Filing Without an Attorney >> Legal Assistance Information

Legal Assistance Resources

Please see the Legal Assistance video by clicking here .


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.


Jacksonville 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://www.flmb.uscourts.gov/faqs/documents/JacksonvilleProSec.pdf.

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://www.proseclinic.com .

Tampa Bay Bankruptcy Bar Association volunteers 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.


Legal Assistance Program of the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Middle District of Florida

Application for Legal Assistance

The United States Bankruptcy Court for the Middle District of Florida has established a legal assistance program to enable low-income debtors (and in some instances their spouses and former spouses) to receive free legal services in certain types of cases. The legal assistance program applies to the following types of cases:

  • Adversary proceedings relating to the debtor's entitlement to a discharge and/or the non-dischargeabilty of a debt. Go here for explanation of what an "adversary proceeding" is.
  • Contested matters concerning the debtor's claim to a homestead exemption and subsections 522(o)-(q) of the Bankruptcy Code. (A contested matter is different from an adversary proceeding because it is started by the filing of a motion and not a complaint.)
  • Representation of spouses and former spouses of debtors in connection with the dischargeability of obligations under marital settlement agreements and/or judgments for the dissolution of marriage.

Referrals to the legal assistance program are made at the request of the Bankruptcy Judges to whom the bankruptcy case has been assigned or at the written request of the debtor or the spouse/former-spouse of the debtor. Attorneys who have volunteered their services under this program are then contacted for assignment to the adversary proceeding or contested matter.

A party in need of legal assistance offered by this program should submit an application to the address of the division of the Court in which the case is pending. The addresses are below.

An applicant is eligible for the appointment of an attorney only if the applicant's current income does not exceed 200 percent of the current year's U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Poverty Guidelines ("Guidelines") for the applicant's family size and the applicant does not have sufficient assets to pay for the needed representation. The determination is made by the judge to whom the case is assigned. The Guidelines are available on the uscourts.gov website and by clicking here.

You may use this form to submit an application for legal assistance: Legal Assistance Application Form. Please provide the bankruptcy case number and adversary proceeding number, if applicable, in the application.

For cases pending in the Fort Myers Division, send the application to:
Attention:
Legal Assistance Program
Sam M. Gibbons United States Courthouse
801 North Florida Avenue, Fifth Floor
Tampa, Florida 33602

For cases pending in the Jacksonville Division, send the application to:
Clerk of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court
Attention:
Legal Assistance Program
Bryan Simpson United States Courthouse
300 North Hogan Street
Suite 3-350
Jacksonville, Florida 32202

For cases pending in the Orlando Division, send the application to:
Clerk of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court
Attention:
Legal Assistance Program
George C. Young Federal Courthouse
6th Floor
400 W. Washington Street
Orlando, FL 32801

For cases pending in the Tampa Division, send the application to:
Clerk of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court
Attention:
Legal Assistance Program
Sam M. Gibbons United States Courthouse
801 North Florida Avenue, Fifth Floor
Tampa, Florida 33602


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