Filing Without an Attorney
Bankruptcy cases are filed in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court. Proper preparation of the documents along with required information is very important to the success of the case. Because of the complexity of the process and frequent changes to the law, representation by a competent attorney is strongly advised to protect your rights. Corporations and partnerships must have an attorney to file a bankruptcy case. The Clerk's Office cannot help you complete forms and can only provide you with general information and resources to contact - only an attorney can provide legal advice or answer questions concerning the Bankruptcy Rules and the Federal Code. Failure to file or fully complete required documents may have adverse effects on your rights.
When an individual comes before the Court without representation, they are referred to as being "pro se", a Latin phrase meaning "for oneself " or "on one's own behalf." To assist pro se filers, the Court has put together a Pro Se Packet of forms that may be helpful. Depending on individual circumstances, additional forms will be required and may be found here. While we will attempt to keep the forms and information current, it is the responsibility of the filer or your attorney to verify that all information is correctly submitted.
We have listed many resources and information on the Debtor Information web page, which you may find helpful, and we encourage you to take advantage of it. Bankruptcy Basics and the accompanying video may be a good starting point to learn more about the bankruptcy process. Also please visit Filing for Bankruptcy without an Attorney and other helpful links on the USCourts.gov website. A list of local low cost or free legal services is available here.
NOTE: During the course of a bankruptcy case or proceeding, bankruptcy court notices are mailed by the Bankruptcy Noticing Center (BNC) on behalf of the court. The BNC, which is operated by a private contractor, provides notice production and mailing services for the ourt, but THE BNC IS NOT THE COURT.
DO NOT SEND DOCUMENTS TO THE BNC
Documents related to a bankruptcy case or proceeding should be sent directly to the court.