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Consumer Bankruptcy Project

Overview

Bankruptcy Intake Line: 212.626.7383

The Consumer Bankruptcy Project is one of only two pro bono bankruptcy projects in New York City providing legal assistance to low-income consumers with outstanding debts--assisting debtors filing pro se bankruptcy petitions and providing pro bono representation to debtors in contested matters.

The failure rate among New Yorkers filing pro se for bankruptcy is a staggering 90%.[1] As the cost of filing rises, more and more consumers are attempting to file for bankruptcy without legal advice. With recent changes in the Bankruptcy Code (BAPCPA) further complicating the application process, debtors are in need of sound, pro bono legal advice.

bankruptcy-250The Pro Bono Consumer Bankruptcy Project was established in 2004 to meet the ever-increasing requests for assistance from debt-burdened low-income New York City residents. The Project recruits, trains, and mentors volunteer attorneys to advise low-income consumers of their rights and responsibilities regarding outstanding debts. Where appropriate, volunteers prepare the forms and schedules necessary for debtors to file pro se Chapter 7 cases and advise them on the steps needed to successfully obtain discharge. This Project allows clients who would otherwise be unable to file, due to an inability to retain counsel, to reorder their finances and obtain a clean slate.

The Project also oversees the Bankruptcy Pro Bono Panel, which provides pro bono representation in matters referred by bankruptcy judges of the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York. The Panel is comprised of volunteer attorneys who represent pro se debtors in discrete contested matters relating to their Chapter 7 cases, such as the discharge of student loans and stay relief.

Read the latest Consumer Bankruptcy Project Brochure here.

[1] "DIY bankruptcy mess" Crain's New York Business. Nov 20, 2006