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GENERAL WARNING ABOUT PROCEEDING WITHOUT AN ATTORNEY
New Amended Administrative Order Requiring Photo Identification by Unrepresented Parties.
Effective June 1, 2015, every unrepresented party, including debtor(s) wishing to file a voluntary bankruptcy petition and petitioning creditor(s) wishing to file an involuntary petition in any division of the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Middle District of Florida, must provide acceptable photo identification at the time of filing, and the required debtor(s) or petitioning creditor(s) signatures on the petition.
Click HERE to view the New Amended Administrative order.
Click HERE to view the Notice regarding requirement to provide photo identification, effective September 1, 2014.
Filing for bankruptcy may be done without an attorney. However, it is highly recommended that you retain the services of an attorney to guide you through this complex process. The bankruptcy laws are very technical and you are required to complete and sign, under penalty of perjury, various official forms. Your failure to complete these forms truthfully and timely may result in the dismissal of your case and may adversely affect any future bankruptcy filing.
Only an attorney can give you legal advice. The Bankruptcy Court Clerk's Office staff is prohibited by law from providing legal advice and cannot aid debtors in the completion of required forms. Many typing and transcribing companies advertise as Bankruptcy Petition Preparers and for a fee they will complete your bankruptcy forms with information you provide. Bankruptcy Petition Preparers are NOT attorneys and may NOT give legal advice. Their failure to timely and accurately complete your official forms may result in the dismissal of your case and may adversely affect any future bankruptcy filing.
If you filed for bankruptcy in the past, the manner in which that case was disposed of may further complicate a new bankruptcy case. You may not be eligible to receive the protection of the automatic stay, the automatic stay may be limited or you may not be eligible to receive a discharge of debts. These are issues that warrant the advice of competent legal counsel.
Bankruptcy for a debtor has long-term financial and legal consequences. This court strongly encourages you to obtain the assistance of an attorney.
If you need help finding a bankruptcy attorney or you feel you cannot afford
an attorney, please refer to The Florida Bar's website at: http://www.floridabar.org .
Orlando has a Bankruptcy Pro Se Assistance Clinic which is staffed by experienced bankruptcy attorney volunteers and offers free, on-site information and guidance to individuals who are representing themselves in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court. More information can be found on their website at: http://cfbla.org/pro-se-assistance-clinic
Volunteers from the Tampa Bay Bankruptcy Bar Association are available to help you with your case free of charge. Attorneys are available in the Attorney Resource Room on the 9th floor of the Courthouse. Click here for more information .
Please note: The Fort Myers Division does not have staffed Bankruptcy Clerk's Office.
The District Court's Clerk's Office at the Fort Myers Courthouse does not accept filings in bankruptcy cases. Bankruptcy petitions and other papers filed by parties without an attorney MUST be filed by hand delivery or by mail at the Clerk's Office in the Tampa Division, located at 801 N. Florida Avenue, 5th Floor, Tampa, Florida 33602.
People talk openly about financial and economic problems, but there is little open discussion about the toll financial hardship can take on a person's health. Click here to learn more .
INFORMATION ABOUT THIS WEBPAGE
The information contained in this section is provided for the benefit of debtors seeking general information about the bankruptcy court or about the bankruptcy process.
While it is possible to file a bankruptcy case pro se, i.e. without the assistance of an attorney, it may be difficult to do so successfully. It is recommended that a person considering bankruptcy consult with a competent attorney prior to filing a case. Here is a link to the U.S. Courts website that contains more information on filing without an attorney: www.uscourts.gov/services-forms/bankruptcy/filing-without-attorney
BEFORE CONTINUING, PLEASE READ THE NOTICE TO ALL DEBTORS
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BANKRUPTCY BASICS VIDEO
What is bankruptcy? What happens in a bankruptcy case? Bankruptcy is a legal process that provides relief for individuals who can no longer pay all of their debts. If you are considering bankruptcy, this video will give you basic information about the process, the relief it offers, and how to find the legal help you may need. Click here to view the video .
REQUIREMENTS TO FILE A CASE