Pro Se FAQ's
 
DISCLAIMER: The following information should not be relied upon as legal authority nor should it be used as a substitute for reference to the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. Finally, this information should supplement, not substitute, for the advice of competent legal counsel. Please be advised that the Clerk’s Office staff is prohibited from giving legal advice. For additional information, please refer to the United States Bankruptcy Code (title 11, United States Code), the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure (Bankruptcy Rules), and the Local Rules for the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Kentucky.

 

bulletWhat is a Pro Se Debtor?
bulletDo I need an attorney to file bankruptcy?
bulletWhat services can a bankruptcy petition preparer provide?
bulletWhere can I obtain petition forms?
bulletCan the Clerk’s Office help me fill out my forms?
bulletCan I file my documents electronically?
bulletWill filing a bankruptcy stop creditors from calling?
bulletWhat if I need to notify a creditor before the Court sends out notice of my bankruptcy?
bulletHow long should I keep copies of my bankruptcy?


What is a Pro Se Debtor?

A Pro Se debtor is a person who files bankruptcy without an attorney. A Pro Se debtor is responsible for all proceedings of his/her case. Failure to comply with the Bankruptcy Code and Rules or with court orders may result in the dismissal of the debtor's case. It is recommended that all debtors seek legal advice before filing bankruptcy.

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Do I need an attorney to file bankruptcy?

While it is possible to file a bankruptcy case "Pro Se", that is, without representation by an attorney, it is extremely difficult to do so successfully. The Court is not able to give legal advice or help fill out forms. Hiring a competent attorney is highly recommended.

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What services can a bankruptcy petition preparer provide?

Bankruptcy Petition Preparers are permitted to provide services limited to the typing of forms. They may not advise you in any way. Their services are subject to various statutory requirements and limitations.

Please note that although Bankruptcy Petition Preparers are required to sign all documents prepared for filing, they are not authorized to sign any document on your behalf. Therefore, you and your spouse, if filing a joint petition, must also sign all documents. Copies of all prepared documents should be furnished to you by the Bankruptcy Petition Preparer at the time they are presented to you for signature. Likewise, Bankruptcy Petition Preparers are prohibited by law from collecting or receiving any court fees connected with the filing of your case. Consequently, all court fees connected with the filing of your case, including the filing fee and miscellaneous administrative fee, should be paid directly to the court by you. The failure of any Bankruptcy Petition Preparer to comply with the law should immediately be brought to the attention of the trustee appointed to your case and the local Office of the United States Trustee.

Click here for a list of Bankruptcy Petition Preparers that have been barred from preparing petitions for filing in the Western District of Kentucky.

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Where can I obtain petition forms?

Petition forms can be found at most local office supply stores, through the court’s website and at www.uscourts.gov.

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Can the Clerk’s Office help me fill out my forms?

No, members of the Clerk’s office are prohibited from assisting with the completion of any forms.

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Can I file my documents electronically?

At this time, debtors cannot file documents electronically with the Court.

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Will filing a bankruptcy stop creditors from calling?

As a pro se debtor, creditors may still contact you for information.

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What if I need to notify a creditor before the Court sends out notice of my bankruptcy?

If you provide an additional copy of the petition when the bankruptcy petition is filed, the Court will file-stamp and return your copy. However, the Court can also provide you with a file-stamped copy of the first page of the petition or the Notice of Bankruptcy Case Filing for a small fee at any time.

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How long should I keep copies of my bankruptcy?

As your bankruptcy petition is a legal document, it is advisable to keep your bankruptcy records forever.

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This page was last edited on 07/27/2017 at 11:04 AM .