Legal Services & Resources

While it is possible to file for bankruptcy on your own (pro se), it is not a step that should be taken without serious consideration and proper advice and assistance. The bankruptcy laws are complex and debtors who fail to comply with the requirements of the law or do not file all required paperwork and supporting documents risk the dismissal of their case. If a debtor files for the wrong type of bankruptcy under his or her circumstances, the debtor could lose valuable property. It is always better for an individual to speak with and retain an attorney familiar with bankruptcy law who can guide them through the process.

There are several free and low cost bankruptcy services available in Western Washington.  Some of these resources are clinics offering one-on-one consultations or small group classes, generally within low income and residence requirements.  Other organizations can provide free, or "pro bono" lawyers who may represent you in bankruptcy matters.  These resources vary depending on the County in which you reside.  The documents below provide information about clinics and representation.  The organizations and websites listed on the right may provide you with additional resources and information.

1.  Overview of Free Bankruptcy Legal Services and Resources
2.  Resources specifically for Seattle filers
3.  Resources specifically for Tacoma filers

Bankruptcy Petition Preparers

Non-attorney bankruptcy petition preparers may type bankruptcy documents with information supplied by the debtor. They may not provide legal services, such as helping you choose whether to file under chapter 7 or chapter 13 or identifying your property that is exempt from the reach of creditors. Bankruptcy petition preparers may advertise their services under "document preparation services" and similar categories of services, but not under "legal services."

If a bankruptcy petition preparer offers to provide legal services to you or fails to disclose that he or she is not an attorney and may not provide legal services, please report this to a U.S. Trustee office.

The following information is provided by the U.S. Trustee office: Bankruptcy Petition Preparers

Please be advised that the Clerk's Office is prohibited by 28 U.S.C. Sec. 955 from giving legal advice or assisting with the preparation of forms.