One who files a petition for relief under the Bankruptcy Code is referred to as a debtor. Normally, Chapter 13 relief is available to an individual whose unsecured debts are less than $336,900 and secured debts are less than $1,010,650 according to 11 U.S.C. § 109(e). A corporation or partnership may not be a debtor under Chapter 13.
According to 11 U.S.C. §§ 109, 111, an individual cannot be a debtor under chapter 13 or any chapter of the Bankruptcy Code unless he or she has received credit counseling from an approved credit counseling agency. The counseling can take place either in an individual or group briefing and must have taken place within 180 days before filing. There are exceptions in certain emergency situations, such as where the U.S. trustee determines that there are insufficient approved agencies to provide the required counseling.