Before You File
The following information is for individuals who are considering filing for bankruptcy without an attorney, also referred to as pro se debtors. Due to the complexity of filings and the long-term financial and legal consequences of filing bankruptcy, individuals are encouraged to consult with a competent attorney. Only attorneys (not petition preparers, the Clerk’s Office, judges, or chambers staff) can give legal advice.
What constitutes legal advice?
- Explaining the meaning of a particular statutory provision or rule
- Giving an interpretation of case law
- Explaining the result of taking or not taking an action in a case
- Helping you complete forms, or advising you regarding what is legally required when a form elicits information from you
- Telling you whether jurisdiction is proper in a case
- Telling you whether a complaint properly presents a claim
- Providing advice on the best procedure to accomplish a particular goal
- Applying a rule or statute
- Explaining who should receive proper notice or service
Important Warnings About Filing - Please Review:
- Credit Counseling Warning!
- Top 10 Pro Se Filing Errors
- Warning to Individuals Considering Filing for Bankruptcy
- Legal Assistance: English | Spanish - A video about the need for legal assistance when filing for bankruptcy
If you are still considering filing for bankruptcy without an attorney, please carefully review the following resources before proceeding:
- Bankruptcy Overview
- Video for Self-Represented Individuals
- Filing for Bankruptcy Without an Attorney
- In Debt?
If you would like to find an attorney, please review the Find an Attorney (Sometimes for Free) and Legal Information page.