How do you file for bankruptcy on your own?

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How do you file for bankruptcy on your own?

I’m trying to help my sister who has already paid $5000 to an attorney to file  a Chapter 13 bankruptcy. She needs to file for Chapter 7 and is broke. She was told that she had to go back to the attorney who help her the first time before she can file a Chapter 7. When she filed Chapter 13 she was getting unemployment; now she is not. Her husband’s work is up and down. What can she do on her own to file a Chapter 7. Most of her debt was brought on by hospital bills. What would be the next step without having to pay her attorney more money that she really doesn’t have. All this is creating more problems with her health.

Asked on June 12, 2011 under Bankruptcy Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Your sister can file on her own behalf if she cannot afford an attorney (although having legal representation is best).  Here is a link to a site that will provide bankruptcy basics as well as all of the forms that are needed:  http://www.uscourts.gov/bankruptcycourts.html.

After reviewing everything if she feels that she needs help with all of this, see if your sister qualifies for representation by Legal Aid or see if they can recommend someone to help her.  Also, check if there is a law school nearby to where she lives; they typically run free/low cost clinics that handle these type cases.  Finally, contact the local Bar Association in her county; they may have a list of attorneys who will take the case "pro bono" (for free) or at least for a reduced fee based on her income/circumstances. 


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