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.


All ArticlesAfter BankruptcyBankruptcy BasicsBefore FilingCarsChapter 11Chapter 13Chapter 7Consumer RightsCourtCovidCredit Card DebtCredit IssuesCreditors MeetingDebtsDeciding To FileDuring Bankruptcy CaseEmploymentHousingHow To FileLeasesMeans TestNewsNon BankruptcyNondischargeable DebtsProperty ExemptionsStudent LoansTaxesUpsolveWage Garnishment

Articles written by Attorney Andrea Wimmer

Can My Social Security Disability Benefits Be Garnished?

Written by Attorney Andrea WimmerLegally reviewed by Attorney Paige Hooper
Updated October 17, 2022

Garnishments and bank levies allow creditors to take money from you to pay a debt. Federal laws and the laws in most states provide special protections against these proceedings for Social Security disability benefits and other federal benefits. Certain types of debts, though, don’t qualify for these protections. If your benefits don’t qualify for any other protection, bankruptcy may offer at least temporary relief from collection efforts.

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What Is Equity?

Written by the Upsolve TeamLegally reviewed by Attorney Paige Hooper
Updated October 13, 2022

Your equity in a house or car (the dollar value that belongs to you, not the lender) is the current value of the property minus the amount you still owe on it. When you file bankruptcy, exemptions protect the equity you have in certain assets.

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What should I do if I don't perfectly remember my expenses?

Written by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated October 13, 2022

Do your best to estimate them and don't get too sidetracked by trying to be perfect. It can be tough to know exactly how much you’re spending on certain expenses. This is especially true if you have been cutting back on your regular living expenses while trying to stay afloat. This article explains some ways you can use to calculate your expenses for your bankruptcy forms.

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Discharge vs. Dismissal: What's the Difference?

Written by the Upsolve TeamLegally reviewed by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated September 19, 2022

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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Can Social Security Overpayments be Discharged in Bankruptcy?

Written by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated September 13, 2022

If you owe money to the government due to an overpayment of social security benefits, you may be concerned about whether you’ll be able to eliminate this debt as part of a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Keep reading to learn how to make sure you are able to discharge your debt for this overpayment.

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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 August 29, 2022

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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What Are Bankruptcy Exemptions?

Written by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated July 18, 2022

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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Can I Get Rid of my Medical Bills in Bankruptcy?

Written by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated June 30, 2022

If you’re struggling to make ends meet while dealing with medical bills, bankruptcy can provide relief. Medical debt and loss of income for medical reasons plays a role in more than 60% of personal bankruptcy filings.

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Chapter 7 Means Test Calculator

Written by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated June 29, 2022

The Chapter 7 means test is the analysis that determines whether a person can file Chapter 7 bankruptcy. It’s called the bankruptcy means test because, at its most basic level, it looks at whether someone has the means to pay their debts.

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What Are the Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Income Limits?

Written by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated June 27, 2022

Learn about the Chapter 7 bankruptcy income limits including how you may still be eligible for Chapter 7 relief under the bankruptcy means test even if your average income exceeds the median income.

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How Much Do I Owe in Student Loans?

Written by the Upsolve TeamLegally reviewed by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated June 8, 2022

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. Keep reading to learn about how you can find out how much you owe on your student loans and how to effectively manage your student debt.

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How bankruptcy impacts your second COVID relief payment

Written by Your Upsolve TeamLegally reviewed by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated June 8, 2022

On December 27, 2020, President Trump signed the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021. The act includes a second COVID-19 relief payment to eligible individuals.

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Can I Keep Money I Receive From a Lawsuit When I File Bankruptcy?

Written by Attorney Curtis Lee
Updated June 8, 2022

If you bring a lawsuit or have the right to bring one against someone for a personal injury case, that's considered an asset during your bankruptcy case. Just like other assets, this may be protected by a bankruptcy exemption. If the potential personal injury reward isn't protected or fully protected by an exemption, the nonexempt portion of the award can be used to pay off your creditors as part of your bankruptcy case.

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Should I File Bankruptcy for My Business?

Written by Attorney Curtis Lee
Updated June 1, 2022

If you're struggling to make ends meet for your business you can dissolve your business under state law or file bankruptcy. The type of bankruptcy you'll file depends largely on the business's structure. You can file personal bankruptcy — Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 —bankruptcy if you're a sole proprietor. If your business is an LLC, corporation, or other legal entity, you may want to file Chapter 11 instead. It's often good to get legal help when filing a business bankruptcy.

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Debt Collection After a Bankruptcy Discharge

Written by the Upsolve TeamLegally reviewed by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated May 9, 2022

A bankruptcy discharge order is a court order that stops creditors from ever being able to collect on dischargeable debts. Despite this powerful court order, some collection agencies or creditors try to collect on discharged debts, which is illegal. It’s important to know which debts creditors can still contact you about after bankruptcy and how to stop debt collectors that violate the discharge order.

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How To File Bankruptcy for Free: A 10-Step Guide

Written by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated April 20, 2022

Chapter 7 bankruptcy is a powerful debt relief tool for American consumers and businesses alike. If your case is simple, you may not need a lawyer to file. Here's a 10-Step Guide on how to prepare for and get a fresh start in the form of a bankruptcy discharge.

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Tax Refunds and Bankruptcy Exemptions

Written by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated April 19, 2022

Tax refunds can be used to pay creditors if they're not protected by an exemption. This is an overview of states with no or little protection for tax refunds.

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Laws Protecting Californians From Debt Collectors

Written by the Upsolve TeamLegally reviewed by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated April 12, 2022

Debt collection laws come from federal and state governments. California has chosen to put extra laws into place to protect California residents. The Rosenthal Act is one such law. There is also a federal law, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, that protects consumers across the United States. Keep reading to learn more about California debt collection laws and how they protect you.

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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 April 12, 2022

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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How can I surrender my car in Chapter 7 bankruptcy?

Written by Kristin Turner, Harvard Law GradLegally reviewed by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated April 12, 2022

"Surrendering" your car means that you give it back to the lender that gave you the loan to purchase it. If you surrender your car as part of your Chapter 7 bankruptcy, any debt that you owe on it will be eliminated when you receive your bankruptcy discharge.

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Can I File for Bankruptcy Online?

Written by Attorney John CobleLegally reviewed by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated April 12, 2022

When you're hit by a sudden financial shock and need a fresh start, you naturally ask — can I file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy online? In this article, we’ll explain the different options for filing for bankruptcy online and the pros and cons of each.

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How Does Bankruptcy Affect a Car Lease?

Written by Attorney Paige Hooper
Updated April 6, 2022

A car lease isn’t the same as a car loan. A lease is a contract to use a car for a period of time. It’s not considered a debt when you file bankruptcy. If you have a car lease and file Chapter 7, you can continue with the lease if your payments are current. Otherwise, you can give the car back and walk away from the lease. If you file Chapter 13, you’ll have more options for keeping the car, which we’ll explore in this article.

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6 Things You Should Know About the Statement of Intentions

Written by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated April 5, 2022

If you’re planning on filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy and have a car loan or other secured debt, here are 6 things you should know about the Statement of Intentions.

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What if I Can’t Afford to Pay a Judgment Against Me?

Written by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated April 5, 2022

If you’ve fallen behind with your bills, you might be worried about getting sued or having a court judgment entered against you. This article covers what happens if you default on a debt, how you can make sure you don’t forfeit your chance to prevent a judgment, and what collection actions to expect from a judgment creditor.

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What Are the Michigan Bankruptcy Exemptions?

Written by the Upsolve TeamLegally reviewed by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated April 1, 2022

Michigan allows residents to choose between the federal bankruptcy exemptions and state exemptions.

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What Are the Oregon Bankruptcy Exemptions?

Written by the Upsolve TeamLegally reviewed by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated April 1, 2022

There is some good news for Oregonians who are looking to file for bankruptcy protection in the state. Note that now there are 2 separate systems of bankruptcy exemptions to protect Oregon filers in bankruptcy. The Governor signed a significant law on July 1, 2013, that now allows individuals filing either Chapter 7 bankruptcy or Chapter 13 bankruptcy in the state to elect to use federal bankruptcy exemptions. It is a huge change to the bankruptcy process in Oregon with a substantial impact on bankruptcy cases now being filed.

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What Are the Wisconsin Bankruptcy Exemptions?

Written by the Upsolve TeamLegally reviewed by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated April 1, 2022

You will find a list of available exemptions in the federal Bankruptcy Code, or you may instead decide to use exemptions available under Wisconsin law. However, keep in mind that each state has the option of “opting out” of this scheme. Bankruptcy filers in an opt-out state may only use their state exemptions and not use the federal exemptions. As Wisconsin hasn’t opted out of the choice between state exemptions and federal exemptions, Wisconsinites who file bankruptcy can choose between federal bankruptcy exemptions or state exemptions. Actually, you will be happy to know that Wisconsin is one of the few US states that allows filers this choice, and this is a real advantage if you are filing Chapter 7 in the state. However, keep in mind that you are not allowed to cherry-pick exemptions from both lists; you can select only one set of exemptions. If you’re using Wisconsin law to exempt your property, you can also use the federal nonbankruptcy exemptions, if applicable. This also means that if you’re filing for bankruptcy in the state, you should review both sets of exemptions and then choose what scheme can best protect your property. Hiring an attorney can be helpful in this respect.

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What Is Chapter 7 Bankruptcy & Should I File?

Written by Kristin Turner, Harvard Law Grad, Rohan PavuluriLegally reviewed by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated April 1, 2022

Chapter 7 bankruptcy is a common legal process to clear your debt, but it’s not right for everyone. Let’s take a look at some bankruptcy basics to help you learn about it and decide whether it's right for you.

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Can I Keep My Car If I File Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?

Written by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated April 1, 2022

Most people can keep their car and get debt relief by filing bankruptcy. Of course, if you need a fresh start but you need your car just as much, you probably wonder about how this works in Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Keep reading to learn what a bankruptcy filing means for your car.

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Can I Keep My Car If I File Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?

Written by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated April 1, 2022

Most people can keep their car and get debt relief by filing bankruptcy. Of course, if you need a fresh start but you need your car just as much, you probably wonder about how this works in Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Keep reading to learn what a bankruptcy filing means for your car.

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What Are the Colorado Bankruptcy Exemptions?

Written by the Upsolve TeamLegally reviewed by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated April 1, 2022

Bankruptcy exemptions help bankruptcy filers protect the property they own so they don't have to start over with nothing after their debts are discharged. Colorado has opted out of the federal bankruptcy exemptions, so residents must use the state exemptions instead. Fortunately, Colorado has generous bankruptcy exemptions.

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What Are the California Bankruptcy Exemptions?

Written by Attorney Jonathan PettsLegally reviewed by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated April 1, 2022

If you're a debtor filing for bankruptcy and you live in California, you'll be using the California bankruptcy exemptions to keep your property.

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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 March 31, 2022

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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Will a Foreclosure Ruin My Credit Forever?

Written by the Upsolve TeamLegally reviewed by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated March 31, 2022

A foreclosure will stay on your credit report for seven years, but your creditworthiness will not be negative forever. You can take steps to repair your credit after foreclosure and start building a positive credit history. Read more to learn how you can overcome a foreclosure, rebuild your credit history, and what steps you can take to buy a house after foreclosure.

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Bankruptcy and the Homestead Exemption

Written by the Upsolve TeamLegally reviewed by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated March 31, 2022

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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Federal Bankruptcy Exemptions Explained

Written by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated March 31, 2022

The laws that protect your property from creditors are called exemptions. The exemptions listed in the Bankruptcy Code are called federal bankruptcy exemptions.

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What Are the Ohio Bankruptcy Exemptions?

Written by the Upsolve TeamLegally reviewed by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated March 31, 2022

If you’re filing bankruptcy in Ohio, you must use the state’s exemptions to protect your property. Ohioans aren’t allowed to use the federal bankruptcy exemptions. Ohio has a homestead, motor vehicle, and wildcard exemption. It also has exemptions for various kinds of personal property and money benefits.

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What Are the Texas Bankruptcy Exemptions?

Written by the Upsolve TeamLegally reviewed by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated March 31, 2022

Texas has more generous bankruptcy exemptions than many other states. It also allows bankruptcy filers to choose whether they want to use the Texas state bankruptcy exemptions or the federal bankruptcy exemptions. In many cases, the state exemptions are more beneficial to bankruptcy filers who own a home or car. But unlike the federal exemptions, Texas doesn’t offer a wildcard exemption to protect personal property of your choosing.

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I Had My 341 Meeting. Now What?

Written by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated March 30, 2022

The court will grant your bankruptcy discharge 60 - 90 days after the meeting. If the trustee filed a no-asset report, the case will be closed pretty soon after the discharge is entered. Until your case is closed, make sure to keep an eye on any mail from the court or the trustee so you don’t miss anything important.

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Does The Government Pay for Bankruptcies?

Written by Your Upsolve TeamLegally reviewed by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated March 30, 2022

People filing for bankruptcy are struggling to pay their debts. Find out what type of costs to expect for Chapter 7 bankruptcy and who pays for it if you can’t.

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Does Bankruptcy Clear Judgments?

Written by the Upsolve TeamLegally reviewed by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated March 29, 2022

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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Trustee's Report of No Distribution & What It Means For Your Case

Written by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated March 29, 2022

The Trustee's Report of No Distribution, or NDR, lets the court and all interested parties know that no money will be paid to creditors.

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How to Amend your Statement of Intentions

Written by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated March 29, 2022

The Statement of Intentions is the bankruptcy form that you filed with the court to let your creditors know what you want to do with your secured debts, most often a car loan. If you have changed your mind and need to amend (update) your Statement of Intentions, follow the steps outlined in this article.

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California Bankruptcy Exemptions Explained

Written by the Upsolve TeamLegally reviewed by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated March 21, 2022

Some states permit filers to choose between a set of federal bankruptcy exemptions and the state exemption system. However, California isn’t one of them. California is called an “opt-out” state, which means federal bankruptcy exemptions are not available to filers in the state. Californians filing bankruptcy have to use California exemption law.

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How Long Does A Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Take?

Written by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated March 21, 2022

Once filed, a Chapter 7 bankruptcy typically takes about 4 - 6 months to complete. The bankruptcy discharge is granted 3 - 4 months after filing in most cases. 

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What Does It Mean That a Bankruptcy Is Public Record?

Written by Attorney John Coble, Your Upsolve TeamLegally reviewed by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated March 21, 2022

Bankruptcy cases are processed through the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, which is part of the federal court system. Like all other court documents, your bankruptcy petition becomes a public record. This means any member of the public can access the information on your bankruptcy forms either through PACER or by going to the courthouse.

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Can I Discharge a Private Student Loan in Bankruptcy?

Written by Attorney John Coble, Your Upsolve TeamLegally reviewed by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated March 21, 2022

Generally, private student loan borrowers have fewer options for managing their debt than federal loan borrowers. Private student loans that don't meet the definition of "student loan" in the Bankruptcy Code can be discharged. All others must been the undue hardship test.

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How Do I Find an Affordable Bankruptcy Attorney?

Written by the Upsolve TeamLegally reviewed by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated March 21, 2022

While you don’t have to hire a lawyer to file a bankruptcy case, you may want legal assistance. If so, there are several resources you can use to find an affordable bankruptcy attorney, including your state bar association’s website, the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys, or a local legal aid organization. Many bankruptcy lawyers also offer a free consultation for prospective clients. You can get free legal advice during the consultation and learn more about the lawyer’s fees and options for paying them.

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How Can I File Chapter 7 and Keep My House?

Written by Krishna PatelLegally reviewed by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated March 17, 2022

If after careful research you determine that Chapter 7 bankruptcy is the right choice for your circumstances, you may be wondering if it’s possible to wipe away credit card debt and other unsecured loans, but hang on to your house. The short answer is, it depends. Read on for more information about how filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy might affect your mortgage and property rights.

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Can I Leave Debts Out of My Bankruptcy?

Written by Attorney Paige Hooper
Updated March 10, 2022

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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Should I File Bankruptcy Before Getting Married?

Written by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated March 9, 2022

If you’re planning to get married and you also need to deal with debt, you’re probably wondering when to file bankruptcy and how it will affect your spouse. There are pros and cons to filing for bankruptcy before marriage as well as filing after marriage. If you want to start your marriage with a clean financial slate and you qualify for Chapter 7, that’s a relatively quick way to achieve that goal. If you already have joint debts with your spouse-to-be, you may want to file after you get married to take advantage of more generous exemptions.

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Why Do I Keep Getting Calls About Student Loans?

Written by the Upsolve TeamLegally reviewed by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated March 8, 2022

This article will explain why you may be getting calls from your student loan lender or loan servicer. If you have unpaid student loans, you may be contacted by a loan servicer for different reasons.

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Should You Surrender an Unwanted Car in Bankruptcy?

Written by the Upsolve TeamLegally reviewed by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated February 28, 2022

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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Converting a Chapter 13 to a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

Written by Your Upsolve TeamLegally reviewed by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated February 24, 2022

Life happens to everyone, including those in a Chapter 13 repayment plan. Thankfully, the Bankruptcy Code provides a mechanism for changing (converting) your case from Chapter 13 to Chapter 7 bankruptcy if needed. Let’s take a look at what that entails exactly and what you should know about this affects your property and your debts.

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Will Bankruptcy Affect My Citizenship Application?

Written by Your Upsolve TeamLegally reviewed by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated February 24, 2022

Whether you’re a U.S. citizen or not, you’re allowed to file bankruptcy if you reside in the U.S. Bankruptcy law doesn’t require filers to be U.S. citizens. If you aren’t a citizen, you may worry that filing bankruptcy can lead to deportation or having your immigration application denied. Luckily, that’s not the case. Neither the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) nor the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) consider bankruptcy cases when reviewing residency applications.

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Can Attorney Fees Be Included in Bankruptcy?

Written by Your Upsolve TeamLegally reviewed by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated February 24, 2022

If you owe attorney fees when you go to file your bankruptcy case, most will be treated as unsecured debt and discharged as part of your bankruptcy case. There are some exceptions to this, especially for attorney fees related to family court matters. Keep reading to learn more about how attorney fees are treated in bankruptcy.

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What Personal Property Can be Seized After a Judgment?

Written by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated February 23, 2022

If a creditor gets a court judgment against you, they may be able to seize some of your personal property if it isn’t covered by an exemption. It costs creditors money to sue you and try to take your property, so it’s pretty rare for creditors to do that. More frequently, they’ll use a wage garnishment or levy your bank account to satisfy a judgment against you.

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Can I file bankruptcy without my spouse?

Written by Attorney Eva BaceviceLegally reviewed by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated February 23, 2022

If you’re married, you can file bankruptcy with or without your spouse. Filing individually doesn’t mean your spouse won’t be impacted. Before you choose to file individually or jointly, you’ll want to consider many factors, including what debts and assets you have together, whether you co-mingle your finances, and if there’s a prenuptial agreement.

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Can I File Bankruptcy Even Though I’m Unemployed?

Written by the Upsolve TeamLegally reviewed by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated February 22, 2022

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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What Is My Bankruptcy Discharge Date?

Written by the Upsolve TeamLegally reviewed by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated February 22, 2022

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 to File Chapter 7 with No Money?

Written by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated February 8, 2022

Even though there are bankruptcy fees in the form of court fees, credit counseling course fees, and attorneys fee, eligible filers can file their Chapter 7 bankruptcy for free.

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What Happens If I Declare Bankruptcy?

Written by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated February 3, 2022

Overview of what to expect after declaring bankruptcy, including types of bankruptcy, the immediate debt relief benefits of filing bankruptcy, and important information about the Chapter 7 bankruptcy process.

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Can You File Bankruptcy And Keep Your House?

Written by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated January 27, 2022

Bankruptcy law allows you to keep your home as long as certain conditions are met. Whether you can file bankruptcy and keep your house depends on your unique circumstances. Here’s what you need to know.

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Can My Spouse Be Pursued for My Debts?

Written by the Upsolve TeamLegally reviewed by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated January 27, 2022

A judgment is a court order declaring that you do owe the debt and must repay it. How all of this can affect your spouse, if you are married, largely depends on whether you reside in a common law or community property state and the judgment-debtor laws of your state.

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How to add a creditor after filing my forms?

Written by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated January 20, 2022

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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6 Steps To Settle a Credit Card After Getting Sued

Written by Amy CarstLegally reviewed by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated January 5, 2022

If you have a pile of unpaid debt from a credit card that you aren’t able to make even the minimum monthly ON, you might be facing a credit card lawsuit. Many companies will consider filing this kind of lawsuit about six months after someone stops paying. To avoid facing debt lawsuits, you can try to work out a settlement with your credit card so you can get some debt relief without paying the full amount of debt. Read on to learn some tips to prepare for negotiations.

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What Are the Illinois Bankruptcy Exemptions?

Written by the Upsolve TeamLegally reviewed by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated January 5, 2022

If you have done a bit of research on bankruptcy cases in Illinois or exempt property, you will probably have come across the terms federal bankruptcy exemptions and state exemptions. Many states in the US allow people to choose between the federal exemptions and state exemptions. However, you don’t have that option in Illinois. In Illinois, you are not permitted to use the federal bankruptcy exemptions if you’ve lived in the state for at least 2 years when you file bankruptcy. Fortunately, Illinois has generous bankruptcy exemptions that can protect your property.

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The 8 Best Ways To Pay Off Student Loan Debt

Written by the Upsolve TeamLegally reviewed by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated January 4, 2022

While there’s no one-size-fits-all way to repay student loans. Recent research shows that the best way to pay off your student loans may be by paying down loans quickly at first and then signing up for an income-driven repayment plan if you qualify. But there are several other steps you can take to speed up the process, including making more than the minimum monthly payment, enrolling in autopay, and starting a side hustle. This article covers eight great tips to pay off student loan debt fast.

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What You Can Expect if You Don't Pay Your Student Loan Debt

Written by the Upsolve TeamLegally reviewed by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated December 31, 2021

Ignoring student loan debt can affect almost every area of your life, including your credit score, your ability to find employment, and your emotional well-being. This article covers the repayment timeline for federal and private student loans and looks at the consequences of paying your loan late or missing payments. We’ll also discuss what options you have if you’re struggling to make your loan payments.

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8 Strategies To Lower Your Student Loan Payments

Written by the Upsolve TeamLegally reviewed by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated December 31, 2021

If you’re struggling to pay off student loan debt, you may want to look into lowering your student loan payment. Getting a lower monthly payment can help tremendously, and there are many options to do this. Some strategies for achieving this include signing up for an income-driven, graduated, or extended repayment plan; enrolling in autopay; refinancing your student loans; consolidating your federal student loans; applying for deferment or forbearance; and requesting a temporary payment decrease or deferral if you have a private student loan. The best option for you depends on your financial goals and the type of loans you have. This article will go into detail about each of them.

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

Written by the Upsolve TeamLegally reviewed by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated December 31, 2021

Student loan default can have serious financial consequences and wreck your finances. If your student loans are coming due and you can’t afford the payments, don’t panic. You can take steps to avoid defaulting on your student loans. We’ll outline some of your options in this article.

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How Long Can I Stay in My Home After a Foreclosure Sale?

Written by the Upsolve TeamLegally reviewed by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated December 31, 2021

In this article, we’ll give you an overview of foreclosure, discuss the before and after of a foreclosure sale, and give you valuable information about foreclosure timelines so you can get a better idea of how long you can stay in your home while planning your eventual move.

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Average Time To Pay Off Student Loans

Written by the Upsolve TeamLegally reviewed by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated December 31, 2021

There are two types of student loans — federal student loans and private loans. The time it takes to repay your loans depends on the type of loan as well as the loan repayment plan you have. This article explains the average time it takes to pay off student loans and what options you have to refinance or get a loan deferment or forbearance. We’ll also offer tips for how to pay off your student loans more quickly and get out of debt.

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Eviction 101

Written by the Upsolve TeamLegally reviewed by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated December 31, 2021

Like most property laws, the relationship between landlords and tenants is regulated by state law. Because eviction laws vary from state to state, there is no uniform law of eviction. These state eviction laws lay out rules that landlords must follow in order to evict tenants. This article will explain some basic facts about eviction.

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Bad Credit: The Problem & Solutions

Written by the Upsolve TeamLegally reviewed by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated December 31, 2021

It is possible to increase your credit score if you are proactive. This article will look at what’s considered a poor credit score, the consequences of having bad credit, and strategies to improve your credit.

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How a Short Sale Could Affect Your Credit

Written by the Upsolve TeamLegally reviewed by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated December 13, 2021

Short sales allow homeowners to avoid foreclosure and escape a situation where they owe more than their homes are worth, but a short sale will still generally have a negative impact on your credit score. This article will explain what a short sale is, how it can affect your credit, and how to repair your credit after a short sale.

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U.S. Bankruptcy by the Numbers: Who Is Filing the Most Bankruptcies?

Written by the Upsolve TeamLegally reviewed by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated December 12, 2021

Individuals, businesses, and even cities file for bankruptcy. Both wealthy and financially strapped Americans may need to file for bankruptcy due to a variety of circumstances. Even rich, powerful people take advantage of this opportunity for debt relief.

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Can Bankruptcy Stop Foreclosure?

Written by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated December 12, 2021

There are a number of different ways that you can prevent foreclosure, even if you ultimately need to give up your home. Don’t be afraid to explore your options, including Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy and find what’s right for your family and personal financial situation.

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The Florida Consumer Collection Practices Act

Written by the Upsolve TeamLegally reviewed by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated December 12, 2021

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 Is Bankruptcy?

Written by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated December 12, 2021

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 Are the Pros and Cons of Filing Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?

Written by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated December 12, 2021

Filing for bankruptcy offers a powerful way to eliminate debt and get a fresh start. But, as with everything there are downsides to filing bankruptcy, too. Use this article to explore the advantages and drawbacks of Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

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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 December 11, 2021

If you’re receiving calls from debt collectors about unpaid debt, there’s an obvious way to make it go away: Pay off the debt in question. But what if you’re at a point where it’s impossible for you to pay? It might seem like you’re out of options, but don’t despair — there’s a way out of this.

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What Happens if You Ignore Debt Collectors?

Written by the Upsolve TeamLegally reviewed by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated December 11, 2021

Most of us don’t like talking to debt collectors. Anxiety over past-due bills runs high enough. No one wants the added pressure of collection calls and threatening letters. To make matters worse, many people who have collection accounts feel powerless. When there isn’t enough money to go around, it may seem pointless to pick up the phone and talk to a collection agency. Even talking with an original creditor can be tough once your account moves into collection status. Fortunately, you have options for taking charge of your debt and rebuilding financial security. Upsolve is here to help you find the information you need to make the right decision for you and your family.

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Can I Buy or Refinance a Car During Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?

Written by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated December 11, 2021

Yes, you can buy a new (to you) car while your Chapter 7 bankruptcy case is pending. If possible, wait until your discharge has been granted as that will give you more negotiating power with the bank.

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What Is A Charge Off On A Car Loan?

Written by the Upsolve TeamLegally reviewed by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated December 11, 2021

A charge-off on a car loan is when the creditor declares the debt uncollectible. The creditor can still collect the charged-off debt and you still owe it.

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Getting Rid of Student Loans: 6 Options To Consider

Written by the Upsolve TeamLegally reviewed by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated December 9, 2021

If you are trying to manage a student loan debt, you might be disappointed to learn that they aren't often discharged through bankruptcy, but there are other options for student loan management you could be eligible for, including loan forgiveness or cancellation, disability discharge, or forbearance. Read this article to learn which option might be best for you to pursue and other things to consider.

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6 Steps To Stop Wage Garnishment After Filing Bankruptcy

Written by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated December 8, 2021

Wage garnishments have to stop immediately once your case is filed but you should allow time for the creditor to provide your employer with the necessary paperwork to actually cause the stop. If your case is filed the day before your next payday, chances are you're paycheck will still be garnished, as the payroll has already been processed. However, you'll get that money back.

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Car Repossession 101

Written by Amy CarstLegally reviewed by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated December 8, 2021

This article will answer some common questions about vehicle repossession, including why it happens, what the steps are in this process, and how you can get your car back, after it’s been repossessed.

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Repossession: The Basics

Written by the Upsolve TeamLegally reviewed by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated December 8, 2021

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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What Is the Process of a Nonjudicial Foreclosure?

Written by the Upsolve TeamLegally reviewed by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated December 3, 2021

Most states allow nonjudicial foreclosures, which permit states to proceed with foreclosure sales without first obtaining a court order. Because nonjudicial foreclosures are much faster and less complex, homeowners don’t have as much time to defend against these actions.

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Writing a Debt Settlement Offer Letter

Written by the Upsolve TeamLegally reviewed by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated November 30, 2021

A debt settlement offer letter serves as a borrower's offer of some sum of money to a creditor in exchange for forgiveness of the remainder of the debt. The proposal in your debt settlement is a legal contract offer, so it is important to use precise language, such as the language provided in the template section of this article.

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How Can Bankruptcy Help You With Foreclosure?

Written by the Upsolve TeamLegally reviewed by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated November 30, 2021

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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Stop Debt Collectors With a Cease and Desist Letter

Written by the Upsolve TeamLegally reviewed by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated November 30, 2021

You have the right to demand that a third-party debt collector stop communicating with you about your debt. It’s important that you make this demand to cease communication in writing so that you have proof of your efforts. This article explains how to write a cease and desist letter that tells a debt collection agency not to contact you anymore. It includes a sample cease and desist letter for easy reference.

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Is It a Good Idea To Lease To Own a Car?

Written by the Upsolve TeamLegally reviewed by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated November 30, 2021

A lease-to-own or rent-to-own program allows a borrower to make installment payments on a vehicle over the term of the lease. Once all the payments have been made (per the terms of the lease), the borrower assumes ownership of the vehicle. The dealer holds title to the car or truck in a lease-to-own agreement while the borrower (lessee) continues to make payments. These arrangements can particularly benefit borrowers who have bad credit, as these borrowers may not qualify for traditional leases. As these agreements tend to be expensive, it is important to understand the terms of any such contract before entering into one.

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

Written by the Upsolve TeamLegally reviewed by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated November 29, 2021

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 Are The Different Types Of Bankruptcies?

Written by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated November 29, 2021

Bankruptcy has helped millions of Americans relieve their debt burden and get a fresh start. There are different types of bankruptcies, so it's important to know the differences and similarities.

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Loans For Unemployed: Options & Processes

Written by the Upsolve TeamLegally reviewed by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated November 29, 2021

This article will discuss one of the ways that you can deal with the loss of a job—an emergency loan. Although you may think your employment status directly affects your ability to get a personal loan, especially in an emergency, that isn’t always true. In this article, we’ll talk about your options and the procedures for getting an emergency loan when you are unemployed.

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