I need to file bankruptcy, but I currently have zero income and no way of paying for a lawyer. I’m in the middle of a divorce. I have no assets to protect, but my soon to be ex does. He hired his own bankruptcy lawyer already, and filing jointly is not a realistic option. I know it’s possible to file without an attorney, but it seems complicated and I don’t know where to start. Any advice on filing bankruptcy without a lawyer? Do bankruptcy lawyers ever do pro bono work for low income families?
Find a way to retain an attorney. Bankruptcy is complicated and can be a minefield for the lay person. See if California legal services can refer you to a low cost attorney
Some law schools have legal clinics to help folks file bankruptcy.
DISCLAIMER: This message is intended as a general discussion of legal issues and not as a statement of fact, legal advice or a legal opinion. No attorney-client relationship is created by this message. Do not act or rely upon law-related information in this communication without seeking the advice of an attorney licensed to practice in the relevant area. I am a Federally Designated Debt Relief Agency under the United States Bankruptcy Code. I proudly help people in financial need file bankruptcy cases. IRS CIRCULAR 230 NOTICE: To ensure compliance with requirements imposed by the IRS, we inform you that any U.S. tax advice contained in this communication (or in any attachment) is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, for the purpose of (i) avoiding penalties under the Internal Revenue Code or (ii) promoting, marketing or recommending to another party any transaction or matter addressed in this communication (or in any attachment).
Yes it is a bad idea to try to file for bankruptcy protection without a lawyer. There are too many strict rules and other issues that come up to do it yourself. Some attorneys offer free consultations and payment plans, and ways to pay the fees that are flexible. If that does not work, call your local bar association to find legal aid agencies to help for free or low cost.
Any advice given is general in nature and cannot be relied upon until the client retains the attorney after a full interview and review of the facts of the situation. No attorney-client relationship exists until a retainer agreement is signed and fees are paid.
Here in San Diego, we have a no-cost clinic that meets at the Bankruptcy Court at 325 West F Street, San Diego 92101, to assist people that are filing bankruptcy without hiring an attorney. The Clinic is every Wednesday from 2-4. You do not need an appointment to be seen by a volunteer attorney.
All our attorneys are experienced bankruptcy attorneys who can discuss your situation with you. Depending on your income, there is a possibility that you may be eligible for petition preparation assistance through Legal Aid at no cost.
Yes, it is a terrible idea. Go to the bankruptcy courts website. casb.uscourts.gov. They have a pro bono clinic every week to assist at no cost.
You realize you are asking a group of bankruptcy attorneys if you should file a case without a bankruptcy attorney. That is like asking a barber if you should cut your own hair. Don't cut your own hair. Chapter 7 is not that expensive, Many attorneys have payment plans. Since you are going through a divorce, you will have a more complicated case than usual. Many of us offer free consultations. Take a deep breath and get a couple of consultations. You will relieve some pressure you are feeling once you get professional help.
Please note this is to be considered general advice and not legal advice about any particular situation. The answering of any question does not create an attorney client relationship and does not make the answer specific legal advice. I am an attorney admitted to the practice of law in the state of Georgia. Â
Yes, playing lawyer is a bad idea. What you don't know about bankruptcy procedure and law can hurt you.
You should contact your local bar association or the bankrutcy clerk's office to ask about the availability of pro bono services in your area.
Advice on this forum is for informational purposes only and should never be mistaken as a substitute for legal advice. If you are in need of legal advice, you should consult local legal counsel.
Most Bankruptcy attorneys require that you pre-pay attorney fees. Some attorneys will agree to provide services before you pay them. See if you can find a qualified Bankruptcy Attorney that will agree to defer compensation until after your BK and DIV.
The answer provided herein should not be construed as legal advice, nor does this statement imply any kind of attorney-client relationship. You should contact an attorney near you for legal advice.
Years licensed, work experience, educationLegal community recognition
Peer endorsements, associations, awardsLegal thought leadership
Publications, speaking engagementsDiscipline