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Before you file for personal bankruptcy, there are a few steps you are required to take. These steps, mandated under the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act, include bankruptcy counseling and bankruptcy education requirements. 

Get a bankruptcy counseling certificate

With bankruptcy counseling, consumers are educated about the bankruptcy process and receive a certificate upon completion of counseling.

Get a bankruptcy education certificate

Consumers are also required to obtain a bankruptcy education certificate, after completing “an instructional course concerning personal financial management". This education is meant to help consumers avoid additional and future financial difficulties. 

Hire a bankruptcy attorney

Being represented by an attorney isn’t a requirement of bankruptcy filing, however, bankruptcy laws can be complicated. It may be in your best interest to hire a trusted attorney, especially with the required means test

Filing forms

If you choose to file for bankruptcy on your own, you can obtain the necessary forms for filing by visiting the U.S. Courts Web site. Fill out the forms and submit them per the instructions included.