Filing Without an Attorney

Self Representation

Individuals may file for bankruptcy without an attorney but will be expected to be familiar with and must comply with the Local Rules, Utah Rules of Professional Conduct, applicable Federal Rules and statutes, and decisions of this court interpreting those rules and standards. (Local Rule 9011-2(b))

A corporation, partnership, limited liability company, trust, unincorporated association, or other party which is not an individual may NOT file a petition or otherwise appear without an attorney in any case or proceeding. (Local Rule 9011-2(a))

This section is intended to provide basic bankruptcy information, forms, and other content to assist those who choose to file bankruptcy without the assistance of an attorney.

 

 

Before Filing

Filing for Bankruptcy

Need More Help?

Introduction to Bankruptcy

Filing for bankruptcy may be done without an attorney; however, it is recommended to retain the services of an attorney for assistance and guidance through this complex process.  Bankruptcy laws are technical and require forms to be completed and signed under penalty of perjury.  Failure to complete the forms truthfully, accurately, and timely may result in dismissal of a bankruptcy case, challenge to the discharge of debts, or adverse effects on future bankruptcy filings.

The Bankruptcy Court Clerk’s Office staff is prohibited by 28 U.S.C § 955 from providing legal advice and cannot aid in the completion of required forms.

United States Courts (www.uscourts.gov) has made available a “Bankruptcy Basics” tutorial to provide more information about the different aspects of Federal Bankruptcy laws and other general bankruptcy procedures.

 


Pre Filing Credit Counseling Requirement

11 U.S.C. § 109(h) "Who May Be a Debtor" requires all individual debtors to take a credit counseling course from an approved provider within a 180 day period ending on the date of filing for bankruptcy.  For a list of approved Credit Counseling Agencies pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 111, click here.


Bankruptcy Basics Videos


Filing for Bankruptcy


First Meeting of Creditors

(341 Meeting)

11 U.S.C. § 341 requires debtors to attend a meeting of creditors conducted by the trustee within a reasonable time after filing for bankruptcy.  The Bankruptcy Court will send a notice in the mail informing the debtor(s) of the date, time, and location of the 341 meeting.  The notice will also contain other important deadlines related to the bankruptcy case.

First Meeting of Creditors


Bankruptcy Discharge

A fundamental goal of the federal bankruptcy laws enacted by Congress is to give debtors a financial "fresh start" from burdensome debts.  This goal is accomplished through the bankruptcy discharge, which releases debtors from personal liability from specific debts and prohibits creditors from ever taking any action against the debtor to collect those debts.  For frequently asked questions (FAQ) concerning a bankruptcy discharge, click here.

Bankruptcy Discharge


Post Petition Personal Financial Management Course

In order to be eligible for a bankruptcy discharge, all individual debtors are required to take an instructional course concerning personal financial management per 11 U.S.C. § 727(a)(11) and § 1328(g).  For a list of approved providers of personal financial management instructional courses (debtor education) per U.S.C. § 111, click here.

After completing the course, all individual debtors must complete and file with the court Official Form B23 Debtors Certification of Completion of Postpetition Instructional Course Concerning Personal Financial Management AND corresponding Certificate of Completion.

Chapter 13 Individual Debtors must also complete and file local form "Verification and Request for Discharge" within sixty (60) days of the Notice of Completed Plan filed by the Chapter 13 Trustee.

Do I Need a Lawyer?

Utah Legal Services

  • Utah Legal Services (ULS) can only provide legal help to those who qualify in non-criminal cases.  Generally, ULS can answer questions, give advice, prepare legal documents, and represent clients in court and before administrative agencies. ULS cannot assist in any criminal matter (including traffic violations).  For more information regarding services offered related to Bankruptcy click here.

Utah State Bar Debtor's Counseling Legal Clinic

  • The purpose of the Utah State Bar Debtor's Counseling Legal Clinic is to provide brief one-on-one instruction and assistance to low-income Utahns who cannot afford legal representation. Legal volunteers cannot file for you or appear in court on your behalf. The clinic is open to any low-income Utahns on a first-come first-serve basis.  The clinic is staffed by volunteer law students and volunteer on-site supervising attorneys.  Please plan to arrive at least 30 minutes before the closing time at each clinic or you will not be seen and will have to attend the next clinic.
    • When: 2nd Tuesday of each month (excluding holidays)
    • Time:  5 p.m. – 7 p.m.
    • Location:  Horizonte School, 1234 South Main St., SLC, UT 84101

Utah State Bar "Young Lawyers Division Tuesday Night Bar"

  • Tuesday Night Bar is held every Tuesday from 5 to 7 p.m.  There are no financial or age qualifications, and you can discuss any topic.  Appointments are required and can only be made from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. on the Monday eight days in advance.
    • Location:  Utah State Bar, 645 S. 200 E., SLC, UT 84111
    • Phone:  801-297-7037

Utah Legal Clinics and Resources

  • For more information on free legal clinics throughout Utah, click here.

Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure, Bankruptcy Code, and Local Rules

United States Courts Information

Department of Justice Information