Bankruptcy Law office of Bill Rubendall | William M. Rubendall
If you are unemployed this might not be the best time to file bankruptcy. There are not often free services to prepare a bankruptcy. Look for a free consultation and ask about "bankruptcy preparers." These are secretarial services that prepare bankruptcy for about $150.
Answer Applies to: California
Indianapolis Bankruptcy Law Office of Eric C. Lewis | Eric Lewis
Save up some money and hire an attorney to get it done right.
Answer Applies to: Indiana
Tokarska Law Center | Kathryn U. Tokarska
Check with local legal aid clinic to see if they offer the service, if not, there are two other options (1) go to the local bankruptcy court website and see what resources they have for self represented assistance (some courts provide fairly extensive guidance online on what needs to be done, what forms are needed etc) (2) you could hire a petition preparer, they typically charge less but be aware that in both options 1 and 2 you will not receive any legal advice. The local bankruptcy court website search is a must because different districts have different local rules. There is a general bankruptcy guide published by Nolo, How to File for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy that you could probably find at the local public library, if not then law public library. That book as well will give you a long disclaimer. Having said all this, as an attorney who has practiced bankruptcy for some time now, none of these will measure up or replace legal representation. I do not recommend self representation. Even an attorney who practices a different area of the law will think twice and probably hire a bankruptcy lawyer. Who knows you may have some particular facts/circumstances that could make filing bankruptcy a mistake at this time or maybe ever. As a self represented individual you are still expected to understand bankruptcy rules and local court practices. Not knowing that you were supposed to do this or not do this is no excuse and won't prevent the consequences. Is bankruptcy at this time really necessary? Legal aid clinics offer assistance regarding family law and other serious legal issues that can very negatively impact lives of people who cannot afford legal representation but bankruptcy services don't necessarily fall into that urgent category. If someone is absolutely broke and owns little to no assets, that person is considered judgment proof so what is the worst thing that can happen to them? You can't get blood from a turnip. Just my two cents. Good luck to you.
Answer Applies to: California
A Fresh Start | Dorothy G Bunce
Legal aid is available to help indigent people that need to file bankruptcy in many communities and if you are below the poverty level, you may qualify to have the court filing fee waived. However, there is a big difference between wanting to file bankruptcy and needing to file bankruptcy. Most indigent folks may want to file bankruptcy but have no genuine need to file bankruptcy.
Answer Applies to: Nevada
Troutman & Napier | Gregory A. Napier
First, you can find all the forms needed on the website for the bankruptcy court in your district. Second, you can file a motion to have the court's fees waived. Third, you may be judgment proof right now if you have no wages or bank balances and so you may want to wait until you are employed again for two reasons: 1) bankruptcy can be complicated and there are costly mistakes that can happen if you do not know the laws; 2) you may have to incur additional debts, such as medical bills, between now and when you regain income.
Answer Applies to: Kentucky
Law offices of John P. Brooke | John Brooke
You may be able to find an attorney to file the case pro bono for you through your local bar association but there usually is a waiting list. The Suffolk County Bar Association has a program where they can set you up with an attorney pro bono if you live in Suffolk County. You could file pro se (on your own) but I wouldn't recommend going this route given the fact the paperwork is quite lengthy and you would need to have knowledge of the exemption laws so you don't lose any otherwise exempt assets. Your best bet would be to search for an attorney to offer competitive rates and that would be willing to offer you some sort of a payment plan. My office routinely offers lower rates to people in your situation with fees as low as $1,000 and payment plans.
Answer Applies to: New York
Michelotti & Associates, Ltd. | Joseph Michelotti
True chicken and egg problem. You can ask that the court waive your filing fees (currently $306.00), but generally that is not done. You can pay the filing fees in installments, so that would be easier. All of the forms you need are available on line, but bankruptcy is a very complicated area of law. If you do something wrong, it is very hard to reverse it.
Answer Applies to: Illinois