Filing for Bankruptcy Without an Attorney

Individuals can file bankruptcy without an attorney, which is called filing pro se. However, seeking the advice of a qualified attorney is strongly recommended because bankruptcy has long-term financial and legal outcomes. Bankruptcy is a complicated process.  If you wish to retain an attorney, call the Iowa Bar Association Volunteer Lawyer Project at (515) 244-8617 or Iowa Legal Aid at (800) 532-1275.

The US Bankruptcy Court Clerk's staff is not permitted to prepare documents for you and cannot provide any legal advice.  You must comply with the U.S. Bankruptcy Code and the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure.  Additional information may be available at your local library.

The following links provide additional information.

REQUIRED LOCAL FORM
The Southern District of Iowa requires debtors to submit a complete list of all creditors (mailing matrix) with the bankruptcy petition. The list of creditors should include all persons, corporations, or other entities to whom money was owed on or before the date the debtor filed for bankruptcy.

  • The list must be typed or prepared on a computer. The Consolas font is strongly recommended. Handwritten lists are not acceptable.
  • The list must be in a single column. Double space between each address. (See sample)

 

ATTENTION: PRO SE DEBTORS AND OTHER UNREPRESENTED PARTIES
During the course of a bankruptcy case or proceeding, bankruptcy court notices are mailed by the Bankruptcy Noticing Center (BNC) on behalf of the court. The BNC, which is operated by a private contractor, provides notice production and mailing services for the court, but THE BNC IS NOT THE COURT.

DO NOT SEND DOCUMENTS TO THE BNC
Documents related to a bankruptcy case or proceeding should be sent directly to the court.