Within six months before filing for bankruptcy, you will be required to consult with a credit counseling agency approved by the U.S. Trustee’s Office. During the credit counseling process, you will discuss your income, expenses, debts and assets with a certified credit counselor who will evaluate your financial situation and determine whether you can handle your debt outside of bankruptcy. Credit counseling is a requirement for bankruptcy in California, and you will have to file the credit counseling completion certificate along with the rest of your bankruptcy paperwork.