If you have assets that need protection, you absolutely need to talk to an attorney and save up money for them.
If you don't, then you can try public counsel, they have programs that teach you how to file etc, all for free. Lawyers get lawyers to represent themselves, I don't understand why regular people don't!
The above is general legal and business analysis. It is not "legal advise" but analysis, and different lawyers may analyse this matter differently, especially if there are additional facts not reflected in the question. I am not your attorney until retained by a written retainer agreement signed by both of us. I am only licensed in California. See also avvo.com terms and conditions item 9, incorporated as if it was reprinted here. Please visit my web site: www.avanesianlaw.com for more information about my services.
You have a number of options. Below are a few:
1) You can contact the Federal Bankruptcy Court, Central District of California, and ask whether they provide bankruptcy workshops. I am positive that the Riverside courthouse provides workshops every week. These are actual attorneys that will get you pointed in the right direction.
2) You can search for legal aid on the internet. Some good keywords to help your search would be "legal aid long beach" or "pro bono bankruptcy attorney long beach."
3) The Bankruptcy Court and their website also provides great information to people who want to file a bankruptcy on your own. However, it is not recommended to file on your own.
4) There are many attorneys that might provide you with the assistance you need for a low cost. I would strongly suggest (if you haven't already done so) that you contact many attorneys to see if they will work with you on their fees. Having an attorney to help you through your case is always going to be the best option.