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Debt and Bankruptcy

The law library has many resources for people starting or responding to lawsuits related to consumer debt, as well as considering filing for bankruptcy.


Consumer Debt Lawsuits

These organizations may provide assistance with some aspects of civil cases. Contact these organizations directly for more information about the services provided.

Sacramento County Public Law Library Civil Self Help Center
609 9th Street, Sacramento 95814
Services Provided: The Sacramento County Public Law Library Civil Self Help Center provides general information and basic assistance to self-represented litigants on a variety of civil legal issues.  Appointments will be made beginning at 8:30 a.m. Patrons who are present at 8:30 a.m. will be entered into a random drawing to determine the order their case will be evaluated. If an appointment is appropriate, it will be made for later in the day. You are encouraged to arrive by 8:25 a.m. to participate in the appointment setting drawing.

Eligibility: Must be a Sacramento County resident or have a qualifying case in the Sacramento County Superior Court.

Voluntary Legal Services Program of Northern California  916-551-2102
Services provided: Volunteer-based "pro bono" legal aid program that provides free assistance with civil legal matters to low income clients living in the Sacramento region.  Provides service in areas of probate, eviction defense, employment law, debt collection defense, and more.
Eligibility: Must be low income.


Community Legal Services Clinic - McGeorge School of Law 
3455 Fifth Avenue
Monday – Friday, during academic year only.
Services provided:  Provides legal assistance to low income individuals with bankruptcy, crime victim assistance, elder law, and immigration matters.
Eligibility: Must be low income.

Bankruptcy Pro Se Assistance Desk
501 I Street, Third Floor, Room 3-210
Fridays, 9 am – 12 pm
A volunteer attorney can help select bankruptcy forms, explain your rights and duties during bankruptcy, and answer questions about procedures.

Consumer Assistance - General

Sacramento 2-1-1
Telephone referral service dial 2-1-1  -  916-498-1000  -  800-500-4931   -  TTY 446-1437
Services provided: Provides referrals to public and nonprofit programs on subjects such as housing, job training, financial services, food programs, health services, legal services, child services, senior services and more. 

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The Judicial Council creates many of the forms needed for civil and small claims lawsuits. The Bankruptcy Courts have prepared most of the forms needed to file for bankruptcy. For other situations, you may need to create your own forms. Our Research Guides & Step by Steps have instructions and samples for many commonly-used forms.

Judicial Council Forms
These forms can be filled out online.

United States Bankruptcy Court, Eastern District of California(
Official and local bankruptcy forms can be downloaded from this site.

Sacramento County Public Law Library has prepared forms for some common situations for which there is no Judicial Council or local form.

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The Law Librarians have created these research guides as an aid for those starting a legal research project. These guides recommend print and electronic resources that will help you find answers to your law-related questions. Guides marked "Step-by-Step"  provide step-by-step information, as well as sample forms, for common legal procedures.

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Everyday Law and Ask the County Law Librarian articles are written by Law Librarians on a variety of common legal issues.

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The Law Librarians created these pamphlets in response to frequently asked questions on subjects not appropriate for more substantive guides.


  • Cease and Desist Letter (2:33)/ Carta de Cesar y Desistir (2:52)
    In this presentation, you will learn how to use a “cease and desist letter” to prevent creditors from harassing you.
    En esta presentación, usted aprenderá a utilizar una “carta de cesar y desistir” para evitar que los acreedores lo acosen. 

Videos from other organizations:

  • Debt Collection (available in English, Spanish, and Vietnamese)
    The California Courts provides these videos on debt collection.

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Hear our very own librarians share legal tips and news you can use on general interest topics.

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