Filing bankruptcy using an attorney can cost between $1500 and $2500 for a simple Chapter 7 bankruptcy. The comment I hear often from people is “if I had $1500-$2500, I would not be filing bankruptcy!” So what can you do if you need to file bankruptcy and cannot afford to hire an attorney? Do you even need an attorney to file bankruptcy, or is having an attorney an unnecessary “luxury?” Understanding the bankruptcy process will help you have a clearer understanding of why people can file bankruptcy without an attorney.

What You Need to Know To File Bankruptcy Without an Attorney

Filing bankruptcy consists of completing standard “Official Forms.” These forms require an individual to disclosure many different types of personal and financial “factual” information that present a clear picture of the debtor’s current financial picture. The key here is “factual” information. This means that the answers and information provided for the court forms is not nebulous information, but rather specific, concise, black-and-white information about your income, budget, assets and financial history. An attorney cannot help you with your factual information nor can an attorney change a person’s factual information. Facts are facts. It is true that the paperwork does need a substantial amount of factual information, and that is where using a bankruptcy petition preparer is helpful.
Once the paperwork is complete, the next step is filing the documents with the bankruptcy court. This is quite easy and documents can be filed at the court in person at the counter, or the documents can be sent to the court by mail. Either way, the court will give you a case number.
The court provides notice by mail that a debtor has filed bankruptcy. This is automatic and the debtor does not have to do anything to make sure that their creditors know they filed bankruptcy. If a creditor does calls a debtor after the filing of bankruptcy, it is usually because they have not yet received formal notice of the bankruptcy filing. The debtor can just give the creditor with their bankruptcy case number and date of filing which should stop the creditor from calling again.
As a debtor, you are required to make one appearance before the bankruptcy court. Although people refer to this appearance as their “Bankruptcy hearing”, in reality it is not a court hearing but rather an informal meeting before a Chapter 7 Trustee who has been appointed by the court to oversee specific bankruptcy cases. This hearing, called the 341(a) hearing, is not conducted in a courtroom and there are hundreds of other debtors in attendance on the same day. Cases are called in sequential order in groups of 5-10 to save time. When a debtor’s name is called, the debtor moves to the front of the line and answers a few brief questions by the Chapter 7 Trustee. The hearing is concluded in about 3 minutes. Debtors that have retained a lawyer to represent them go through the sane process and are usually surprised when then discover that their attorney can only sit there and say nothing during this brief question period. Creditors can also attend this informal meeting and ask questions, but as a practical matter, they rarely do.
After the bankruptcy 341(a) hearing there is a waiting period that must pass before the court can issue a final discharge. The Final Discharge notice will come in the mail and will be sent to the debtor as well as all creditors. The court will not issue a final discharge until the debtor has completed a financial management class. We typically recommend that debtors complete this 2nd class immediately after the bankruptcy is filed. Once the Final Discharge notice is received, the bankruptcy case is over.
A Bankruptcy Petition Preparer or Legal Document Assistant cannot offer legal advice as to whether you can file for bankruptcy. If, after evaluating all your options, you decide to declare bankruptcy, you can file bankruptcy without an attorney. Use an expert, low-cost, and fast legal document preparation service to help you fill out the required forms. Unfortunately, A People’s Choice no longer offers bankruptcy document preparation services.


Don’t let the legal system scare you! A People’s Choice is here to make it fast, easy and hassle-free.  And don’t spend needless money hiring an attorney for matters you can handle with just a little professional help from A People’s Choice.

“I came to A People’s Choice because going to an attorney was far more money than I wanted to spend. And going through bankruptcy money is an issue. And so I went ahead and did that and it was more convenient as well.

I thought the bankruptcy process would be really difficult and time-consuming. I had heard a lot of horror stories. But it turned out to be very easy. Just imputing information that I had made it very simple. I was already under a lot of stress because of collectors calling me and just wondering what to do about all these debts so it just eased a lot of my stress and anxiety.

A People’s Choice made it very easy. A lot of resources, booklets, pamphlets, going through everything step-by-step. There was a checklist that was very easy to follow and once I was done I was finished and I knew that everything was completed.

If you want to file bankruptcy without an attorney, I would recommend A People’s Choice to anyone. It was fast, easy, convenient, and it saved me a lot of money so it’s financially sound … and thank you A People’s Choice!”

Don’t let the legal system scare you. A People’s Choice is here to make it fast, easy and hassle free. Call now to talk directly to a professional legal document assistant at A People’s Choice or visit our website at

If you are looking to file bankruptcy without an attorney, locate a a bankruptcy petition preparer and Registered Legal Document Assistant Service. A People’s Choice no longer offers bankruptcy document preparation services.