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2020 Best Invention
Attorney Andrea Wimmer

Attorney Andrea Wimmer

Bankruptcy Attorney

Andrea practiced exclusively as a bankruptcy attorney in consumer Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 cases for more than 10 years before joining Upsolve, first as a contributing writer and editor and ultimately joining the team as Managing Editor. While in private practice, Andrea handled all bankruptcy matters from inception to case closure while also acting as managing attorney for her firm, Marco | Wimmer PLLC. Andrea has been a speaker at, among other events, ABI’s Southwest Bankruptcy Conference, Norton’s Bankruptcy Institute and the Arizona State Bar Convention. In 2017, she was selected as one of ABI's 40 under 40 honorees. She is a member of the National Conference of Bankruptcy Judge’s NextGen Class of 2016, and she received the 2014 Member of the Year Award and a Special Appreciation Award from a local consumer attorney group, as well as a Distinguished Service Award from ABAIC. She has published in NACBA’s Consumer Bankruptcy Journal and the State Bar of Arizona Bankruptcy Section Journal, and currently serves as treasurer of the Arizona Consumer Bankruptcy Counsel. She has also been a volunteer attorney with the Arizona Bankruptcy Court’s Self-Help Center, which provides assistance to pro se debtors.


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Articles written by Attorney Andrea Wimmer

The Florida Consumer Collection Practices Act

Written by the Upsolve TeamLegally reviewed by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated February 9, 2024

In Florida, you have even more protections from unfair collection practices than you would in other states. The Florida Consumer Collection Practices Act (FCCPA) works with the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act to help limit phone calls, threatening letters, and other types of unfair actions from collection agencies and other types of debt collectors. It protects Florida consumers and gives them the right to sue debt collectors that have violated the FCCPA. Keep reading to learn more about the Florida Consumer Collection Practices Act and your rights under federal and state consumer protection laws.

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What Are the Pros and Cons of Filing Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?

Written by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated February 7, 2024

Filing for bankruptcy is a very effective way to eliminate debt and get a fresh start. As with everything, there are upsides and downsides to filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy. The main pros to Chapter 7 are that you can receive immediate relief from collection actions (due to the automatic stay) as well as permanent relief from debts if your bankruptcy is discharged. The main cons to Chapter 7 bankruptcy are that most secured debts won’t be erased, you may lose nonexempt property, and your credit score will likely take a temporary hit. While a successful bankruptcy filing can give you a fresh start, it’s important to do your research before deciding what's right for you.

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Understanding the Brunner Test: Can You Discharge Your Student Loans in Bankruptcy?

Written by Amy CarstLegally reviewed by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated January 24, 2024

You can discharge your student loans in bankruptcy if you can prove that repaying the loans is causing (and will continue to cause) “undue hardship.” To determine this, bankruptcy courts and judges use what’s called the Brunner test. The test involves establishing whether you: - Would be unable to maintain a minimal standard of living while repaying student loans - Are suffering from circumstances that will make repayment a hardship for the remainder of the student loan term (or permanently) - Have made good faith efforts to repay the student loan(s) The Brunner test is complex. In the past, courts had little guidance to define “undue hardship,” beyond the somewhat vague Brunner test. Late last year, the Department of Justice and Department of Education released new guidelines to clarify this process for federal student loan borrowers.

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What are the Arizona Bankruptcy Exemptions?

Written by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated January 10, 2024

Exemptions help you protect your property (from clothes to cars) and assets (like retirement accounts) in bankruptcy. There are both state and federal exemptions, but Arizona has opted out of the federal bankruptcy exemptions. That means, if you’ve lived in Arizona for at least two years when you file your bankruptcy case, you have to use Arizona's exemption laws. This article explores the exemptions available under Arizona law.

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REPAYE Plan 101

Written by the Upsolve TeamLegally reviewed by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated December 21, 2023

The Revised Pay As You Earn Repayment Plan (REPAYE Plan) is an income-driven repayment (IDR) plan for federal student loans. Borrowers who aren’t in default and have an eligible federal student loan can make payments under the REPAYE Plan. It requires you to pay 10% of your discretionary income, and the repayment period is 20-25 years.

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Debt Settlement Attorneys: How Can They Help?

Written by the Upsolve TeamLegally reviewed by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated December 20, 2023

One way you can get debt relief is through debt settlement. A good debt settlement attorney can help you settle your debts. They should also be able to provide advice on other debt-relief options like debt consolidation, debt management, and bankruptcy. A debt settlement lawyer may be able to help you get a better overall settlement deal. Perhaps most importantly, they can help you avoid the stress of communicating with aggressive debt collectors. This article will explain debt settlement and the benefits of hiring a debt settlement attorney.

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What Are Bankruptcy Exemptions?

Written by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated December 20, 2023

Bankruptcy exemptions are laws that protect your property in a bankruptcy. Filing for bankruptcy relief doesn't mean that you have to give up everything you own. This article covers how exemptions protect your property in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

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When Will a Debt Collector Sue for Unpaid Debt?

Written by the Upsolve TeamLegally reviewed by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated December 18, 2023

Though there's no standard timeline, you may be most at risk of a debt collection lawsuit after six months of not paying your debt. If you stop making timely payments on a debt, your creditor will first attempt to collect it by sending you notices of nonpayment. This may go on for several weeks before collection attempts intensify. Eventually, the creditor may charge off the debt to a third-party collection agency. If the debt collector can’t successfully collect the debt, you may be at risk of a lawsuit.

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Creditor Calling After You File Bankruptcy? Do This.

Written by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated December 1, 2023

Creditors and debt collector aren't allowed to contact you after you file your bankruptcy case with the court. If a creditor contacts you anyway, it's usually by mistake. Answer the phone, tell them about your pending bankruptcy, and request that they stop calling. If they continue to contact you, let the court know right away, so they can put an end to it immediately and, if appropriate, punish the creditor for their conduct.

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How Do I Add a Creditor After I've Filed My Forms?

Written by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated December 1, 2023

What follows is a step by step guide on how to add a creditor after filing bankruptcy. The process for this is often very specific and differs from district to district, but there are some things that are the same across the board. If you're an Upsolve user, you can use the case editor and the self-service amendment feature to update your forms.

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California Debt Collection Laws

Written by the Upsolve TeamLegally reviewed by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated November 8, 2023

California has two important laws — the Rosenthal Act and the Debt Collection Licensing Act — that protect California residents against original creditor and third-party debt collector harassment and abuse. Californians also benefit from the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, which offers many protections and gives you certain rights. The statute of limitations for most consumer debt is four years in California.

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What Are the Pros and Cons of a Lease-To-Own Car?

Written by the Upsolve TeamLegally reviewed by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated October 30, 2023

A lease-to-own (or rent-to-own) program allows borrowers to make installment payments on a vehicle over a period of time determined in the lease. Once all the car payments have been made, the borrower (the lessee) assumes ownership of the vehicle. These arrangements can particularly benefit borrowers who have bad credit and don’t qualify for traditional leases or car loans. That said, these agreements tend to be expensive, so it’s important to understand the terms of the lease-to-own contract before you enter into one.

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Should You Surrender an Unwanted Car in Bankruptcy?

Written by the Upsolve TeamLegally reviewed by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated October 27, 2023

If you’re financing a car with a car loan, you’ll need to decide how to deal with it when you file bankruptcy. If the payments are too high or you simply want to get rid of the car and the loan, you can surrender the vehicle back to the lender and have the debt discharged as part of your bankruptcy case. Often, the lender will pick up the car or schedule a mutually agreeable place to meet. If they don’t, you may need to seek legal help.

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The Complete Guide To Medical Bills and Wage Garnishment

Written by the Upsolve TeamLegally reviewed by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated October 25, 2023

A healthcare provider can try to collect unpaid medical debts, just like any other debt collector might. A provider may even take legal action to garnish a patient’s wages if their collection efforts are ignored. Before a provider can take your wages, the facility or physician must sue you for nonpayment and win the case in court. If a healthcare provider wins a lawsuit against you, the court will award a judgment (court order) to the provider or its collection agent to garnish your wages. You may be able to avoid or stop a garnishment. Learn more in this article.

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Removing a Judgment from Your Credit Report

Written by the Upsolve TeamLegally reviewed by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated September 29, 2023

Having a judgment on your credit report will lower your credit score, sometimes significantly. In some instances, though, you can get this negative information removed from your credit history. As with any item on your credit report, you have the right to dispute any judgment on your report that you feel has been made in error or has already been resolved. If a creditor has entered a judgment against you, here’s what you’ll need to do to get it removed from your credit report.

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How Much Does Credit Repair Cost?

Written by the Upsolve TeamLegally reviewed by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated September 29, 2023

While a credit repair service cannot do anything that you can’t do yourself, it may be more convenient for you to enlist their help. Just remember that the cost of credit repair varies depending on the borrower’s circumstances, what type of debt they have, and what blemishes they have on their credit report. Read more to learn how to repair your credit yourself, what the benefits might be of hiring a credit repair service, and how to find a reputable one if that is the route you end up taking.

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Can I Lose My Tax Refund if I Default on Student Loans?

Written by the Upsolve TeamLegally reviewed by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated September 29, 2023

Yes, unfortunately your tax refund can be taken (garnished) if you’ve defaulted on your federal student loan. Federal student loans are guaranteed by the U.S. government, and the government has power over tax refunds. Only federal student loan borrowers are subject to tax garnishments. Private student loan holders can have their wages or bank account garnished, but the private lender cannot garnish your tax refund and must take extra steps, such as going through the courts, to order a garnishment. In this article, we explain the student loan tax garnishment process and give you some tips on how to keep your tax refund money safe from garnishment.

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California Repossession Law

Written by the Upsolve TeamLegally reviewed by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated September 29, 2023

California law permits cars to be repossessed after one late or missed loan payment. Cars may be repossessed after missed insurance payments as well. There is no legally required grace period, and the repossession company doesn’t have to give you notice that they are repossessing your car.

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What Is the Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Timeline?

Written by Kristin Turner, Harvard Law GradLegally reviewed by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated September 29, 2023

Filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy can be an intimidating and daunting process. Especially if it's not something you've ever dealt with before, you may not know where to begin or how it ends. Here is an overview of what to expect as you prepare for your Chapter 7 bankruptcy and what happens after your case has been filed with the bankruptcy court. 

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PACER Guide: How To Get Your Court Notices Without an Attorney

Written by the Upsolve TeamLegally reviewed by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated September 29, 2023

PACER stands for Public Access to Court Electronic Records. It’s a system to access case information, the docket, and the documents filed in a particular case electronically.

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What Is a Bankruptcy Discharge?

Written by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated September 29, 2023

A discharge order that tells your creditors they are forever prohibited from asking you to pay your pre-bankruptcy debts ever again.

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What Is a Judgment and What Do I Do About It?

Written by the Upsolve TeamLegally reviewed by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated September 29, 2023

A judgment is a court order. If a creditor obtains a debt-related judgment against you, it allows them to recover the debt. Consumer and personal debt from medical bills, car loans, credit cards, back rent, student loans, IRS debt, child support, and other overdue financial obligations can result in a judgments if you get sued for the debt and the creditor wins the lawsuit. These judgments can be structured as a monetary judgment or a judgment lien against property. Filing for bankruptcy can help you prevent, pause, or even stop, certain judgments, including wage garnishments and bank account levies.

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Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Forms Explained

Written by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated September 29, 2023

The Chapter 7 forms packet consists of a voluntary petition, schedules, and statements. The term “petition” is often used to describe the set of forms individuals filing for bankruptcy submit to the court. Here's a walk through of all of them.

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Consequences of Not Paying Student Loans: Explained

Written by the Upsolve TeamLegally reviewed by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated September 12, 2023

Federal student loan payments are set to resume in October 2023. If you can’t make your student loan payments your credit score, employment opportunities, and emotional well-being can all be affected. This article explains the consequences you may face if you don’t make your student loan payments and proposes some strategies to deal with student loan debt when you can’t make your monthly payment.

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Is an Income-Contingent Repayment Plan Right for You?

Written by the Upsolve TeamLegally reviewed by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated September 12, 2023

The Income-Contingent Repayment (ICR) Plan is one of four income-driven repayment options for federal student loans. It’s the only one of these four options that parent PLUS borrowers can utilize, which is one of the main upsides, if you have that kind of loan. The ICR has the longest repayment period of any income-driven plan at 25 years. This allows for lower monthly payments for borrowers but, the total amount paid over the loan's lifespan, including interest, is generally higher compared to other plans.

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What’s the Best Student Loan Repayment Plan for Me?

Written by the Upsolve TeamLegally reviewed by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated September 11, 2023

The best student loan repayment plan is the one that works for you, your goals, and your financial situation. To figure out your best option, do your research and consider the pros and cons of each plan. (Hint: Consider whether the monthly payment will be affordable and also how much interest you’ll pay over the life of the loan.) Then sign up for the plan that makes the most sense for you. The good news is that the federal government provides a lot of flexibility to borrowers, and you can change your repayment plan anytime. There are four types of federal student loan repayment plans. Most borrowers stick with the 10-year Standard Repayment Plan or choose an income-driven repayment plan. Though they are less common, Graduated Repayment Plans or Extended Repayment Plans offer a smart option for some borrowers.

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4 Income-Based Repayment Options for Federal Student Loans

Written by the Upsolve TeamLegally reviewed by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated September 11, 2023

There are four different income-driven repayment plans for student loan borrowers that received federal student aid. The IBR Plan, the SAVE Plan ( formerly the REPAYE Plan), the PAYE Plan, and the ICR Plan. They each have different eligibility requirements and potential benefits compared to the standard repayment plan.

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How Long Does It Take To Pay Off Student Loans?

Written by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated September 8, 2023

How long will it take you to pay off your loans? It depends on what type of loans you have, the interest rate, and what repayment plan you’re on. It generally takes 10 to 30 years to repay federal student loans. While repaying private loans can take anywhere from 5 to 20 years.

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Want To Get Rid of Student Loans? Try These 6 Ideas

Written by the Upsolve TeamLegally reviewed by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated September 8, 2023

If you feel like you’re drowning in student loan debt and need help managing or getting rid of it, you’re in luck. In this article, we rounded up six potential options to deal with overwhelming student loan debt, including loan forgiveness programs, loan discharge programs, loan settlement options, repayment plans, refinancing options, and bankruptcy.

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Can You Get Student Loan Forgiveness if You Drop Out?

Written by the Upsolve TeamLegally reviewed by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated September 7, 2023

Most people go to college with hopes of getting a degree and creating a good life for themselves. Unfortunately, unforeseen hardships — often financial — lead many students to drop out before they finish their degree. If that’s you, know that you have options to deal with your student loan debt! You may still qualify for student loan forgiveness programs like Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF), or loan forgiveness after paying on an income-based repayment plan. If you need a temporary repayment pause while you find work or figure out your next steps, you can apply for forbearance or deferment.

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10 Options if You Can’t Make Your Student Loan Payments

Written by the Upsolve TeamLegally reviewed by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated September 6, 2023

If your student loans are coming due and you can’t afford the payments, don’t panic. This article explores 10 strategies to help: 1. Apply for an income-driven repayment plan. 2. Refinance your loans. 3. Seek financial counseling. 4. Increase your income and/or lower expenses. 5. Consolidate your loans. 6. Set up automatic payments. 7. Request student loan deferment. 8. Apply for student loan forbearance. 9. Negotiate with your lender. 10. File bankruptcy to erase student loans for good.

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Why Do I Keep Getting Calls About Student Loans?

Written by the Upsolve TeamLegally reviewed by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated September 6, 2023

If you’re a student loan borrower, you’re probably used to receiving phone calls, letters, emails, and text messages about your student loan debt. While some of these are legitimate messages from federal loan servicers, many are scams. If you're getting calls about student loans and you don't have any loans, that's a good sign it's a scam. Below, we go into detail on how to spot/prevent a scam. Bottom line? If it seems too good to be true, it's most likely a scam.

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Where Do I Find Out How Much I Owe in Student Loans?

Written by the Upsolve TeamLegally reviewed by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated September 1, 2023

If you want to go back to school, finance a house, manage your debt, or file for bankruptcy, you’ll want to find out how much you owe in student loans. It might feel like you need a degree in finance to keep track of your financial aid, but we’re here to help! Below, we detail how to figure out your federal and private student loan balance, how to manage your student loan debt, and what to do if you cannot stay on top of your student loans.

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Guide to Extended Repayment Plans & Managing Student Loans

Written by the Upsolve TeamLegally reviewed by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated September 1, 2023

An Extended Repayment Plan is a student loan repayment plan that allows borrowers to lower their monthly payment amount by stretching repayment over 25 years. To qualify, you must have Direct Loans or Federal Family Education Loans (FFEL), and your loan balance must be at least $30,000. You can choose from fixed payments or graduated payments in an Extended Repayment Plan. You will not be eligible for Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) if you enroll in an extended plan.

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Student Loan Forgiveness Programs for Nurses

Written by the Upsolve TeamLegally reviewed by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated September 1, 2023

Becoming a nurse takes dedication and lots of education, which means it’s likely you have at least some student loan debt. Luckily there are several specialized student loan forgiveness programs to help nurses erase their student debt. The most popular and well-known forgiveness program is the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program (PSLF), where borrowers pay an income-based monthly payment for 10 years and then have their remaining debt forgiven. But there are other forgiveness programs as well, including the Federal Perkins Loan program, the Nurse Corps Loan Repayment Program, the National Health Service Corps (NHSC) Program, the NHSC Rural Community Program, the National Institute of Health Program, and more. Below we detail the different student loan forgiveness options as well as the qualifications for each specific program. Take a look!

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What Is a Time-Barred Debt?

Written by the Upsolve TeamLegally reviewed by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated August 30, 2023

A time-barred debt is one where the creditor has missed the deadline to legally bring a claim against you in court. Unfortunately, debt collectors may still try to contact you about old debts that are time-barred by the statute of limitations. But there are ways to deal with these debt collectors. Read this article to learn more about how to tell if your debt is covered by a statute of limitations and what to do if you’re contacted by a creditor that is trying to collect a time-barred debt.

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Can You Remove Collection Accounts From Your Credit Report?

Written by the Upsolve TeamLegally reviewed by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated August 30, 2023

If you have a debt sent to collections, it will be recorded on your credit report and hurt your credit score. Sometimes collections accounts are incorrectly reported or reported on old debt. If there are errors regarding collections accounts on your credit report, you have the legal right to dispute them and have them removed. This shouldn't cost you anything. You can also write a goodwill letter to ask the creditor or collection agency to remove the collections account from your report. This isn’t guaranteed to work, but it won’t hurt to ask. If the information about the collections account is correct and current, you can’t have it removed from your credit report. Be aware that so-called credit repair companies that offer to clean up your credit report for a fee may be a scam.

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Student Loan Forgiveness for Healthcare Workers: The Ultimate Guide

Written by the Upsolve TeamLegally reviewed by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated August 29, 2023

There are many programs designed specifically for healthcare workers to receive student loan forgiveness. Most serve specific types of healthcare workers and have other requirements around the length of time you work in healthcare and where you work. Consider each of these factors as you look at your options. If you’re struggling to pay your loans, you can also consider applying for a loan deferment or forbearance or switching to an income-driven repayment plan to help make your monthly payments more manageable.

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What Is the Standard Repayment Plan for Student Loans?

Written by the Upsolve TeamLegally reviewed by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated August 29, 2023

Standard repayment plans are available thanks to several different repayment option choices. These plans include extended, graduated, income-contingent, and income-based. All of these options provide borrowers with the ability to lower their monthly payments or extend the term of their loan thereby keeping their payments low.

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Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program: The Ultimate Guide

Written by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated August 29, 2023

If you work for a qualified employer, have a federal Direct Loan, and have made 120 qualified payments through an income-driven repayment plan, you may be eligible for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program. New regulations to the PSLF program put in place by the U.S. Department of Education go into effect July 1, 2023. These regulations help borrowers who have made late payments and/or had periods of forbearance or deferment maintain eligibility for the PSLF program

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5 Solid Steps for Negotiating With Debt Collectors

Written by the Upsolve TeamLegally reviewed by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated August 25, 2023

If your debt has been turned over to a debt collection agency, negotiating with that debt collector may seem intimidating. But in many cases, negotiating with creditors or lenders isn’t as hard as you may think. To successfully negotiate a debt settlement agreement: - Verify the debt and debt collector - Know your rights - Review your finances and develop a plan - Start negotiating the settlement and be prepared for counteroffers - Get the agreement in writing

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Yes, Your Paycheck Can Be Garnished if You Don’t Pay Your Student Loans

Written by the Upsolve TeamLegally reviewed by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated August 23, 2023

If you fall behind on your student loan payments, the lender may garnish your wages. This means that a portion of your paycheck will be withheld by your employer and sent directly to your loan servicer to repay your debt. Wage garnishment can have a significant impact on your finances and make it difficult to meet your basic living expenses. However, you have options available to avoid default and wage garnishment, such as loan consolidation, income-driven repayment plans, and loan rehabilitation. It's important to understand your rights and options when it comes to repaying your student loans to avoid wage garnishment and other negative consequences.

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If I Go To Grad School, Can I Defer My Student Loans?

Written by the Upsolve TeamLegally reviewed by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated August 22, 2023

In many cases, you can defer your undergraduate student loans if you go to grad school. When you defer a loan, you aren’t responsible for making the monthly payments for a period of time. Interest on the loan may continue to accrue though.

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The Complete Guide To Disputing Student Loans on Your Credit Report

Written by the Upsolve TeamLegally reviewed by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated August 22, 2023

Some student loan borrowers find errors on their credit report. So, it’s a good idea to get in the habit of checking your credit report from each of the big three credit reporting agencies — Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion — at least once a year. Luckily, you can get your credit report for free, without impacting your credit score. You also have the right to dispute inaccurate information on your credit report and have it removed. Let’s review what to check for and how to deal with inaccuracies.

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Navigating Financial Aid During and After Bankruptcy: A Step-by-Step Guide

Written by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated August 22, 2023

Filing bankruptcy does not prevent you from getting federal student loans or other types of federal financial aid. So if you filed bankruptcy in the past or you’re currently in a bankruptcy case, you can still get federal student aid. Also, you can file bankruptcy on student loans, and the process for discharging federal student loan debt in bankruptcy got easier at the end of 2022.

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Can I Discharge Private Student Loans in Bankruptcy?

Written by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated August 22, 2023

Filing bankruptcy can help you get rid of private student loans, but they are harder to get rid of than other kinds of debts. To have your private student loans discharged you will need to prove that your loan was a qualified education loan and that paying off the loan would cause you “undue hardship.” You prove undue hardship as part of an adversary proceeding. This is an additional proceeding on top of your bankruptcy case. For private student loans, these proceedings are run a lot like a civil lawsuit. To file bankruptcy on private student loans successfully, many people chose to hire a bankruptcy attorney.

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Private Student Loans and Wage Garnishment

Written by the Upsolve TeamLegally reviewed by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated August 16, 2023

Defaulting on the payment of your private student loans can negatively affect your credit score and result in other undesirable consequences. One is wage garnishment. A private student loan lender can even levy or take money from your bank account. Thankfully, there are solutions that can help you avoid these challenges and even provide debt relief.

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Student Loan Garnishments And Hardship

Written by the Upsolve TeamLegally reviewed by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated August 16, 2023

If you default on your student loans, you risk having your wages, taxes, and Social Security benefits garnished. Your credit score will also suffer. To avoid a student loan wage garnishment, or to reduce the amount that will be garnished, you need to take action. You can do this even after you’ve defaulted on your student loan. In this article, we’ll help you learn how to manage student loan wage garnishments, so you can avoid adding to your financial troubles.

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Who Can Garnish My Wages?

Written by the Upsolve TeamLegally reviewed by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated August 16, 2023

Many types of creditors have the right to file a complaint in court for unpaid debt. Wage garnishment laws give creditors the ability to withhold money from your paycheck, but not all creditors are required to go to court before they can garnish your wages. This article will explain what wage garnishment is, who can garnish your wages, and how bankruptcy can help stop wage garnishment.

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Does Bankruptcy Affect My Disability Benefits?

Written by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated August 15, 2023

Find out whether you can keep your social security disability benefits during your Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

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What is Chapter 20 bankruptcy?

Written by Amy CarstLegally reviewed by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated August 15, 2023

Some people struggling with overwhelming debt find that bankruptcy is the best debt relief solution for their unique situation. Determining which form of bankruptcy to file is largely dependent on the amount and types of debt held, and the financial situation of the individual or married couple. When considering bankruptcy, most people first learn about Chapter 7 and Chapter 13, named for the Bankruptcy Code chapters that govern how they work. But a lesser-known arrangement, Chapter 20 bankruptcy, functions as a hybrid of the two.

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What Are Disposable Earnings?

Written by the Upsolve TeamLegally reviewed by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated August 11, 2023

Did you know that creditors have the right to seek a garnishment order against you if you fail to repay your debt? This article will give you an overview of what income may be garnished under the law and how to avoid and/or stop garnishment actions by filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case.

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Rebuilding Credit After Bankruptcy (A Guide)

Written by the Upsolve TeamLegally reviewed by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated August 11, 2023

A bankruptcy does not destroy your credit forever. Instead, following some simple tricks and taking advantage of the various credit repair tools can help you build a stronger credit report and higher credit score after filing for bankruptcy.

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Requirements for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

Written by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated August 11, 2023

Deciding to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy should involve a review of everything that is required to successfully get a bankruptcy discharge after the bankruptcy filing. What follows is an overview of the requirements to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy and the requirements to getting your Chapter 7 discharge.

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Bankruptcy Basics: What Is Bankruptcy & How Do I File?

Written by the Upsolve TeamLegally reviewed by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated August 10, 2023

In a nutshell, a bankruptcy case is a legal course of action that puts your debt behind you so you can get a fresh start. This article will give you a short explainer on bankruptcy basics, including what types of cases you can file, how to file bankruptcy, and what to expect from the bankruptcy process.

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What Is Bankruptcy?

Written by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated August 10, 2023

Bankruptcy is a legal tool to obtain debt relief and get a fresh start. Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy are the most common types. This article explores consumer bankruptcy basics, the different types of bankruptcy, and the bankruptcy process overall.

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What Is My Bankruptcy Discharge Date?

Written by the Upsolve TeamLegally reviewed by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated August 9, 2023

The ultimate goal of bankruptcy is to get a discharge order, which wipes out debts like credit cards and medical bills. Along with your bankruptcy case number, keep your discharge date handy in case you’re contacted about a debt that was discharged.

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How Much Debt Do I Need To File for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?

Written by the Upsolve TeamLegally reviewed by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated August 9, 2023

Bankruptcy laws don't specify a minimum debt requirement to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy. As long as you qualify to file and meet all the requirements, you can file Chapter 7 and have your dischargeable debts wiped away.

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How to Pay Off Credit Card Debt When You Have No Money

Written by the Upsolve TeamLegally reviewed by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated August 9, 2023

There are a number of strategies to put in place when you find yourself in credit card debt. Common advice includes tightening your budget, prioritizing your highest-interest accounts and negotiating with creditors. But those strategies only work if you actually have some money to put toward paying down your credit card debt. What are you supposed to do if you truly have little to no money to put toward your debt?

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Discharge vs. Dismissal: What's the Difference?

Written by the Upsolve TeamLegally reviewed by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated August 9, 2023

When filing bankruptcy for the first time, many people get confused about the different terms lawyers and courts use. Two words that frequently confuse first-time filers are “dismissed” and “discharged.” This article explains each term, what the differences are, and when lawyers and the court are most likely to use them when referring to your case.

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Spending Money Before Filing Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

Written by Attorney Eva BaceviceLegally reviewed by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated August 9, 2023

Have more money than you can protect with an exemption? Wondering what you can spend it on so the bankruptcy trustee won’t raise any eyebrows? This article explains how it’s possible to have “too much money” and what steps you can take to best protect your fresh start.

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How To Dispute or Reduce Expensive Medical Bills

Written by the Upsolve TeamLegally reviewed by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated August 9, 2023

Even if you have health insurance, deductibles, copays, and non-covered services can add up quickly. Without health insurance, medical bills become unmanageable fast. Some people don’t realize you can negotiate medical bills. Also, billing mistakes can lead to overcharges. Here are some tips for dealing with expensive medical bills: - Compare your itemized bill to your insurer’s explanation of benefits - Ensure you were charged for the correct services and dispute errors - If your insurer denies a claim for services that should be covered, appeal the decision - Ask for financial assistance from the provider and explore community resources - Negotiate your medical bills by offering payment - Know your rights around surprise medical bills - Don’t use credit cards to pay medical bills (to avoid mounting interest/fees and consequences to your credit)

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How To Deal With Debt Collectors (When You Can’t Pay)

Written by the Upsolve TeamLegally reviewed by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated August 9, 2023

If you’re being contacted by debt collectors for a debt you simply can’t repay, it’s important to know your rights to protect yourself from harassment and validate the debt. Once you know the debt is valid, look into your debt relief options. Getting a free consultation with a nonprofit credit counselor can help you understand your options and make a plan to deal with your debt.

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6 Tips for Settling Credit Card Debt Before Going to Court

Written by Amy CarstLegally reviewed by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated August 9, 2023

If you’ve been sued for credit card debt, you may still have time to settle your debt before you go to court. Follow these six tips to settle your credit card debt outside of a lawsuit: 1. Remember that the other side is motivated to negotiate. 2. Research the debt and decide what your best option is. 3. Negotiate a settlement. 4. Don’t ignore court papers. 5. Accept that you can’t win them all — have a plan B. 6. Watch out for debt settlement scams.

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What Is Chapter 13 Bankruptcy?

Written by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated August 9, 2023

Chapter 13 is a type of bankruptcy that provides relief for folks who make too much money to qualify for Chapter 7. At its core, it reorganizes your debt to allow you to pay back as much as you candle handle over 3–5 years. After you make all your plan payments and meet all the other requirements in the Bankruptcy Code, the Bankruptcy Court will enter a discharge, which wipes out your remaining eligible debt.

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How To Stop Collection Calls: A Comprehensive Guide

Written by the Upsolve TeamLegally reviewed by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated August 9, 2023

If you have debt you’re struggling to manage, you don’t need the added stress of irritating collection calls. Keep reading to learn how you can stop debt collection calls from interrupting your life.

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Does Bankruptcy Clear Judgments?

Written by the Upsolve TeamLegally reviewed by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated August 8, 2023

When a creditor or debt collector gets a judgment against you, it's dischargeable as long as the original debt was dischargeable. The question becomes a bit more complicated if the creditor gets a judgment lien on your property. Here’s how it works.

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Can I File Bankruptcy Even Though I’m Unemployed?

Written by the Upsolve TeamLegally reviewed by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated August 8, 2023

If you’re unemployed and your only source of income is unemployment benefits, you can still file Chapter 7 bankruptcy. To file Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you need a steady source of income, and unemployment benefits aren’t likely enough to cover the requirements for Chapter 13. While it’s possible and common for people to file Chapter 7 while unemployed, you’ll want to consider the timing of your case.

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Can I Leave Debts Out of My Bankruptcy?

Written by Attorney Paige Hooper
Updated August 8, 2023

You need to list all your assets and debts when you file your bankruptcy. Leaving debts out of your bankruptcy filing will mess up your income and expense calculations. It can also be grounds for criminal charges for bankruptcy fraud.

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What are Priority Unsecured Debts?

Written by the Upsolve TeamLegally reviewed by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated August 8, 2023

We usually hear debts divided into two categories: secured and unsecured. A debt is secured if the lender has a security interest in some property and can take that property if you don’t pay. But, in bankruptcy, there are other important distinctions. Some unsecured debts get special treatment. In this article, we’ll explain the different types of unsecured debt, and what it means when a debt has priority.

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How A Personal Bankruptcy Lawyer Can Help You Erase Debt

Written by the Upsolve TeamLegally reviewed by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated August 8, 2023

A personal bankruptcy lawyer can help you erase debts or you may choose to file bankruptcy on your own. Depending on the complexity of your situation and the type of bankruptcy you file, hiring a personal bankruptcy lawyer can be a great investment.

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Bankruptcy for Senior Citizens

Written by the Upsolve TeamLegally reviewed by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated August 8, 2023

Filing any bankruptcy can be a complicated process but filing bankruptcy as a senior citizen can be especially challenging. This article will discuss when bankruptcy may be right for seniors, the types of bankruptcy and debt relief alternatives to filing for bankruptcy.

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What Does Bankruptcy Mean?

Written by the Upsolve TeamLegally reviewed by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated August 8, 2023

Bankruptcy is one of those words that everyone’s heard but many don’t really know what it means. Especially with so many high profile bankruptcies in the news these days, it can be hard to figure how bankruptcy can actually help a regular consumer. Let’s take a look at what bankruptcy means and how the different types of bankruptcy enable you to take back charge of your finances.

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When Should You File for Bankruptcy?

Written by Amy CarstLegally reviewed by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated August 8, 2023

Millions of Americans feel overwhelmed by debt, but that doesn’t mean all of them should file bankruptcy. There are multiple paths to debt relief, depending on your unique circumstances. Bankruptcy is only one. However, when other possible solutions, such as debt settlement and debt consolidation fall short, bankruptcy may be the most effective way to discharge debt and get the fresh start you need. Read on for more information about the different types of bankruptcy, and how to determine if filing might be right for you.

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Can a Repo Man Enter a Locked Gate?

Written by the Upsolve TeamLegally reviewed by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated August 3, 2023

If you've fallen behind on your car payments, you've probably started getting phone calls from the bank about a repossession. The good news is, the repo man can't legally enter a locked gate or garage without your permission. But, a repo agent may legally enter your yard, driveway, or other private property if nothing is blocking their access. Keep reading to learn more.

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Repossession: The Basics

Written by the Upsolve TeamLegally reviewed by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated August 3, 2023

Repossession is when a lender takes back property that was used as collateral for a loan. If you’re behind on your car loan payments, you could suddenly lose your car, boat, appliances, or furniture without warning through repossession. On top of that, having a repossession on your credit report will hurt your credit score. Read this article to learn more about the repossession process and how you can get back on track.

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Is Upsolve real? Is this a legitimate service?

Written by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated August 1, 2023

Yes! Upsolve is 100% a legitimate service! We are a small mission-driven team of dedicated individuals, focused on a single goal: Helping low-income Americans struggling with too much debt get a fresh start by filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

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Can I File For Bankruptcy After Moving To A New State?

Written by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated August 1, 2023

Yes, you can file bankruptcy after moving, but it may get a little more complicated. If you're moving to a new state, or have recently moved, you’ll need to know which bankruptcy property exemptions now apply to you. In this article, we will discuss the timing issues and other factors that may accompany a recent relocation. 

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How To Pay Off Collections: A Complete Guide

Written by the Upsolve TeamLegally reviewed by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated August 1, 2023

Here's how to pay off a debt in collections: Step 1: Know Your Rights Step 2: Respond to the Debt Collector or Collection Agency Step 3: Verify the Debt Step 4: Check the Statute of Limitations in Your State Step 5: Review Your Budget & Make a Payment Strategy Step 6: Get Your Agreement in Writing Step 7: Check Your Credit Report If you're struggling to repay several debts, it may be time to look into Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Filing Chapter 7 stops all collections activities (thanks to the automatic stay) and can erase most types of consumer debt.

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How Can Bankruptcy Help You With Foreclosure?

Written by the Upsolve TeamLegally reviewed by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated August 1, 2023

Filing for bankruptcy will stop foreclosure proceedings temporarily due to the benefits of the automatic stay. A Chapter 13 bankruptcy may allow you to keep your home by allowing you to make up your past-due payments via a 3-5 year repayment plan.

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How Does Debt Settlement Affect Your Credit Score?

Written by the Upsolve TeamLegally reviewed by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated August 1, 2023

Debt settlement allows you to pay off a debt for less than the total you owe, but it can lower your credit score. If you compare the permanent benefits of getting rid of a debt burden against the temporary negative aspects of a lower credit score, you might find that debt settlement is a good option for you. If you’re interested in settling your debt, keep reading to learn how debt settlement affects your credit score and whether debt settlement or a different debt relief option is the best for you.

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Your Credit Score Is Not Ruined Forever After a Bankruptcy Filing

Written by the Upsolve TeamLegally reviewed by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated August 1, 2023

Bankruptcy is a useful debt relief tool. It can give you a fresh start when unpaid debt becomes unmanageable. Sadly, many people attach a stigma to filing bankruptcy and fail to see its advantages and benefits. Instead, they focus on the notion that bankruptcy will forever ruin their credit. But this is just one of the many myths of bankruptcy. It often causes people to put off filing, which only delays bankruptcy’s benefits. While your credit score is affected by bankruptcy in the short term, we’ll discuss how your credit score is not permanently ruined by filing bankruptcy.

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Discharging Student Loans in Bankruptcy: Important Legal Terms

Written by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated August 1, 2023

One of our goals this year is to publish a comprehensive guide on filing an adversary proceeding as part of a bankruptcy to discharge student loans. It will initially be published as a series of Learn Articles. The following is a guide to important legal terms that come up in adversary proceedings.

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The Complete Guide To Refinancing Student Loans

Written by the Upsolve TeamLegally reviewed by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated July 28, 2023

When you refinance your student loans, you take out a new loan and use it to pay off your existing student loans. There are pros and cons to refinancing: The biggest pro is that you may get a lower interest rate or be able to reduce the amount of your monthly payments. Reducing your interest rate means you pay less over the long run. Lowering your payments each month can help you stay on top of your debt if you’re struggling. If you have federal loans, the biggest drawback to refinancing is that you’ll lose certain benefits like access to student loan forgiveness and economic hardship programs. Regardless of the type of loans you have, you’ll need a good credit score (or a co-signer with a good score) to get approved for a student loan refinance and get a good interest rate.

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Student Loan Rehabilitation: How To Get Out of Default

Written by the Upsolve TeamLegally reviewed by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated July 28, 2023

Student loan rehabilitation is one way to get your federal student loans out of default status. If you’re currently trying to get student loan relief but aren’t eligible for any programs because you’re in default, student loan rehabilitation may be exactly what you need for your fresh start. To get your student loans rehabilitated and out of default, you need to contact your loan servicer, create a payment plan, complete the required paperwork, and make a certain number of monthly payments.

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Should I File Bankruptcy? What Are My Options?

Written by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated July 28, 2023

Filing for bankruptcy is a big decision. It’s important to understand what you stand to gain and lose by filing either type of bankruptcy.

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Debt Relief: What Are the Options & How Do They Work?

Written by the Upsolve TeamLegally reviewed by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated July 28, 2023

If you have debts that you’re unable to pay, there are several options that can help you to get back on your feet. These options range from filing bankruptcy to creating some sort of payment plan that prevents debts from charging off or having creditors sue you and garnish your wages. Here we will look at some avenues to help you manage your debt.

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Dealing With Tax Debt In and Out Of Bankruptcy

Written by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated July 28, 2023

While bankruptcy isn’t always the best solution, discharging an old tax debt through Chapter 7 bankruptcy or paying it off through a Chapter 13 bankruptcy is possible.

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Bankruptcy Case Dismissals & How To Avoid Them

Written by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated July 28, 2023

Many worry that their case won’t be accepted if they file bankruptcy without the help of a bankruptcy lawyer. Even though it’s scary to think that this may happen, it doesn’t really work that way. You are allowed to file bankruptcy without a lawyer. And, as long as you follow the bankruptcy court’s instructions and complete all required steps, the risk of having your case dismissed is actually pretty low.

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IRS Wage Garnishment Procedures

Written by the Upsolve TeamLegally reviewed by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated July 28, 2023

If you owe the IRS unpaid taxes, they might collect on the debt by putting a garnish on your wages and collecting their money directly from your paycheck. Learn about the rules they must follow when garnishing wages, including how much of your income is exempt from garnishment and how much notice they are required to give you. Also, find out what you can do to stop a wage garnishment that's already in place.

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What is Unsecured Debt?

Written by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated July 28, 2023

Unsecured debt is not tied to any property (collateral) and includes credit cards and medical debt. Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 cases eliminate most unsecured debts.

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Foreclosures & Eviction Protections Under The CARES Act

Written by the Upsolve TeamLegally reviewed by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated July 28, 2023

As Americans struggle to cope with the financial uncertainty caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, the United States Congress has passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. Among other things, the CARES Act protects borrowers of federally backed mortgage loans from foreclosure. This article will discuss the foreclosure protections, moratorium on evictions, and other mortgage relief implemented by the CARES Act.

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What To Do if the Trustee Says You Owe Money to the Estate

Written by the Upsolve TeamLegally reviewed by Attorney Paige Hooper
Updated July 28, 2023

If you own property that's not protected, or not fully protected, by exemptions, you may owe money to your bankruptcy estate. You can either pay the money into the estate and keep the property or asset, or you can surrender the property, keep the exempted amount, and not have to pay into the estate.

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Bankruptcy and the Homestead Exemption

Written by the Upsolve TeamLegally reviewed by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated July 27, 2023

Bankruptcy exemptions play an important role in Chapter 7 cases, and the homestead exemption may be the most important of all. It’s the homestead exemption that makes it possible for many people to wipe out unsecured debt in Chapter 7 bankruptcy without losing their homes. In this article, you’ll learn how the homestead exemption may protect your house in bankruptcy. We’ll also touch on some of the limitations of the homestead exemption. And, we’ll discuss alternatives for people who aren’t fully protected by their state’s exemptions.

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