Bankruptcy Pro Bono Project (BPBP) FAQ

Bankruptcy Pro Bono Project (BPBP) FAQ

Q: When and where are the clinics held?

A: The following clinics are available to the public:

Oakland

The Oakland clinic is held on the second Thursday of the month from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. The address to the Oakland clinic is:

United States Bankruptcy Court
1300 Clay Street, Second Floor
Oakland, CA 94612

(Appointments are required. Please contact 510.302.2222, press option #4)

Contra Costa County

The Contra Costa County clinic will be held on the second and fourth Thursday of the month, excluding federal holidays, from 4:45 p.m. to 6:45 p.m. at:

The Offices of the Contra Costa County Bar Association
2300 Clayton Road, Suite 520
Concord, CA 94520

Clinic Times: 4:45 – 6:45 pm
Telephone: (925) 370-2548
Appointment info: Appointments are required. Participants must contact the above telephone number to RSVP their attendance at the clinic.

Richmond

The Richmond clinic will be held on the fourth Monday of the month, excluding federal holidays, from 4:45 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. at:

St. Cornelius Church (Office)
205 28th Street
Richmond, CA 94804

(Services provided in English and Spanish. To schedule an appointment, call the Contra Costa County Bar Association at 925.370.2548 the above listed telephone number)

San Francisco

The San Francisco clinic is held on the second Saturday of the month from 10:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at:

Hastings College of the Law
198 MacAllister Street (at Hyde)
San Francisco, CA 94102

(Drop in, first come, first served basis only, no appointment necessary)

San Jose

The San Jose clinic is held on the second and fourth Monday of the month, excluding federal holidays, from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at:

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library
150 E. San Fernando Street
San José, CA 95112

(For priority service, please contact 408.998.5298 to schedule an appointment. Drop in appointments on a first come, first served basis are accepted)

Additional clinics will be held at other locations throughout Northern California. Please check with the Clerk's Office or the court's website at: http://www.canb.uscourts.gov/ for availability.

Q: Can I show up at the designated location during clinic day or do I need to make an appointment?

A: Depending on the location, some clinics are offered on a first-come, first-served basis and some are by appointment only.

The Oakland & Contra Costa County/Richmond clinic requires interested parties to make an appointment prior to attending the clinic. Please contact the Alameda County Bar Association Volunteer Legal Services Corporation (ACBA) at: 510.302.2222 (press option #4) or the Contra Costa County Bar Association (925.370.2548) to make an appointment.

Although appointments are not required, the San Jose clinic recommends individuals to contact 408.998.5298, to make an appointment in order to receive priority service.

Q: Who provides advice at these clinics?

A: Volunteer bankruptcy attorneys and, sometimes, law students provide advice at the clinics.

Q: Who can use BPBP's services?

A: Clinics sponsored by the BPBP are offered to individuals who already have a case filed with the bankruptcy court and who cannot afford the services of an attorney.

Q: Do I have to pay for legal assistance offered by the BPBP?

A: No, legal advice provided at the BPBP clinics is offered free of charge.

Q: Can I use the clinics' services to assist me in considering, preparing for, or filing a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy?

A: No. At this time, the clinic is only offering services for individuals who have a preexisting case in the bankruptcy court.

Q: Can I ask a clinic attorney/law student to appear on my behalf in a bankruptcy proceeding?

A: No. The clinic staff can only provide legal advice – they cannot represent you in court.

Q: I have not yet filed for bankruptcy but I am interested in attending a clinic to find out what option(s) I can pursue. Do I need to be involved in a bankruptcy matter in order to use the clinics' services?

A: The clinic is only for people who have already filed a bankruptcy case. However, if you are contemplating filing a bankruptcy case, and cannot afford the service of an attorney, please contact the following numbers to see what other services may be available:

Oakland:

There are two resources available to people who are thinking about filing for bankruptcy. They are:

CBA Lawyers in the Library
Oakland Main Library
125 14th Street
Oakland, CA
510.238.3134

Services are available on the first Wednesday of each month, from 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. This session focuses on bankruptcy issues only. Clients may call the library to confirm date and time.

ACBAVLSC Bankruptcy Clinic
510.302.2222, option 4

Clients must call VLSC intake to make an appointment. This clinic is for clients who have not filed for bankruptcy and is educational/informational only. Volunteer attorneys do not assist with filing for bankruptcy. These clinics are held on the third Thursday of the month at 11:00 a.m.

San Francisco:

(415) 989-1616 (Monday-Friday 8:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.)

San Jose:

There are two clinics, which are not sponsored by BPBP, available which provide pre-bankruptcy advice and limited help to debtors. Information for these clinics is as follows:

Debtors' Rights Clinics
First and third Tuesday of the month
5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Pro Bono Project
480 North First Street
San Jose, CA

(To schedule an appointment, please call 408.998.5298)

Debtors' Advice Clinics
Nine Mondays in the fall and spring semesters of Santa Clara University, Law School
The Katharine and George Alexander Community Law Center
1030 The Alameda
San Jose, CA 95126

(For more information, please contact 408.288.7030)

Q: Do I need to bring any documents to the clinics?

A: Yes. Participants should bring the following materials to the clinics:

  • Complaint in Adversary Proceeding;
  • Summons in Adversary Proceeding;
  • Adversary Proceeding Cover Sheet;
  • Order for Telephonic Case Management Conference;
  • • any other documents filed with the Court in connection with the bankruptcy case;
  • contracts, correspondence or invoices from the other party; and
  • any documents not filed with the Court that the debtor thinks might be relevant to the adversary case.

Q: Where can I find more information about BPBP?

A: Information regarding future clinic dates, locations and other documents may be accessed via the court's website: http://www.canb.uscourts.gov/. This information is also available at any of the below Clerk's Office locations:

Oakland Division
1300 Clay Street, Suite 300

Telephone: 510.879.3554

San Francisco Division
235 Pine Street, 20th Floor

Telephone: 415.268.2368

San Jose Division
280 South First Street, Room 3035

Telephone: 408.535.5471

Santa Rosa Division
99 South E Street

Telephone: 707.547.5900

Q: Can a volunteer attorney from the clinic appear on my behalf at a 341 meeting (also known as a first meeting of creditors)?

A: No. As stated above, the clinic's volunteer attorneys can only offer limited legal advice – they cannot represent you at a 341 meeting.

Q: After attending one of the clinic sessions, it appears that my case is too complicated for me to handle. Can BPBP help me?

A: If the services offered at the clinics are not adequate, the clinic staff may provide contact information for local referral agencies that may be able to help you find an attorney for additional services.

Q: After attending a clinic session, I have additional questions that I need assistance with. Can I attend another clinic session?

A: Yes. Also, if you need additional information as your lawsuit moves forward, you can go back to the same clinic, subject to availability.

Q: I filed my case in Santa Rosa. Can I attend any of the clinics located outside of Santa Rosa, e.g., San Francisco or Oakland?

A: Although you can elect to attend any of the clinic locations offered through BPBP, it is recommended that you attend the clinic where your case is located – since each court location has its own separate procedural rules.

Q: Will services provided by the clinic necessarily solve all of my legal problems related to my bankruptcy case?

A: Please note, the legal clinics are not guaranteed to solve all of your legal issues related to your case. The clinic provides support, but you are still responsible for making all necessary appearances and going forward with your lawsuit. The clinic is not a substitute for hiring competent legal counsel, and it is recommended that you retain counsel, if you can afford to do, in order to ensure that someone is representing your best interests.

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