News According to the Federal Trade Commission
New bankruptcy law requires credit counseling before filing as of October 17, 2005.
Beginning October 17, 2005, consumers filing for bankruptcy will be required to go through a government-approved credit counseling program within six months before they file for bankruptcy protection. Credit counseling organizations advise consumers on managing money and debts and developing a budget; most offer free educational materials and workshops. Sometimes, they may recommend and negotiate a debt management plan (DMP) for their clients. In a DMP, consumers deposit money each month with the credit counseling organization, which then uses the money to pay off the debts according to a schedule worked out with the consumers and their creditors. A DMP is not required for consumers who are filing for bankruptcy, but if consumers do use one, they need to provide a copy of the plan to the bankruptcy court when filing.
List Of Great Books on Credit Card Debt and How you can help yourself out of Debt: