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Where can I get more information concerning bankruptcy and bankruptcy procedure?  And is there any place I can get free or low cost legal advice before I file?

The easiest way to get low or no-cost bankruptcy advice is to make an appointment with a private attorney. Many will provide a free initial consultation during which you can have your questions regarding bankruptcy procedures and their application to your situation answered. In Sacramento, McGeorge Law School operates a community legal services clinic that represents low income bankruptcy clients on a space available basis. Services are provided by law students with attorney supervision. The McGeorge Community Legal Services telephone number is (916) 340-6080. For very low income people, the Voluntary Legal Services Program ("VLSP") offers a self help bankruptcy clinic. Experienced bankruptcy attorneys, law students and other volunteers assist low income people in completing their own bankruptcy papers. They also have an arrangement with providers to deliver both pre-filing consumer credit counseling services, and post-filing debtor financial education at no cost. In order to see if you qualify, call (916) 551-2150.

An Attorney Referral and Information Service provided by the Fresno County Bar Association is available in Fresno. Referral hours are from 8:30 a.m. - noon, and 1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. Call (559) 264-0137. In Modesto, a Lawyers Referral Service is provided by the Stanislaus County Bar Association. Call (209) 571-5727 for additional information. In other areas there may be similar clinics, or your local legal services office may offer bankruptcy assistance.

Low cost help in typing your petition and other forms is available from "bankruptcy petition preparers." "Paralegals" and "typing services" are considered bankruptcy petition preparers. Bankruptcy petition preparers are not attorneys. Likewise, they are not employed or supervised by attorneys and cannot represent you in your bankruptcy. Only a licensed attorney can represent you and give legal advice. Bankruptcy petition preparation services are listed in your local yellow pages or telephone books.

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