The Pro Bono Program For Bankruptcy Litigation
(Pilot project currently available in the Kansas City Division of the Western District of Missouri)
Individual debtors file bankruptcy to protect themselves from creditors and to obtain a
discharge of their debts. In many personal bankruptcies, however, a creditor will file an
adversary proceeding against the debtor to have a debt declared non-dischargeable.
Unfortunately, many pro se debtors and debtors with limited means have found themselves
facing an adversary proceeding alone, with no ability to hire counsel to defend against the
claims. But now there is help!
Debtors who represent themselves in adversary proceedings because they lack the
means to hire an attorney increase the burden on the debtor and the court. To address this
need, the Pro Bono Program for Bankruptcy Litigation was established to train and coordinate
volunteer attorneys to represent needy debtors in adversary proceedings.
If a debtor becomes involved in an adversary proceeding, and cannot afford an
attorney, they may be eligible for an appointed attorney through the Pro Bono Program for
Bankruptcy Litigation. Application forms are available through the Bankruptcy Court website
(http://www.mow.uscourts.gov/forms.html#bankruptcy) and will also be provided to the
debtor by the Bankruptcy Court when an adversary proceeding is begun. Once the Pro Bono
Program for Bankruptcy Litigation receives a completed application, the debtor will be
screened for eligibility and, if found eligible, the Program will try to locate an attorney to
represent the debtor in the adversary proceeding without fee.
For more information about the Pro Bono Program for Bankruptcy Litigation, or if you
would like to volunteer, please contact:
Latricia Scott Adams
Volunteer Attorney Project
1125 Grand Blvd., Suite 1900
Kansas City, MO 64106