Filing Without an Attorney
While it is possible to file a bankruptcy case without the assistance of an attorney, it may be difficult to do so successfully. It is recommended that a person considering bankruptcy consult with an attorney prior to filing a case. Your local bar association may have information on lawyer referral programs or free legal clinics in your area.
While the information presented above is accurate as of the date of publication, it should not be cited or relied upon as legal authority. It is highly recommended that legal advice be obtained from a bankruptcy attorney . For filing requirements, please refer to the United States Bankruptcy Code (title 11, United States Code), the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure and the Local Rules for the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania.
Click on the following link to view or print an informational booklet titled "Bankruptcy Basics" that the Administrative Office of US Courts publishes to explain the bankruptcy process. Videos on different aspects of the federal bankruptcy laws and basic explanations of bankruptcy chapters are available as well.
Neighborhood Legal Services Association offers a free Do-It-Yourself Bankruptcy Clinic to help eligible low-income individuals file Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
Consumer Credit Counseling
Credit counseling and debtor education information is available from the U.S. Trustee Program
U.S. Trustee Program - Means Testing
U.S. Trustee Program - List of Credit Counseling Agencies Approved Pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 111
Click the following link to view a web page that provides information to individuals who are thinking of filing a bankruptcy petition without an attorney.
If you are looking for a lawyer, you can see the following links. Some lawyers may work for free (Pro Bono).
- Allegheny County Bar Association
- Erie County Bar Association
- Cambria County Bar Association
- Neighborhood Legal Services Association (for the following counties: Allegheny, Beaver, Butler, and Lawrence)
A list of Pro Bono services is available from the American Bankruptcy Institute.