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Filing a Chapter 13 Case

Because there are many complicated issues that may come up in a bankruptcy case, individuals may wish to hire an attorney who is allowed to practice in this bankruptcy court. If you do choose to represent yourself as a pro se filer and go through the bankruptcy case without a lawyer, you must follow all federal and local court laws and requirements and use the federal and local required forms that are available from the clerk’s office or the court’s web site for filing documents. DO NOT use any other forms; they may be from a different court or may be old forms that cannot be used in this court since they have been replaced by updated versions.

The judges, judges’ staff, clerk, or clerk’s staff are not permitted to provide legal advice or speak with you in an ex parte communication (which means without the other side present).

Before Filing a Bankruptcy Petition

Individual debtors MUST complete a credit counseling course from an approved credit counseling agency, prior to filing bankruptcy. This requirement, along with any exceptions that may apply, are explained in this clerk’s notice: “STOP & READ BEFORE FILING” (Spanish) (Creole). A list of approved Credit Counseling Agencies can be located on the U.S. Trustee’s website.

Photo Identification Requirement for Pro Se Petitions

Debtors who are not represented by an attorney must present current official government photo identification at the time the petition is presented for filing. [See the clerk’s public notice “New Photo Identification Requirement for Debtors Filing a Petition Without Attorney Representation Effective August 1, 2011”].

Required Documents For Filing a Chapter 13 Case

Documents should be printed on 8½ X 11 inch paper and on one side of the paper only.  The original, signed documents are to be filed with the Court. You can access individual documents through the Petition Package page.

Other Documents That May Be Required At The Time Of Filing:

Payment

Please view the Filing Fees and Acceptable Forms of Payment page for more information on the requirements, forms, and types of payments available.

After Filing A Bankruptcy Petition

Each debtor, including both spouses in a joint case, must complete a Financial Management Course. Completion of the course is a condition for the debtor to obtain a Discharge.