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Family and Consumer Sciences

Ohio State University Extension



About Bankruptcy

When federal law changed in 2005, anyone filing for bankruptcy had new requirements to fulfill. Now, even before filing, you must complete a U.S. Trustee-approved pre-bankruptcy credit counseling session. If after taking the class you decide bankruptcy is the right option, you have 180 days after the session to file. A means test will determine whether you file under Chapter 7 or Chapter 13. Before the bankruptcy is discharged, you must take an approved debtor education class.

Many people facing financial turmoil wonder if they really need to hire a lawyer to get them through the process. The law does not require that you hire an attorney, but bankruptcy is complicated and will have a long-term impact on your life, so seeking legal assistance is usually advised.

Below are some links with helpful information.


Government Sites


  • National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys
  • American Bankruptcy Institute Consumer Education Center
    Includes FAQs about bankruptcy.

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