Offers Free Pre-Filing Bankrupcty Counseling

share, a project of Tides Center, is a new website that provides pre-filing bankruptcy counseling to consumers free of charge. Completion of such counseling, as evidenced by a certificate of counseling, is a requirement of federal law before a consumer can file a bankruptcy petition. began providing service in California but has now received authorization from the Executive Office for United States Trustee, United States Department of Justice, to service all federal Districts except for the District of Alabama and the District of North Carolina. Approval allows the site to issue certificates in compliance with the Bankruptcy Code.

The inspiration for was an article that appeared on the front page of the October 23, 2005, edition of the New York Times entitled When Health Insurance Is Not a Safeguard. In this article, reporter John Leland outlines how the family of seven-year-old Zachery Dorsett was able to use personal bankruptcy to avoid some of the horrible effects of being underinsured for their son's chronic and financially ruinous immune system disorder.

Recognizing that the so-called "Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005" (the "2005 Act") was going to make access to bankruptcy more difficult for persons like the Dorsett family (and after making a donation to the Dorsett family of personal funds) partners at McGrane Greenfield LLP in San Francisco organized a working committee including retired Northern District of California Bankruptcy Judge James Grube, former California Insurance Commissioner and Retired California Appellate Justice Harry Low, and Professor William Hutton of Hastings Law School along with members of the corporate bankruptcy bar in the Northern District of California to implement the program first laid out in what was then called the "Zachery Dorsett Project."

The essential ingredient of is the website, which provides fast, free and readily understandable bankruptcy counseling, resulting in issuance of the necessary certificate allowing access to bankruptcy under the 2005 Act. Additionally, the website states that consumers utilizing the website may hope to receive grants in aid, both for attorney's fees and costs as well as other "fresh start" needs.

The website is provided as a public service by, a project of Tides Center. The corporate bankruptcy bar wishes to ameliorate the negative effects of the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005. This project is a charitable endeavor designed to meet this goal by voluntary donations from the public, specifically including members of the commercial bankruptcy bar throughout the United States. is made possible by the generous support of the Tides Center. Tides Network is a group of organizations that bring together people, ideas, resources, and an overall vision for creating a healthy and just society. Tides Network consists of the Tides Foundation, Tides Center, Tides, Inc., and allied entities that collaborate as partners and are based on the principles of social justice, broadly shared economic opportunity, a robust democratic process and a sustainable environment.