A patron came in wondering if bankruptcy was right for them. Obviously we can’t answer that question, but we offered to show them resources that explain bankruptcy, and how to find bankruptcy attorneys.
The first thing we made sure they understood is that bankruptcy is governed by federal law and is handled by federal bankruptcy courts. In Oregon that would be the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, District of Oregon. They have some helpful information on their website, including rules, forms, and general information.
We showed them books in the Washington County Law Library that discuss bankruptcy, including a practice guide by the Oregon State Bar and a Rutter Group practice guide. We also pointed out our Nolo self-help books that discuss bankruptcy – these can also be found through your local public library or the State Law Library’s online access to Nolo.
We helped the patron find some websites with information on bankruptcy:
- Bankruptcy information – Legal Aid Services of Oregon
- Bankruptcy and Debt – Oregon State Bar
- Bankruptcy – United States Courts
- Blog on Bankruptcy – Law Firm of Christopher J. Kane, PC
Finally, we told them about two resources to contact an attorney. The Oregon bankruptcy clinics offers limited assistance for people considering bankruptcy who cannot afford an attorney. The Oregon State Bar has a lawyer referral service, with an initial consultation of 30 minutes for $35.