If you are considering filing bankruptcy as a pro se filer, there are some great resources available which will be discussed here. You will find these quite helpful in your endeavor.
1. You can find bankruptcy forms for free online.
You don't need to buy legal forms or a legal form book because the fillable forms are available online for your jurisdiction at your local government's website or at the federal bankruptcy website: UScourts.gov. Make sure you are printing out the appropriate forms. According to alllaw.com, a common mistake people make is filing under the wrong chapter. Don't forget to include the following information:
- any credit counseling or debt education
- the required schedules and petitions for your chapter
- your statement of financial affairs
2. You can do research in a local library or a law library.
You don't need to spend a lot of money on self-help legal books. Your local library will have the latest copies of helpful self-help books; and once your bankruptcy is discharged, you are not likely to use them again.
Also, somewhere in your jurisdiction, there should be a law library open to the public. You may find one at a university that has a law school or in a municipal court building near you. You will find the law librarian helpful, but you can learn the basics of doing legal research before you go to save time. Places like the Thurgood Marshall Law Library website contain some informative topics to get you started. Law libraries have state and federal codes plus case law that could help you make decisions on important aspects of your case, like whether you should try to get your student loans discharged.
3. You can call your state's bankruptcy hotline.
Your state may have a bankruptcy hotline that will allow you call and pose a question to a bankruptcy lawyer. For example, Indiana has one, and you can call it on the 2nd and 4th Wednesdays of each month from noon to 1 p.m. Check your state bar association to find out if this resource is available to you.
Talking with an attorney, like Dennis Lee Burman Attorney at Law, can help you decide if you want to continue your pro se efforts. If you would rather have an attorney handle your case but you are afraid you can't afford it, you may be pleasantly surprised to discover that many offer payment plans for both chapter 7 and chapter 13 bankruptcy.