U.S. Bankruptcy Court - Western District of Washington
Western District of Washington

Hon. Brian D. Lynch, Chief Judge Mark L. Hatcher, Clerk of Court
Seattle Office
Seattle Courthouse
700 Stewart St., #6301
Seattle, WA 98101
(206) 370-5200
Tacoma Office
Tacoma Courthouse
1717 Pacific Ave., Ste 2100
Tacoma, WA 98402
(253) 882-3900
Public and Live Chat Hours:
M-F 8:30am - 4:30pm

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Filing Without an Attorney: printable versionprintable version

What is bankruptcy and how does it work?
[last updated: 05/12/2015]


The Filing Without an Attorney pages were created to answer some of the questions most often asked by debtors filing for bankruptcy without legal representation. This guide is in no way intended to advise you of your legal rights or responsibilities under the bankruptcy laws. Bankruptcy law is complicated and not easily described. Bankruptcy has long-term financial and legal consequences. It is strongly recommended that you hire an attorney. For information regarding legal services at a reduced fee or free of charge, see Filing for Bankruptcy.

You are encouraged to use the Court's website for information regarding local rules and procedures, local and federal forms, and additional resources to help you navigate through the bankruptcy process. 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.


Bankruptcy laws help people who can no longer pay their creditors get a fresh start by liquidating assets to pay their debts or by creating a repayment plan. Bankruptcy laws also protect troubled businesses and provide for orderly distributions to creditors through reorganization or liquidation.

Bankruptcy Basics provides information to debtors, creditors and the general public on the different aspects of federal bankruptcy laws. It also provides individuals who may be considering bankruptcy with an explanation of the different chapters under which a bankruptcy case may be filed and answers some of the most commonly asked questions about the bankruptcy process.

  • Bankruptcy Basics video (a series of short videos on the bankruptcy process)
  • Fundamentos del Proceso de Quiebra (a series of short videos on the bankruptcy process)
  • Notice to Consumer Debtor(s) (outlining the different forms of bankruptcy protection and the credit counseling requirement)
  • Filing for Bankruptcy Without an Attorney (information provided by the U.S. Courts)
  • General Comments/Questions? Please use our online chat.