Recommendations to assist pro se debtors:
· Maintain a professional appearance and tone.
· Refer callers and intake pro se debtors to the courts’ website for case filing information.
· Provide a checklist to the pro se debtor.
· Provide Pro Bono information.
· Some courts have a pro se law clerk that will set up conferences to explain the printed materials provided by the court.
· Atlanta Division works with Georgia State law students to come and assist pro se debtors through a clinic.
Case administration involves working with procedures daily. Here are some of the highlights on this topic:
· Issuing deficiency notices to inform the debtor of what is still needed by the court.
· Some courts no longer accept a letter from the pro se debtor for an extension of time. The debtor must use the Generic Motion to Extend Time that is found on the website.
· An Order to Show Cause is entered for missing documents.
· If there are pending fees Court will not approve an Application to Have the Chapter 7 Filing Fee Waived.
· Most courts have a procedure manual that is kept either in SharePoint, PDF or Word documents to assist case administrators with procedures.
Case administrators in attendance found this session to be exciting and informative. They were able to freely ask questions and provide answers on assisting pro se debtors without giving legal advice. They were able learn procedures from other courts, and were provided with the ability to network with their fellow peers.