You certainly can. Everyone has the right to file their own bankruptcy petition for Chapter 7. However, there is risk involved in this. It is very difficult to represent oneself in any legal proceeding. Emotions can run high when you're talking about discharging your debts. Legal expertise is needed to steer through the maze of paperwork and legal appearances before a judge or a bankruptcy trustee.
Yes, but there are advantages to having a bankruptcy lawyer on your bankruptcy case. You have every right to have a paralegal (or legal document assistant) help you fill out the paperwork. For this, you may pay a few hundred dollars. However, you should realize that only an attorney can provide legal advice in the state of California. So if you're unsure about how to complete any of the bankruptcy forms, a paralegal can't help you. And further, paralegals cannot attend the hearings or meetings with your creditors or represent you in front of the judge. You would be on your own in the courtroom or with the trustee or creditors discussing your debt. Only an attorney can assist you in those circumstances.
All over the greater Los Angeles area. If you want to discuss your various options to find out whether bankruptcy is best for you, a Los Angeles bankruptcy attorney can drive right to you in Southern California.