Before filing a petition for bankruptcy under Chapter 7 of the Bankruptcy Code, a debtor must first take a credit counseling course within 180 days before you file. In addition, you must complete a course in debtor education after you file but before your debts are discharged. The Department of Justice U.S. Trustee’s program has a list of approved credit counselors across the country that it accepts. Even if you live in Lake County or Cook County in Illinois, you can still choose a credit counselor from outside Illinois in part, because the sessions mainly take place over the phone or on the internet. Generally credit counseling and debtor education cost between $50-$100. Your bankruptcy attorney should be able to give you names of credit counselors that they recommend.