Filing a Bankruptcy Case without an Attorney

Pro se
is a Latin adjective meaning "for self", that is applied to someone who represents himself or herself without a lawyer in a court proceeding, whether as a defendant or a plaintiff and whether the matter is civil or criminal. This status is sometimes known as "propria persona" or "pro per".


Bankruptcy Assistance for Pro Se Filers

If you do not have an attorney, and you are filing a bankruptcy case in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Massachusetts on your own (“Pro Se”), you may get information about the bankruptcy process and filing requirements from the Pro Se Law Clerk’s Office.


You may be able to get help with questions like:

  • What are the different bankruptcy chapters?
  • What forms and schedules do I need to complete?
  • What is the means test?
  • How does the filing process work?
  • How much does it cost to file, and what are the payment options?
  • What is a 341 meeting?
  • What is a discharge?
  • Do I qualify for legal assistance?


The Pro Se Law Clerk may answer questions about bankruptcy forms, schedules and procedure. However, the Pro Se Law Clerk is employed by the United States Bankruptcy Court and cannot provide legal advice, this includes preparing your petition or forms for you. Should you need representation, referrals may be made to an appropriate service such as a legal services provider or to a bar association legal referral service. Because bankruptcy has long- term financial consequences, it is strongly recommended that you be represented by an attorney.


Schedule for the Pro Se Law Clerk's Office:

Eastern Division
Mondays, Thursdays, Fridays
9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
(617) 748-5351
Central Division
9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
(508) 770-8925
Western Division
9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
(413) 785-6892


Schedule is subject to change without notice. Please call or email the Pro se Law Clerk at to confirm availability.
Please Note: Do not mail or email any court filings to the attention of the Pro se Law Clerk.


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