2020 Best Invention
Attorney Eric Hansen

Attorney Eric Hansen

Attorney

Eric D. Hansen is an experienced Minnesota attorney within a number of varying and nuanced practice areas. He has operated his own solo practice as well as worked at small suburban boutique firms and large diversified downtown law firms. Eric has a wealth of experience in business formation, transactional law, employment law, estate planning, criminal defense law, family law, and litigation, amongst others. He also worked in Northern Minnesota at a nonprofit that provided civil legal services to a diverse population of low-income and indigent clients. In 2021, Eric joined the faculty of the Mitchell Hamline School of Law as an adjunct professor. Eric is a 2014 William Mitchell College of Law graduate. He graduated cum laude from the University of Minnesota with honors as a McGuire Scholar where he majored in political science. Eric lives in Saint Paul with his wife Elisabeth and their daughter Ada. He enjoys playing music, motorcycles, and disc golf.


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Articles written by Attorney Eric Hansen

What Is a Good Credit Score for Buying a Car?

To get an auto loan with a good interest rate and manageable monthly payments that fit your budget, you’ll need a decent credit score. That begs the question, what is a good credit score for buying a car? Generally, you’ll need a FICO credit score that’s 500 or higher, but to get better terms and a better interest rate, you’ll want a credit score that’s higher than 660. This article will explain credit scores and what to do when purchasing a car with bad credit. We’ll also touch on how to improve your credit score and other helpful information on financing your auto loan.

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What Is a Repossession Company?

Sometimes things happen that are outside of our control and we get behind on loan payments. If you’ve made a late car payment or if you’ve missed one entirely, you might be concerned about the bank sending someone to repossess your property and wondering if you should be keeping an eye out for the repo man. You can set your mind at ease by learning about the repossession process, what rights you have, and how to prevent the situation entirely. This article will address repossessions and repo agents, the laws they must follow, and how they can track you down if you try to hide your car.

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What Is a Deed of Trust? How Does It Work?

A mortgage and a deed of trust are both legal documents that create a lien on the real property, but they are structured differently. Also, deeds of trust are only available in some states. This article will explain what a deed of trust is, how it works, and how the foreclosure process works if you have a deed of trust versus a mortgage.

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How Debt Settlement Impacts Your Taxes

When you settle a debt with a creditor, you pay less than what you owe. The remaining amount is forgiven debt — also called canceled debt — which is often counted as taxable income. Debt settlement can make your tax returns more complicated or increase the taxes you owe. This article will discuss debt settlement and how forgiven debt affects your taxes. Understanding the tax implications of canceled debt will help you be better prepared to negotiate debt forgiveness with your creditors. It’ll also help you understand how to prepare your tax returns correctly.

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What Happens if You Get a Job While on Unemployment?

If you recently got a part-time job or you make less than your monthly benefit amount, then you still may be eligible for benefits. After you’ve properly celebrated your new opportunity, make sure you check in with your state unemployment office’s eligibility requirements. You’ll want to see if you have to report getting a job. Read more to learn about how unemployment insurance benefits can supplement part time wages to keep your finances on track.

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Why Am I Disqualified From Receiving Unemployment Benefits?

Each state has its own unemployment insurance system, rules, regulations, and procedures. But regardless of what state you live in, not everybody who loses their job is eligible for unemployment compensation. You can usually appeal the disqualification. If you win the appeal, you will receive unemployment benefits, but this doesn’t always happen. This article will help you better understand how unemployment benefits work, who qualifies for compensation, and what might disqualify you.

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Is it better to pay off debt or save?

Is it better to pay off debt or save money? The answer really comes down to your circumstances and your short- and long-term financial goals. Taking some time to really think about your financial situation can help you see if paying down debt, building up emergency savings, or a little bit of both is best for you and your family. This article will cover how and why to build a safety net, how to prioritize paying your debts, and how to create savings goals that will bring you a sense of financial security.

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What Is the Credit Repair Organizations Act?

The Credit Repair Organizations Act is a federal law that was passed in 1996 in reaction to deceptive practices from companies that were preying on unsuspecting consumers. The CROA was designed to protect consumers against unfair and deceptive business practices by credit repair organizations. This article will discuss how consumers are legally protected from credit repair organizations and what to consider if you’re thinking of using a credit repair organization to fix your bad credit.

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Is a Repossession Order Required When a Car Is Repossessed?

If you’ve fallen behind on your auto loan payments you may be setting yourself up for repossession. The lender has the right to seize the car without a court order and sometimes without any prior notice to the borrower if the borrower fails to make payments for their auto loan. This article will discuss what repossession is, how it works, and how it affects your credit history and your credit score. We’ll also touch on what rights you have as a borrower and how you can prevent repossession.

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All You Need To Know About Car Liens

A lien is a legal term that means that a creditor has a legal right or valid claim to certain property if a borrower fails to pay their debt. Cars that are financed have liens on them. As long as a lien is on the car, the borrower doesn’t really own the vehicle. This article will discuss what liens are and how car liens work.

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4 Ways To Improve Your Credit Score in Under 30 Days

Improving your credit score substantially takes time and effort, but you can noticeably boost your credit score in under 30 days with four simple strategies. Taking some time to focus on your credit history and personal finances can set you up for excellent continued financial well-being. A higher credit score will open doors to better interest rates, more favorable loan terms on auto loans or personal loans, and higher credit limits on new or existing credit accounts. This article will discuss four simple ways to improve your credit score in the next month.

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Does Anyone Have a 300 Credit Score?

There are people out there who have a 300 credit score, though this is fairly rare and a score this low would be the result of many significant negative items in a borrower’s credit history. The good news is that no matter where your score is now, you can work to improve it. This article will cover subprime credit scores and how to improve them.

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Repossession and Your Rights

Repossession happens when lenders or collection agencies use their right to seize your property to pay a debt, but borrowers have rights, too. Repossession laws and consumer protections keep lenders and their repossession companies and agents from acting improperly when seizing a vehicle. This article will describe the repossession process, how lenders operate, and how repossession affects borrowers. Learning more about this process can help you avoid repossession, its negative effects on your credit, and all the stress that comes along with it.

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How Does Credit Repair Work?

Having an accurate credit history and a positive credit score can open doors for you and allow you to get credit like personal loans, credit cards, or a mortgage on more favorable terms and at lower interest rates. It can also help you rent a decent apartment or refinance any existing loans. This is why it’s important to know what goes on your credit report, how you can dispute and remove inaccurate information, and how your credit score is calculated. This article will discuss how to repair your credit yourself for free and what to look for in a credit repair company if you are considering hiring one.

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What Is a Deed in Lieu of Foreclosure? How Does It Work?

A deed in lieu of foreclosure is a legal agreement in which you, the homeowner/borrower, give the legal title of your home to your lender. In exchange, they release you from your mortgage debt. While you’ll still lose your home as a result of this process, you’ll be relieved of your mortgage debt obligations and responsibilities. Read more to learn about the benefits and consequences of a deed in lieu of foreclosure and to find out if it's a good option for you.

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Do Your Homework Before Calling a Credit Repair Specialist

If you have bad credit and are thinking of hiring a credit repair company to help improve your credit, this article is for you. Knowing how credit repair companies work and what your rights are will help you weed out legitimate credit repair companies and specialists from scammers. Also, it is helpful to remember that you can do any of the credit repair services a credit repair company does on your own, for free. But, if you don’t feel comfortable doing your own credit repair and prefer to hire an individual specialist or a company, do your homework first. Read on to learn more.

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Laid Off: Definition, Reasons, Consequences, & Employee Rights

This article will explore what it means to be laid off, how it differs from other types of job loss, what rights you have, and what to do if you lose your job because of a layoff. By taking the proper steps after a layoff, you can make it to the other side without too many financial hardships or serious negative effects.

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Credit: How It Works and How To Rebuild Your Score

Having good credit is an important factor in your financial well-being. It is not the only factor, but it is valuable to have a good understanding of what credit is, how it’s determined, what steps you can take to increase your score, and how it affects other areas of your life. Whether you have good credit or poor credit, there are ways to improve your credit score. If you have bad credit, don’t stress out about it. Read this article to learn more about how credit works and to learn several ways to start rebuilding yours.

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Unemployment and Credit: What You Need To Know Once You’ve Lost Your Job

If you've recently lost your job and are wondering how being unemployed will affect your credit, it's important to remember that your FICO credit score doesn’t directly depend on your income, your employment status, or whether or not you’ve applied for unemployment insurance. Your credit score is based entirely on your payment history, amount of debt, length of credit history, new credit applications, and the types of credit you have. This article will outline some primary topics about unemployment and credit so that you can be more informed and make educated decisions that affect you, your family, and your financial well-being.

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7 Easy Steps to Improve Your Credit

Your credit score is a critical piece of information that helps determine your eligibility for credit such as a personal loan, auto loan, or new credit card. It is affected by several factors, but whether you have good or bad credit, you can usually improve your credit score by following these seven easy steps.

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Can a Goodwill Letter Help My Credit Score?

If you send a goodwill letter requesting that a creditor remove a derogatory mark on your credit report, the worst thing they can do is say no. Though it’s best not to get your hopes up about your FICO credit score shooting up after sending a goodwill letter to a lender, it doesn’t hurt to ask. This article will discuss what a goodwill letter is, when it’s a good idea to send one, what the potential benefits are, and when it might be better to send a credit dispute letter instead.

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Debt Collector Calling Family Members? Know Your Rights.

Debt collection agencies can contact family members or your place of work, but they have to be careful about what they ask about. They’re really only supposed to call third parties if they can’t reach you or don’t have your contact information. Knowing your rights is helpful and can make things less stressful for you and your family. This article will cover what rights you have when it comes to debt collectors calling you, your family members, and other third parties.

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Illinois Debt Collection Laws

The land of Lincoln and home of the Chicago-style deep-dish pizza, the Obamas, and…unsavory and unscrupulous debt collectors? Yes, unfortunately for residents of the Prairie State, Illinois also happens to have a lot of debt collectors that have flourished due to favorable state laws. A debt collection agency in Illinois can sometimes be as cold as a Chicago winter.

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I’m getting collection calls on Sunday. What are my rights?

Federal law protects you against harassment and unfair treatment by debt collectors. While they can call on Sundays, they can’t call outside normal hours or at inconvenient times. Read more to learn how you can take back your Sundays by learning about consumer protection laws and how collection agencies work.

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Debt Forgiveness: The Options & Consequences

Debt forgiveness is a good option for many people who are having financial difficulty and struggling to make their monthly debt payments. But there can also be negative consequences. This article will help you understand debt forgiveness options and their consequences, so you can decide what’s best for you and your family.

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Which debt should you pay off first?

If things have been difficult for you with your debts, you might find that following a proven debt payoff strategy is just the thing you need to become debt-free. This article covers a few different methods to pay off debt and other things to be mindful of when you’re getting strategic about becoming debt-free.

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What Is a Sheriff’s Sale?

A sheriff’s sale is a public auction typically held by the sheriff’s office where people purchase foreclosed properties. An example of a foreclosed property is a single-family home that the homeowner failed to make several monthly mortgage payments on. As a result, the mortgage lender, or the bank, takes legal possession of the house. The bank then sells the house at a sheriff’s sale to try to recoup what the homeowner owed on the mortgage.

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How to Meet Work Search Requirements While Receiving Unemployment Benefits

Unemployment Insurance Benefits are a temporary measure, so if you’re receiving unemployment compensation, you do have to look for work. Each state has different work search requirements and rules about how to verify that you're looking for work, but this article will give you a general overview of the work search requirement and what might be expected.

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If You’re Behind on Mortgage Payments and You Need Help

People fall behind on their mortgages for reasons beyond their control. What is in your control, though, is how you react and what you’re doing about the situation. There are steps you can take and resources that can help you get back on track financially. This article will cover what help is available for homeowners who are falling behind on their mortgage payments.

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Who Owns My Mortgage?

It’s likely that your home loan has been sold several times to different parties since you first got it. It’s also likely that the new servicer is not the same as the mortgage lender. Tracking down your mortgage lender and mortgage servicer can be difficult but there are resources you can use to help you uncover this important information. Read more to learn about some of these resources.

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Upsolve is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that started in 2016. Our mission is to help low-income families who cannot afford lawyers file bankruptcy for free, using an online web app. Spun out of Harvard Law School, our team includes lawyers, engineers, and judges. We have world-class funders that include the U.S. government, former Google CEO Eric Schmidt, and leading foundations. It's one of the greatest civil rights injustices of our time that low-income families can’t access their basic rights when they can’t afford to pay for help. Combining direct services and advocacy, we’re fighting this injustice.

To learn more, read why we started Upsolve in 2016, our reviews from past users, and our press coverage from places like the New York Times and Wall Street Journal.

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