Filing Without an Attorney

This page is primarily for bankruptcy case filers who are not represented by an attorney (pro se filers) and contains information pertaining to filing at the courthouse or by mail.

Please note that the Clerk's Office is prohibited from giving legal advice or assisting you with the preparation of forms.

Bankruptcy can be complicated. The staff of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court Clerk's office provides a variety of services; however they are not permitted to assist with the preparation of the voluntary petition, schedules, or other documents, nor can they provide legal advice. All parties must comply with the U.S. Bankruptcy Code, and the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure. Failure to do so may result in dismissal of the case, or other sanctions. It is always best to seek legal advice and representation from an attorney experienced in bankruptcy law and procedure.

The links on this page may provide information that may assist you with pro se filing and answer some of your general questions about filing for Bankruptcy.

Other considerations are:

  • Have you obtained your credit counseling certificate?  If not, your bankruptcy case may be dismissed.
  • Bankruptcy fraud is a felony under federal criminal law and may result in arrest, fine or imprisonment. 
  • General information about bankruptcy for debtors not represented by an attorney may be found in our Pro Se Debtor Guide (see the link on the left). 
  • Information on limited free (pro bono) legal counsel in central Illinois is available from this Locator for Consumers Needing Pro Bono Bankruptcy Services link.  By clicking on the state within the interactive national map, you will be led to the name, location and essential details for all bankruptcy pro bono providers near them, including any critical limitations on the services provided.