Jonathan Petts, Esq

Jonathan Petts, Esq

Bankruptcy Attorney

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Should I File for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?

If you’re unable to pay your debts as they come due, or if you think you’ll soon be unable to do so due to a loss in household income, you may be wondering whether you should file bankruptcy to deal with it all. Chapter 7 bankruptcy is a powerful tool for American consumers who have fallen on hard times and need a fresh start. But, it’s not right for everyone. Let’s take a look at some of the things you should consider when deciding your next steps.

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Can I Get Rid of my Medical Bills in Bankruptcy?

This article will explain what bankruptcy is and what type of bankruptcy may be beneficial to you, how your medical debt is affected by bankruptcy, and how you can get started on your journey to discharging your debt and obtaining a fresh start. 

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Do I have to pay the $335 filing fee?

You generally have to pay the fee if you earn above 150% of the poverty line for your state, and you generally don't have to pay the fee if you earn below 150% of the poverty line.

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Can I erase judgments in bankruptcy?

If you've been sued by someone you owe money to, your bankruptcy discharge will protect you from having to pay the judgment, but that's not true for all judgments. Here is an overview of what types judgements are erased in bankruptcy and examples of judgment that can't.

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Can I File For Bankruptcy Online?

When you are hit by a sudden financial shock and need a fresh start, you naturally ask - can I file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy online? The answer, while tricky, is “mostly, yes.” The Chapter 7 bankruptcy process involves (1) completing bankruptcy forms, (2) filing them with the bankruptcy court, and (3) attending a “341 meeting” with the official overseeing your case. That meeting is in person. But completing your forms and filing them can be done online in certain circumstances. 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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I am being sued by a creditor and I have an upcoming court date. What should I do?

It depends on how soon the court date is, and where you are in the process of getting ready to file your bankruptcy case. If your bankruptcy case hasn’t been filed by the court date, make sure you attend the hearing. Otherwise, the judge can potentially grant a default judgment against you simply because you didn’t show up. 

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What is Unsecured Debt?

You can get rid of unsecured debt by filing a bankruptcy case. Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 cases eliminate most unsecured debts.

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Keeping a Checking Account During Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

If your account is being garnished, the bankruptcy case should stop the garnishment. The garnishment should not start again if the debt is wiped out in the bankruptcy case. However, if the garnishment is for alimony, child support, or taxes, the bankruptcy won’t wipe out the debt and the garnishment continues.

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What does it mean to be "judgment proof?"

Being "judgment proof" means that you do not have anything for a creditor to collect if they sue you and win. As you can imagine, this means that they are not likely to sue you. It does not mean that they can't sue you, just that they probably won't be able to collect if they do decide to take you to court.

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What should I do if I don't remember the creditors I owe in my bankruptcy?

If you don't remember the creditors you owe when filing for bankruptcy, don't worry. In many cases, you can still erase the debts you owe.

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Should I File for Bankruptcy for Credit Card Debt?

Filing for bankruptcy can help you get rid of your credit card debt.

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Do I need to list all of my creditors?

You should try to do your best to list all of the companies you owe money to on your bankruptcy forms.

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How to File Bankruptcy in 2020: A 10-Step Guide

Chapter 7 bankruptcy is an important debt relief tool for Americans in severe financial distress from losing a job, getting injured, or getting divorced. Upsolve walks you through the steps on how to file for bankruptcy.

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Chapter 7 vs. Chapter 11 Bankruptcy

If you are searching to find a solution to debt problems, we can help you choose between a Chapter 7 vs. Chapter 11 bankruptcy case. A Chapter 7 bankruptcy can help you get rid of debts quickly for very little cost to you. You can get the fresh start you need with Upsolve’s assistance.

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Can I Get an Automatic Stay with Bankruptcy?

This article provides an overview on an automatic stay, which stops your creditors from collecting debts, and how to get one using bankruptcy.

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What Is an Automatic Stay In Bankruptcy?

The automatic stay stops the people and companies that you owe from trying to get their money. In most cases, the automatic stay goes into effect as soon as you file your paperwork.

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Can I meet the Upsolve team in person?

We have thousands of debtors who rely on us each year. For this reason, we only provide email support.

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How to redeem your car?

Redeeming your car debt in bankruptcy can make sense if the car is worth much less than the amount you owe on your car loan. Redemption allows you to pay the lender the value of the car, rather than the larger amount you owe.  

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Should I File For Bankruptcy or Try Debt Relief?

When a person cannot pay his or her debts, creditors can become extremely demanding in their attempts to collect debts. In some cases, debt collectors may harass individuals for payment of debts. However, if you do not have any money left over each month to pay your bills, you cannot manage to pay the debt regardless of what a debt collector tells you.

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What are bankruptcy exemptions?

Bankruptcy exemptions protect property after a bankruptcy filing. Filing for bankruptcy relief does not mean that you have to give up everything you own. The purpose of filing a bankruptcy case is to get debt relief. We explain how you can protect your property from a Chapter 7 bankrutpcy trustee.

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How Do I Find an Affordable Bankruptcy Attorney?

Are you searching for an affordable bankruptcy attorney but having trouble finding an attorney you can afford? If so, Upsolve may be able to help. We assist users who cannot afford an attorney file for debt relief under Chapter 7.

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What happens if I owe money on a car I need after bankruptcy?

Bankruptcy gives you some flexibility in how you deal with your car loan. The bankruptcy forms provide you with at least three choices for dealing with your car loan. You can __surrender__ your car to the lender, __redeem__ the car for its value, or __reaffirm__ the car debt. 

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If I'm a widow, do I need to list my deceased spouse on my forms?

If your former spouse earned taxable income in the current year or the two years prior, you will need to list that income on your bankruptcy forms. You do not need to list any income that they earned prior to this time period, and __*you do not need to list them as a member of your household.*__

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Can I file bankruptcy with my spouse through Upsolve?

Under the Chapter 7 bankruptcy rules, you can file for bankruptcy with your spouse. Sadly, Upsolve does not allow for joint filings. If you and your spouse want to file with Upsolve, you can file separately. We discourage this because you may have to pay two separate filing fees. 

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If my spouse and I have joint debt, do I have to list them on my forms?

Yes, you do. You will list them as "someone who is legally obligated to pay your debts."

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Why is my spouse's financial info needed if I'm filing by myself?

The court requires your spouse's income because it needs a full financial picture of your family.  

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How long does Chapter 7 bankruptcy take?

How long does Chapter 7 bankruptcy take? Upsolve explains how long it takes to get a discharge from start to finish.

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What are the Chapter 7 Income Limits?

Before you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you have to make sure you're eligible. Check out Upsolve to see if you qualify - they're a nonprofit that helps low-income Americans get a fresh start through Chapter 7 bankruptcy at no cost.

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What Happens to My Car Loan After Bankruptcy?

You might be wondering what happens to your car loan after bankruptcy. One popular misconception is that bankruptcy can get rid of your car loan while allowing you to keep your car. This article goes over your options for dealing with a car loan during and after Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

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What are the Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Income Limits?

This article outlines the income limits you need to know about if you're filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

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Why is Chapter 13 Probably A Bad Idea?

Chapter 13 can often leave you in worse financial shape. It costs more than Chapter 7 and your case is is less likely to be successful.

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How Can I Stop Florida Wage Garnishment with Bankruptcy?

Wage garnishment can be stressful and hurt your ability to recover from financial shocks. In Florida, there are laws that may be able to help you protect your income.

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Can I File for Bankruptcy After a Lawsuit?

Bankruptcy can help a lawsuit depending on the type of lawsuit you’re involved in. The most typical kind you might be facing is if a creditor has filed a civil suit against you for non-payment of a debt which may lead to the creditor garnishing your paycheck.

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What is the Meeting of Creditors?

In Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you'll most likely never see the inside of a courtroom. Instead, you'll attend the meeting of creditors, a short but very important part of your Chapter 7 case.

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How Can You Eliminate Tax Debt to the IRS with Bankruptcy?

You may be able to eliminate debt that you owe to the IRS for taxes by filing for bankruptcy. Learn how filing for bankruptcy can help with your tax debt.

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Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Forms Explained

There are 23 different forms for Chapter 7 bankruptcy that Upsolve attorneys will help you prepare. Here's a walk through of all of them.

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Low Cost Bankruptcy: Do Good Options Exist?

Filing for bankruptcy can get expensive. Apart from finding an affordable bankruptcy attorney, there are ways to file at low cost.

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What is a sole proprietor?

A sole proprietor is someone who owns an unincorporated business by himself or herself. See definition [here](https://www.irs.gov/businesses/small-businesses-self-employed/sole-proprietorships "here").

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Will Bankruptcy Affect My Immigration Status?

Probably not. But for more details read this article.

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How Do I Prepare for Bankruptcy?

It may be helpful to take these steps to prepare for filing for bankruptcy, whether you're working with a bankruptcy attorney or filing on your own online.

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What are the Georgia Bankruptcy Exemptions?

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

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What is Secured Debt in Bankruptcy?

When you get a loan by promising property as collateral to a creditor, you have a secured debt. A [Chapter 7 bankruptcy][1] can eliminate your obligation to pay a secured debt. But, bankruptcy can’t prevent creditors from taking any property you pledged if you default on your payments.

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Can Bankruptcy Stop Foreclosure?

Filing bankruptcy can help you stop foreclosures, so that you can stay in your home.

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What are the California Bankruptcy Exemptions?

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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Legal Aid Bankruptcy Resources in New York City

Free legal aid nonprofits provide pro bono assistance to people who cannot afford bankruptcy attorneys. See if there's a legal aid nonprofit in New York City that can help you.

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Will Chapter 7 bankruptcy lower my credit score?

According to the New York Federal Reserve, the credit scores of those who file for bankruptcy are higher than people in the same shoes who don't.

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What is a Debt Collection Attorney?

If you are having trouble finding a debt collection attorney to help you with a lawsuit, you might want to consider filing for bankruptcy relief. You can file bankruptcy without an attorney to get rid of debts. Visit Upsolve to find out more about filing bankruptcy without an attorney.

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What are the filing instructions?

1. Review -- go to [my.upsolve.org](http://my.upsolve.org/ "my.upsolve.org") and review your bankruptcy forms to make sure there aren't any mistakes. If there's something big you need to change, reply to this email. If there's a small change, feel free to make it yourself.

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Top 10 Reasons We’re Building Upsolve

Upsolve provides free bankruptcy attorneys to low-income Americans in 47 states. Here are the reasons that we exist.

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Can Bankruptcy Erase Student Loans?

Millions of Americans are dealing with student loan debt. If you are looking for a way to erase your student loan debt then bankruptcy may be an option for you. This article details ways you can deal with your student loan debt.

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What Happens When a Chapter 13 Case is Dismissed?

If you have a dismissed Chapter 13 case, you may have several options. You might be able to file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case, even if you cannot afford to pay another attorney to help you. Upsolve provides no cost bankruptcy services to low-income Americans.

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What are the Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Rules?

The Chapter 7 bankruptcy rules are not as difficult to understand as you might believe. Contact our office to discuss how we can help you file for bankruptcy relief. Our mission is to provide no cost bankruptcy services for low-income families.

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Will Bankruptcy Stop Wage Garnishment?

Wage garnishment is a tool used by creditors to collect their debts through the court. Filing for bankruptcy will not only temporarily solve your wage garnishment problems, but potentially eradicate them altogether.

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How can I get free legal aid help?

If you’re filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, there is a good chance that you cannot afford an attorney to help you through the process. Attorneys are a great investment for people who can afford them, as they’re constantly available to answer questions and it is usually pretty easy to find an attorney who can take your case right away if you’re willing to pay them for it.

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Can Bankruptcy Take Your House?

A serious fear that many people have when they file for bankruptcy relief is losing their home. Sadly, losing a home may prevent some people from seeking legal advice about bankruptcy relief. Let’s look at some factors that address the fear that bankruptcy takes homes.

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How to Find a Credit Repair Lawyer?

A credit lawyer can help you repair your credit score by correcting mistakes and errors on your credit report. However, you can perform many of these steps yourself without an attorney. If you need to file for bankruptcy relief without an attorney, Upsolve can provide guidance

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Do I Need Debt Consolidation?

Debt consolidation does not erase debt, but it can be helpful in reducing your interest rate on debt you owe.

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Can I Erase Student Loans in Bankruptcy?

Students loans aren’t usually dischargeable. To discharge these debts, you must prove “undue hardship."

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How do I go back in the questionnaire?

Please press the back button in the top left hand corner of your screen. It will allow you to go back and edit previous questions. 

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Can I have longer than 5 days?

Yes. Everyone has unlimited time to use Upsolve. We just say "5 days" so that you are more motivated to get all of your ducks in order before filing.

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I'm filing for bankruptcy. Will I have to go to court?

Most people who file for bankruptcy on their own only need to show up to court twice. The first time is when they file their forms with the bankruptcy court. This just involves walking into the court and giving the bankruptcy forms you have filled out to the clerk’s office.

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Can I start over?

Yes! Just click "Start from beginning" at the bottom of the questionnaire.

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What happens in bankruptcy if I have a potential lawsuit for money?

This depends on whether you are suing someone else, or whether someone is suing you.

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Should I estimate my income if I haven't filed taxes yet?

If you do not have official documents, it is OK to estimate your gross income. If you do not feel comfortable estimating you can look at your most recent pay statement and use it to find your gross (before taxes) income year to date.

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What should I do after I file my case?

Go back to my.upsolve.org and enter in your case number. Read [this article](https://upsolve.org/learn/what-happens-after-you-file. "this article") we wrote for everything you need to do.

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The court is asking for a certificate of counseling. What is this?

The certificate of counseling is the certificate you receive when you finish the credit counseling course. This is also called Course 1. You should file it with the rest of your bankruptcy paperwork. 

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How do I know if I qualify for Upsolve?

Click "See If You Qualify" at [upsolve.org](https://upsolve.org "upsolve.org") and take our online screener. You'll see quickly if you make our income cutoffs and if you're in the states where we operate. 

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Is It Bad To File For Bankruptcy?

Many people asking themselves, "Should I file for bankruptcy?" also wonder, "Is it bad to file for bankruptcy?" If you're in lots of debt, the answer is usually no.

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Do I have to list the amount of money I owe my creditors?

You should do your best to list the amount of money you owe all of your creditors. But you don't have to worry about getting this number exactly right. What matters is that you list all their NAMES. 

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Do you do things other than bankruptcy?

No. Upsolve does not assist with anything other than Chapter 7 bankruptcy. 

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If I sell CD's does that make me a sole proprietor?

No -- you're only a sole proprietor if you've legally registered yourself as a sole-proprietor. We'll give you the option to tell us if you're self-employed later in the process during our questionnaire. 

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Does this cost money?

No. Upsolve is totally free. 

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Do you help with amended filings?

If you did not use Upsolve to file for bankruptcy in the first place, we cannot help you with amended filings. If something came up in your bankruptcy case and you need to amend your filings, please email help@upsolve.org. We'll direct you to the best next steps. 

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I don't have my tax returns. Can I keep going?

You need to file your tax returns for the last two years, and you need to have a digital copy of these tax returns, before you can get through Upsolve. If you're waiting for your tax returns, but you know you're going to get them, you can go ahead and start the questionnaire. 

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Should file my taxes after my 341 Meeting?

*__It doesn't matter if you file before or after your 341 Meeting.__* The trustee is able to seize any non-exempt money that you were entitled to receive before you filed, and you were entitled to receive this refund (or at least a portion of it) based on what you paid in taxes for the whole year prior to filing.

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I need more than 5 days.

No problem. We just have the 5 day limit to encourage people to move faster. In reality you can take as long as you want and we'll be here for you. 

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I just took out pay day loans. Should I wait 90 days to file?

It is a good idea to wait at least 90 days to file after taking out payday loans or making any substantial purchases. This is because these types of transactions can make a trustee or judge suspicious and less likely to approve your bankruptcy. It looks like you are "cheating" - wracking up debt knowing that you could just get rid of it in bankruptcy right after.

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5 Tips to Avoid Bankruptcy Dismissal

Avoid a Chapter 7 bankruptcy dismissal so that you can discharge all of your debts by following these directions.

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Can I do this next week or later?

Yes. You can quit out and we'll save your information. Just make sure you don't forget about Upsolve. Many debtors leave, forget, and don't get a fresh start. 

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Is Upsolve a petition preparer?

No. Upsolve is a legal aid organization, and staff attorneys review your case. We are not a petition preparer because (1) we do not charge, and (2) we have attorneys on staff who review your forms. 

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Do I have to do the whole survey in one sitting?

No. You can quit out and come back to it anytime. We'll save your information. Most debtors finish the questionnaire, document upload, and course 1 within 5 days. 

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I finished my credit counseling. Now what?

Congrats! Now you're ready for the petition review. If you found Upsolve directly, you can schedule a meeting with a member of our team. Sign in and use our scheduling tool. 

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I forgot to put a creditor on my bankruptcy forms that I filed. What should I do?

It’s always better to be sure that all of your creditors are listed in your bankruptcy paperwork that is filed with the Bankruptcy Court. But no matter how careful you are when completing your bankruptcy forms, mistakes like forgetting to list a debt can happen.

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If I surrender my vehicle, will I be responsible for any balance owed?

As long as you are surrendering you: - Are surrendering your vehicle voluntarily and - have indicated that you intent to surrender it on your forms,  *__you will not be responsible for any remaining amounts owed regardless of the car's value.__*

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Do you do Chapter 13?

No, Upsolve does not do Chapter 13 bankruptcies. 

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Bankruptcy Information You Need to Know

Bankruptcy does not need to be a complicated process. Here's basic bankruptcy information that you need to know.

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I received returned mail about my bankruptcy case. What should I do?

What you received is probably an "Official Form 309A Notice of Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Case -- No Proof of Claim."

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How much of my income can be garnished?

If a creditor is garnishing your wages for a judgment they have against you, then federal law says that the creditor can take no more than 25% of your disposable income, or the amount you earn that is greater than 30 times the federal minimum wage, whichever is less. 

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I finished Course 2. Now what?

You need to prepare and attend [your 341 meeting](https:///hc/en-us/articles/360005457893-What-do-I-need-to-bring-to-my-341-meeting-or-my-meeting-of-the-creditors- "your 341 meeting"). 

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What is a Consumer Protection Attorney?

A consumer protection attorney may help you protect your rights under one or many consumer protection laws. If you need to file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case, we can help you file your case if you cannot afford to hire an attorney to help you file for bankruptcy relief.

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What if I'm afraid to file for bankruptcy?

Many people in the United States are afraid to file for bankruptcy because they do not understand that most people who file are financially better off in the long run. After filing, most people see their debt erased and their credit scores improved. If their wages are garnished due to judgments, bankruptcy stops wage garnishment. Bankruptcy also improves employment outcomes.

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My credit is really bad. Will bankruptcy help?

The vast majority of people who have low credit scores see their credit scores increase post-bankruptcy. For academic research on this subject, check out [this study](https://www.newyorkfed.org/medialibrary/media/research/staff_reports/sr725.pdf "this study"). 

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I'm on SSI. How much does bankruptcy cost?

If the only income you get each month is from SSI, bankruptcy is 100% free for you to file. Upsolve is totally free for you to use, and the court does not charge you any money for the filing fee. 

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Should I File for Bankruptcy after a Foreclosure?

Many people consider filing for bankruptcy after their homes are foreclosed. Bankruptcy can get rid of any remaining debt once you sell your home.

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Finding Bankruptcy Paperwork for your Chapter 7 Case

Filing for bankruptcy can be complicated. This article gives tips on how to find the right paperwork to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

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I already took my credit counseling course.

That's great! Just upload your certificate when we ask for it after the questionnaire.

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Bankruptcy Filings in America - 2017

Millions of Americans have found debt relief through bankruptcy. In fact, thousands of Americans file each month.

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Do I need to order my credit report?

Nope. Upsolve orders your credit report for you from 2 of the 3 major bureaus and we show you the list of the creditors that's on them, along with the amounts you owe. 

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Can bankruptcy help with payday loans?

Filing for Chapter 7 triggers the Automatic Stay which prevents the payday loan company from trying to collect the debt. If it is later discharged, you are no longer obligated to pay it back.

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How Will Chapter 7 Affect My Employment?

You cannot be fired simply because you filed for bankruptcy. In fact, employers usually don’t learn about it and it is illegal for an employer to discriminate based on your past filing history.

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What should I do if a creditor tries to collect a debt during my bankruptcy?

Filing bankruptcy means that you shouldn't have to deal with creditors or debt collectors for a while.

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Is Upsolve free?

Yes, Upsolve is 100% free to use. We're a nonprofit funded by the government and charities. If you want to donate to us after you file for bankruptcy, we'd love your support. 

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How do I file my bankruptcy forms by mail?

We recommend bringing your bankruptcy forms to your local bankruptcy court to file in person. If you can't do that, you can mail the forms. 

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What is Community Property?

Property owned by a married couple is always one of two types - Marital or Separate. Generally, *__"Marital Property"__* is anything that you earned or acquired while married unless you and your spouse agreed otherwise. *__"Separate Property"__* varies from state to state.

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I finished the interview/questionnaire. What's my next step?

You need to complete the document upload section. We ask you to upload your tax returns, if you filed them. Congrats on finishing the hardest part. 

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Can I make edits later in the process?

Yes, you can definitely make edits later in the process. But please try to answer all the questions correctly the first time around to save time. You are the one filing your own forms, so you will always have full ownership around filing your own forms.  

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What is Bankruptcy Fraud?

Bankruptcy Fraud is not making a math mistake or accidentally omitting a debt or asset. It’s intentionally deceiving the court during the bankruptcy process.

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How do I save information I've already inputted?

Everything you input is automatically saved. Feel free to leave and come back. 

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How does bankruptcy affect property that's collateral?

Your options for property used as collateral for a loan are pretty much the same as those for your financed vehicles. You can redeem the property by paying the market value for it, or you can surrender the property and have the debt erased. Unlike with vehicles, however, you cannot reaffirm the loan.

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I have a judgement and my wages are being garnished. Should notice be sent to the creditor's attorney and the Sheriff?

Yes, you should send notice to the creditor or their attorney as well as to the Sheriff. Filing bankruptcy puts an automatic stay on all collections activities, including garnishments.

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Does a laptop count as a household good?

No. Include your laptop in when the questionnaire asks you about the electronics that you own. 

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What to do if a creditor is harassing me after my discharge?

Creditors are not allowed to do this unless the judge told them that they could at some point during your bankruptcy process. Check the "Notice of Discharge" that you received at the end of your bankruptcy process.

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Is Upsolve my lawyer?

Upsolve is not your lawyer. A lawyer will review your case to make sure that it's ready to be filed with the court. But this lawyer is not technically "your lawyer" in the eyes of the court. You are filing for bankruptcy on your own. 

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Does bankruptcy help with wage garnishment?

In many cases, yes. If you were sued for your credit card or medical debt, and your wages are being garnished as a result of this lawsuit, then bankruptcy can stop wage garnishment. The same may apply to older tax debts. 

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Keeping Your Credit Card in a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

There are ways to keep or obtain a credit card despite your bankruptcy. Reaffirmation agreements are one of main ways to keep your card.

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Can I request a tax transcript from the IRS?

Yes. You can order your tax transcript if you do not have it by going to the [IRS website](https://www.irs.gov/individuals/get-transcript "irs website"). 

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Will bankruptcy stop a levy?

In most cases, bankruptcy can help pause and then erase the debts that cause you to have a levy on your account.

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Can you help me if I'm not computer literate?

Unfortunately, we cannot help you if you're not computer literate. Please try going to your local legal aid. 

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What happens to my automatic stay if my case is dismissed?

*__The automatic stay will not go back into effect until the judge grants your motion to re-instate the case.__*

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How do I know if my fee is waived?

For the $335 court fee, you'll get a notice in the mail that tells you if your fee is waived.

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Do you handle adversarial proceedings?

If you use Upsolve to file your bankruptcy and you need help in an adversarial proceeding, we will do our best to find you a pro bono attorney to help you.

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How To Deal With The Stress Of Bankruptcy

The stress leading up to bankruptcy can often be overwhelming and difficult to mange. Many people struggle with the emotional toll of being in a lot of debt. Luckily, you’re not alone and bankruptcy is a great way to get relief after difficult times.

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How does bankruptcy affect property that you used as collateral for a loan?

Your options for property used as collateral for a loan are [pretty much the same as those for your financed vehicles](https://help.upsolve.org/hc/en-us/articles/360005811714 "pretty much the same as those for your financed vehicles"). You can redeem the property by paying the market value for it, or you can surrender the property and have the debt erased. *__Unlike with vehicles, however, you cannot reaffirm the loan.__*

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How will bankruptcy impact my student financial aid?

In general, filing bankruptcy will only impact student loans that you take out after filing. Bankruptcy does not discharge the majority of student loans. Student loans and bankruptcy are a little complicated.

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What type of debt can I erase in Chapter 7 bankruptcy?

Most debts can be erased in Chapter 7 bankruptcy, including: - Credit card debt - Medical debt - Most judgments from collection lawsuits - Personal loans - Utilities bills - Phone bills

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On my bankruptcy forms, should I list debts that appear on my credit report but I don't owe?

You should list debts on your bankruptcy forms that are on your credit report even if you don't think you owe them.

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How to Break into Legal Tech as a Law Student

In 2018, venture capitalist invested over $1 billion into legal tech. There's never been a better time to think about finding a job at the intersection of tech and law.

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Bankruptcy Assistance for Furloughed Federal Workers

Since the furlough, we’ve heard the stories of thousands of federal employees struggling with debt who could use a fresh start. Here’s what you need to know about it’s pros and cons.

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What Happens to My IRS Tax Debt If I File Bankruptcy?

The most common of all of debts owed to the IRS is back, or unpaid, income taxes. Chapter 7 bankruptcy is an option if your tax debt meets certain requirements.

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What happens if I paid someone back in the year before bankruptcy?

First of all, kudos for being the kind of person who honors their debts and cares about maintaining relationships! When you are struggling with your finances, it can be difficult to pay the money you owe -- especially when you feel like you have to choose between paying back credit card companies and paying back the people you love.

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How much debt do I need to file for bankruptcy?

To qualify for Upsolve, you generally need to have at least $10,000 in debt. 

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Where can I find my nearest bankruptcy courthouse?

You can find it by going to [the official court locator](http://www.uscourts.gov/court-locator "the official court locator") and typing in your city, state, or zip code.  

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How long does it take my debt to be discharged?

Your trustee meeting takes place 21-40 days after you file for bankruptcy. Then, about 60 after your trustee meeting, your debt will be officially discharged. 

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How do I make changes to the questionnaire after finishing?

You cannot go back in the questionnaire. But you'll have a chance to review and revise all of your answers before filing at the end. 

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Do I get to talk to an attorney?

You will either talk to an attorney or a paralegal that's supervised by an attorney. No member of the Upsolve team will ever give you legal advice. We do, however, refer out questions that require legal advice. 

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Do I own my vehicle? What percentage of it do I own?

Whether or not you own your vehicle depends on whether you purchased it using a loan or leased it from a dealer or other agency.

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I can’t find my pay stubs. What should I do?

First, you should contact your employer and try to get your pay stubs from them. If that's not possible, just indicate on our questionnaire that you cannot locate your pay stubs and tell us why. It is okay to tell us that you're paid in cash. Always be truthful. 

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Where can I find my case number?

You can find your case number on your paperwork that you get back from the court after you file for bankruptcy. 

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Will we have to pay a lawyer?

No. If you use Upsolve, you will not have to pay any lawyer anything to file for bankruptcy. 

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Can Upsolve help me file for an adversary proceeding?

*__Unfortunately, No__*. Upsolve can help debtors file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy but we are unable to help debtors with adversary proceedings or other related filings.

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Do I need a password to log in?

Upsolve only requires you to use a password when you log into your questionnaire. For everything else, you only need to use your email address. 

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Can I go back?

Once you have started answering questions in the interview, you cannot go back and adjust past answers without losing your work. 

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I finished the document upload. Now what?

You need to complete the credit counseling course. It's offered at [DebtorCC](http://bit.ly/2kQEQFx "debtorcc"). This is the last thing you need to do before you can review your bankruptcy forms. 

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I might be moving to a new state. Should I wait to file until after I move?

If you plan to move out of state within the next three months, *__it is usually better to wait to file unless your 341 meeting would occur before your move.__*

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My son needs to file for chapter 7 bankruptcy. What should I do?

Tell your son to go to [upsolve.org](https://upsolve.org "upsolve.org") and click the green button that says "See If You Qualify."

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Will my family, who I live with for free, learn about my bankruptcy?

Probably not. In general, family members are not notified of your bankruptcy unless (1) you owe them money, (2) they are jointly liable for one of your debts, or (3) you have a continuing contract or lease with them.

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Can I Keep My Property If I File for Bankruptcy?

Most people who file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy end up keeping all their property. But that’s by no mean a given. Before filing for bankruptcy, it’s very important to know which exemptions will apply to your property and whether they can protect your property.

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Can the trustee seize money that I received after I filed?

That depends on four things: 1. Whether the funds were an unexpected gift, 2. When you became entitled to receive those funds if they were not a gift, 3. Whether you reported them on your bankruptcy filing,  4. And whether you have remaining exemptions that can cover the funds.

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Do I meet with an attorney?

An attorney will review your forms before you file them with the court. But you will not be meeting with an attorney face-to-face. If we had an attorney meet face-to-face with each user, we would not be able to help nearly as many people as we seek to help.

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When will I receive my final petition after the questionnaire?

At the end of the questionnaire, you will: 1. Upload any tax returns and paystubs you have, 2. Complete Credit Counseling Course #1, and 3. Choose a filing date.

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Can I Get a Job, Housing, and Benefits if I File For Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?

Many people feel that the consequences of bankruptcy will extend to their life, work and income. However, the vast majority will keep their day-to-day lives intact without issue.

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Do I need to list my landlord?

Yes, you need to list your landlord. This is required by the bankruptcy courts. 

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What is some research on the benefits of bankruptcy?

If you’re interested in the research around how bankruptcy helps low-income Americans, here are seven articles you should reach. The articles discuss how bankruptcy improves credit scores, employment outcomes, and future earnings. They also mention how bankruptcy stops wage garnishment and serves as a lifeline for people trapped in a cycle of poverty.

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Should I list debts that appear on my credit report but I don't owe?

Short answer: *__Yes.__* Longer answer: It's a good idea to list all of the debts from your credit report *__that have a balance__.* Your credit report probably includes debts you have paid off -- you do not need to include these.

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I received my counseling certificate from a different course.

That's great! Just upload it when we ask for your certificate after the questionnaire. 

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Will I get to keep my property during my bankruptcy?

When you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the court lets you keep your property up until a certain amount. One of the biggest misconceptions of bankruptcy is that you will lose everything you own. That’s not true.

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I made a mistake on my questionnaire. What am I supposed to do?

Don't worry, you're going to have a chance to review all of your answers. You can correct your mistake there. Just keep a note of your mistake and keep following the Upsolve directions.

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When is the trustee meeting, also called my 341 meeting?

Your trustee meeting will take place between 21 and 40 days after you file for bankruptcy. 

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My screen is blank, what should I do?

First, make sure you're not using Internet Explorer or Microsoft Edge as your web browsers. If you are, please try using another web browser like Google Chrome. 

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Should I list the original credit card, or the debt collection agency?

When you're listing the companies that you owe money to, you should list current owner of the debt. So if a debt collection agency bought your debt from the original credit card you owe money to, you should list the debt collection agency. 

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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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