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How to Put a Bankruptcy Together

CAUTION: It is very important that a bankruptcy case be filed and handled correctly. The rules are very technical and a misstep may affect your rights. Further, bankruptcy has long-term financial and legal consequences - hiring a competent attorney is strongly recommended. Even if you cannot afford to pay an attorney, you may be able to qualify for free legal services. For information about hiring an attorney, or about free legal services, contact your state or local bar association.
SPECIAL CAUTION REGARDING BANKRUPTCY PETITION PREPARERS: Beware of bankruptcy petition preparers who do not comply with all legal requirements. The role of non-attorney petition preparers is solely to type information on bankruptcy forms. They are barred by law from providing legal advice -- they cannot explain how to answer legal questions or assist in bankruptcy court. Petition preparers must sign all documents they prepare; print their name, address, and social security number on such documents; and furnish copies to you. They cannot sign a document on your behalf or receive payment from you for court fees.

Checklist of Requirements (Form B2000)
General Information (Form B2010)
How to Create a Creditor Matrix
Local Rules

Tips and Reminders:

  • Please note, bankruptcy staff are prohibited by law from answering legal questions.
  • Determine under which bankruptcy code chapter (7, 11, 12, 13) you will be filing.
  • Determine the fee related to your filing and how you will be paying. The court will not accept a debtor's personal check or credit card.
  • You must provide a creditor matrix that includes all creditor's names and addresses.
  • If you would like a file marked copy of your bankruptcy petition, please provide an extra copy when filing. If you have mailed in the documents, you must provide a self-addressed stamped envelope in order to receive a copy of the filing.
  • If you are a corporation filing for bankruptcy, you must be represented by an attorney (Local Rule B-9010-1).