Public Counsel's Debtor Assistance Project offers these resources for individuals who have filed, or are considering filing, bankruptcy:
- Answer Instructions for Pro Se Debtors
If one or more of your creditors sues you in the bankruptcy court, you must prepare an answer. The answer is your opportunity to respond to the case against you.
- Answer Form for Pro Se Debtors
This is a "fill-in-the-blank" form that you can use to prepare your answer, in case one or more of your creditors sues you in bankruptcy court.
- Canceling a Reaffirmation Agreement
A reaffirmation agreement is a new contract between you and the creditor where you agree to pay a debt voluntarily that would have been discharged in your bankruptcy case. However, you have a limited amount of time in which you can cancel the agreement.
- Bankruptcy Self-Help Desk Hours and Location
The Bankruptcy Self-Help Desk is open Mondays and Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., and again from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., on the first floor of the Federal Building in Downtown Los Angeles.
- Chapter 7 Post-Filing Checklist
What you need to do after filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
- Checklist for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
What you need to gather and prepare before filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
- Credit Counseling and Financial Management Course Providers
Each debtor who files for bankruptcy is required to take two courses lasting 1-2 hours each, offered online or over the phone. One is required before filing, and the other must be completed after filing.
- Downloadable Bankruptcy Forms
Download and fill out the forms necessary to file a bankruptcy in the Central District of California (most of Southern California except San Diego and Imperial counties).
- Debtor Assistance Program Hotline
If you want to file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy or are involved in an Adversary Proceeding, this flyer provides information on how to contact the Debtor Assistance Project Hotline.
Exemptions allow you to keep certain assets after bankruptcy. Here is a list of some commonly used California exemptions.
- Fee Waiver Flyer
If you cannot afford the filing fee for bankruptcy, you may be able to ask the court to waive the filing fee. This flyer will give you an idea if you qualify for the fee waiver.
- Fee Waiver Application and Instructions
This is the actual application for a fee waiver from the court. The instructions will tell you exactly how to fill out the forms and where to submit the application.
- Free or Low-Cost Bankruptcy Help
A listing of various agencies and services throughout Southern California that offer free and low-cost bankruptcy assistance.
- Free Credit Report
Instructions for how to get a free credit report from all three creditor reporting agencies, which anyone is entitled to receive at no cost once a year.
- Meeting of Creditors
In each Chapter 7 bankruptcy case, you will have a meeting with the Chapter 7 trustee (called the "Meeting of Creditors" or "341(a) Meeting." This flyer will give you an idea of the kinds of questions the trustee will ask, as well as what to bring to the meeting.
- "No Contact" Letter (Template)
If you are "judgment-proof," meaning that you have no assets that debt collectors can obtain from you even if they win a lawsuit, you can use this sample letter to write your creditors so they stop calling and writing.
- "No Contact" Letter (Sample)
This is a "fill-in-the-blanks" version of our "No Contact" letter that you can download, print, fill out, and send to creditors.
- Reaffirmation Hearing Informational Packet
A reaffirmation agreement is where you agree to pay a debt even though you could have eliminated the debt in your bankruptcy case. When you reaffirm a debt, you continue to be legally responsible for paying it back.