An individual (or persons who are married spouses filing jointly in the same case) may file a bankruptcy case without the assistance of an attorney. When this happens the individual(s) represent themselves as debtors in pro se, which can be extremely difficult to do. Retaining a competent attorney is highly recommended. For information about attorney referral programs contact a local bar association.
Pursuant to Local Rule 9010-1(a), a corporation, partnership, or any entity other than a natural person may not file a bankruptcy case in the Northern District of California except through an attorney admitted to practice in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California.