counseling. The law office of Cutler & Associates has decades of experience with Illinois bankruptcies, and often helps clients find effective counseling services to meet their needs.