|Attorneys are not known for their charity, most attorneys charge high fees for their legal work, especially for bankruptcy filing. But most attorneys also perform "pro bono" work - that's Latin for FREE. Pro Bono work is meant to assist the indigent or less fortunate members of our society.
Check for local legal aid societies and contact local law firms to see if they offer free bankruptcy filings. It's not something that they usually advertise, so you need to contact them.
It is also possible to file for bankruptcy yourself without using an attorney. Many ordinary people do it evary day. The bankruptcy forms are available online.
Article I, Section 8, of the United States Constitution authorizes Congress to enact "uniform Laws on the subject of Bankruptcies."
Under this grant of authority, Congress enacted the "Bankruptcy Code" in 1978. The Bankruptcy Code, which is codified as title 11 of the United States Code, has been amended several times since its enactment. It is the uniform federal law that governs all bankruptcy cases.
There is a bankruptcy court for each judicial district in the country. Each state has one or more districts. There are 90 bankruptcy districts across the country. The bankruptcy courts generally have their own clerk's offices.
The court official with decision-making power over federal bankruptcy cases is the United States bankruptcy judge, a judicial officer of the United States district court.
A debtor's involvement with the bankruptcy judge is usually very limited.
A typical chapter 7 debtor will not appear in court and will not see the bankruptcy judge unless an objection is raised in the case.
A chapter 13 debtor may only have to appear before the bankruptcy judge at a plan confirmation hearing.
Usually, the only formal proceeding at which a debtor must appear is the meeting of creditors, which is usually held at the offices of the U.S. trustee.
The procedural aspects of the bankruptcy process are governed by the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure (often called the "Bankruptcy Rules") and local rules of each bankruptcy court. The Bankruptcy Rules contain a set of official forms for use in bankruptcy cases.
Here are the Official Bankruptcy Forms that you will need:
Voluntary Petition (12/11) (pdf)
Exhibit "A" (pdf)
Exhibit "C" (pdf)
Exhibit "D" (pdf)
Application and Order to Pay Filing Fee in Installments (pdf)
Application for Waiver of Chapter 7 Filing Fee (pdf)
List of Creditors Holding 20 Largest Unsecured Claims (pdf)
Involuntary Petition (pdf)
Cover Sheet for Schedules (pdf)
Summary of Schedules (pdf)
Schedule A - Real Property (pdf)
Schedule B - Personal Property (pdf)
Schedule C - Property Claimed as Exempt (pdf)
Schedule D - Creditors Holding Secured Claims (pdf)
Schedule E - Creditors Holding Unsecured Priority Claims (pdf)
Schedule F - Creditors Holding Unsecured Nonpriority Claims (pdf)
Schedule G - Executory Contracts and Unexpired Leases (pdf)
Schedule H - Codebtors (pdf)
Schedule I - Current Income of Individual Debtor(s) (pdf)
Schedule J- Current Expenditures of Individual Debtor(s) (pdf)
Declaration Concerning Debtor's Schedules (pdf)
Statement of Financial Affairs (pdf)
Chapter 7 Individual Debtor's Statement of Intention (pdf)
Notice of Commencement of Case under the Bankruptcy Code, Meeting of Creditors, and Deadlines (pdf)
Chapter 7 Individual or Joint Debtor No Asset Case (pdf)
Chapter 7 Corporation/Partnership No Asset Case (pdf)
Chapter 7 Individual or Joint Debtor Asset Case (pdf)
Chapter 7 Corporation/Partnership Asset Case (pdf)
Chapter 11 Individual or Joint Debtor Case (pdf)
Chapter 11 Corporation/Partnership Case (pdf)
Chapter 12 Individual or Joint Debtor Family Farmer (pdf)
Chapter 12 Corporation/Partnership Family Farmer (pdf)
Chapter 13 Case (pdf)
Proof Of Claim (pdf)
General Power of Attorney (pdf)
Special Power of Attorney (pdf)
Order and Notice for Hearing on Disclosure Statement (pdf)
Order Approving Disclosure Statement and Fixing Time for Filing Acceptances or Rejections of Plan, Combined with Notice Thereof (pdf)
Ballot for Accepting or Rejecting Plan (pdf)
Order Confirming Plan (pdf)
Caption (Short Title) (pdf)
Caption for Use in Adversary Proceeding other than for a Complaint Filed by a Debtor (pdf)
Notice of Appeal under 28 U.S.C. §158(a) or (b) from a Judgment, Order or Decree of a Bankruptcy Court (pdf)
Discharge of Debtor (pdf)
Declaration and Signature of Non-Attorney Bankruptcy Petition Preparer (pdf)
Notice of Motion or Objection (pdf)
Notice of Objection to Claim (pdf)
Statement of Social Security Number (pdf)
Statement of Current Monthly Income and Means Test Calculation (Chapter 7) (pdf)
Statement of Current Monthly Income (Chapter 11) (pdf)
Statement of Current Monthly Income and Calculation of Commitment Period and Disposable Income (Chapter 13) (pdf)
Debtor's Certification of Completion of Instructional Course Concerning Financial Management (pdf)
Certification to Court of Appeals (pdf)
Plan of Reorganization in Small Business Case under Chapter 11 (pdf)
Disclosure Statement in Small Business Case under Chapter 11 (pdf)
Small Business Monthly Operating Report (pdf)
Periodic Report Regarding Value, Operations and Profitability of Entities in Which the Debtor's Estate Holds a Substantial or Controlling Interest (pdf)
Reaffirmation Agreement (pdf)
Glossary of Bankruptcy Terms