Find an affordable bankruptcy lawyer by querying the legal aid society in your area about pro bono attorneys who provide free or low-cost legal help, advises U.S. News & World Report. Other sources may be nonprofit legal service organizations or law school legal clinics, adds Nolo. Use the interactive U.S. map and search engine at Probono.net to locate pro bono services in your state, according to the American Bar Association.
Debtors qualify for nonprofit legal services on the basis of income, explains Nolo. Not all legal aid offices offer bankruptcy representation, but those that don't may provide guidance through bankruptcy proceedings. Bankruptcy courts also sometimes have free clinics to prepare debtors to file for bankruptcy. However, though you can file for bankruptcy on your own, the process is complicated, and you may make mistakes that cause the court to dismiss the bankruptcy filing, points out U.S. News & World Report.
In preparation for a bankruptcy filing, gather your financial paperwork, suggests U.S. News & World Report. Do not transfer or sell off any assets, as that could damage your claim. If you cannot find an affordable lawyer to help you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, consider filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, which allows you to pay attorney fees as part of the bankruptcy repayment plan, advises Nolo. However, to file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you need to have the capability of paying back a certain portion of your debt.