|A debtor is the person(s) or company filing bankruptcy. Useful information for debtors without an attorney is available below and in this Don't Have an Attorney section of the Court’s website.
|A creditor is a person or entity to whom the debtor owes money or who claims to be owed money by the debtor. Useful information for creditors is available on the Court’s website here.
Filing Bankruptcy Without an Attorney
Individuals may represent themselves in bankruptcy court. However, filing for bankruptcy without an attorney (referred to as pro se) is extremely difficult to do successfully. It is very important that a bankruptcy case is filed and handled correctly. The rules are very technical, and a misstep may affect your rights. Misunderstandings of the law or making mistakes in the process can affect your rights. For example, a debtor whose case is dismissed for failure to file a required document, such as a credit counseling certificate, may lose the right to file another case or lose protections in a later case, including the benefit of the automatic stay.
Bankruptcy has long-term financial and legal consequences - Hiring a competent attorney is strongly recommended.
Court employees and bankruptcy judges are prohibited by law from offering legal advice. Do NOT contact the judge in your case directly. To ensure fairness and equal treatment for all parties in a case, ethics rules specifically prohibit a judge from communicating directly to parties in a case outside of court, with a few limited exceptions. If you want to speak or provide information about your case to the judge, you should NOT contact the judge directly. You must file a legal document or motion with the clerk’s office and request a court hearing. More information is available in the Debtor FAQs on the Court's website.
Corporations and partnerships must have an attorney to file a bankruptcy case.