Is there anything that a person must do before a chapter 7 case can be filed?

Yes.  A person is not permitted to file a chapter 7 case unless he or she has, during the 180-day period prior to filing, received from an approved nonprofit budget and credit counseling agency an individual or group briefing that outlined the opportunities for available credit counseling and assisted the person in performing a budget analysis.  This briefing may be conducted by telephone or on the internet, if desired, and must be paid for by the person.  When the chapter 7 case is filed, a certificate from the agency describing the services provided to the person must be filed with the court.  A copy of any debt repayment plan prepared for the person by the agency must also be filed with the court.  In emergency situations, the required credit counseling may be conducted after the case is filed.