How do I go about filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy without a lawyer?

UPDATED: Aug 1, 2011

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How do I go about filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy without a lawyer?

I would hire a lawyer but have no money, thus the need for bankruptcy. I have 2 university degrees with a strong ability in professional document writing. I need advice on the protocol for filing. Where I can obtain forms or copies of format and any names of court departments I need to contact.

Asked on August 1, 2011 Ohio


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

The fact is that you do not have the money to pay a lawyer, you have several options. First, speak to Legal Aid and see if the office in your area is accepting bankruptcy cases. Also, check to see if there are any law schools in your area; they typically run free/low cost legal clinics that handle these type cases. Additionally, contact the bar association in your county/city; many times attorney will take certain cases for free ("pro bono") or low cost depending on your income.

If none of these options work for you, can file yourself; you may even qualify for a waiver of the filing fees.

 Here is a link to a site that you may find to be help:

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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