Jonathan Petts, Esq

Jonathan Petts, Esq

Bankruptcy Attorney

View All Authors

Should I File for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?

If you can’t pay your debts, or think you’ll soon be unable to do so due to a loss in income, you may be wondering whether you should file bankruptcy. Chapter 7 bankruptcy is a powerful debt relief tool but it’s not right for everyone. Let’s take a look at some things you should consider when deciding your next steps. 

Read More →

How to File Bankruptcy in 2020 for Free: 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 Chapter 7 bankruptcy and get your fresh start in 10 steps.

Read More →

Should I File for Bankruptcy for Credit Card Debt?

Credit card debt can prevent you from paying your day-to-day living expenses. By filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case, you can get rid of credit card debt while protecting your property. However, you need to qualify for Chapter 7 by having income that is below the average median income in your state.

Read More →

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. 

Read More →

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.

Read More →

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.

Read More →

6 Things about the Automatic Stay Everyone filing Bankruptcy Should Know

11 U.S.C. § 362 is the technical name of the section of the bankruptcy law that protects all filers from creditor actions while their case is pending. You may have heard of this referred to as the automatic stay. The automatic stay is codified in Section 362 of Title 11 of the United States Code, which is abbreviated as U.S.C. Title 11 of the United States Code. Title 11 is also known as the Bankruptcy Code. Let’s take a deep dive into how 11 U.S.C. § 362 protects bankruptcy filers, what you can do if a creditor violates the automatic stay and what exceptions to the automatic stay protections you should be aware of before filing your bankruptcy case.

Read More →

How will bankruptcy impact my student financial aid?

Whether you’re still at the beginning of your career and looking to improve your knowledge in your field by going to school or heading back to school to change your career altogether, chances are you’re worried about whether filing for bankruptcy protection will limit your options when it comes to getting student loans. This article will explore the impact of filing bankruptcy on someone’s ability to get a new student loan and provide some additional context about a filer’s ability to discharge student loans in bankruptcy.

Read More →

What are the filing instructions?

1. Review -- go to [my.upsolve.org](https://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.

Read More →

Can I file bankruptcy with my spouse through Upsolve?

Unfortunately, due to limitations in our software, Upsolve cannot assist couples with a joint filing. But, you can use Upsolve to file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy without your spouse.

Read More →

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.

Read More →

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.

Read More →

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.

Read More →

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.

Read More →

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.

Read More →

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 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.

Read More →

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.

Read More →

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. 

Read More →

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.

Read More →

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.

Read More →

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.

Read More →

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.

Read More →

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

Read More →

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.

Read More →

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.

Read More →

Can Bankruptcy Stop Foreclosure?

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

Read More →

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.

Read More →

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.

Read More →

What is bankruptcy fraud?

Bankruptcy fraud is a broad term that describes a variety of actions that filers sometimes take to get an unfair advantage. Depending on what form that fraud takes, it’s considered a crime and is punishable by up to 5 years in federal prison and a (non-dischargeable) fine of up to $250,000. This article will explore some common types of bankruptcy fraud and provide you with some guidance on how you can avoid making choices that - while perfectly normal and legal generally - might rise to the level of bankruptcy fraud.

Read More →

Does Bankruptcy Clear Judgments?

Chapter 7 bankruptcy can eliminate many unsecured debts. Some unsecured debt can even be discharged in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy case. But, what happens if credit card debt, medical bills, personal loans, or other unsecured debt is reduced to judgment? When a creditor or debt buyer files a lawsuit and gets a judgment against you, that generally doesn’t change whether the debt is dischargeable. That means some judgment debts are dischargeable and some are nondischargeable. The question becomes a bit more complicated if the creditor gets a judgment lien on your property. But, you may be able to avoid judgment liens in bankruptcy, keep your property, and discharge the debt. Here’s how it works.

Read More →

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.

Read More →

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.

Read More →

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.

Read More →

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.

Read More →

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.

Read More →

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.

Read More →

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.

Read More →

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.

Read More →

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.

Read More →

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.

Read More →

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.

Read More →

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.

Read More →

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.

Read More →

Will bankruptcy stop a levy?

If creditors are threatening to levy your bank account, you may be worried about how you are going to pay your bills and living expenses if a creditor takes your money. You may have been searching for ways that you can stop a levy when you came across information about bankruptcy filings. Can bankruptcy stop a levy? Should you file a Chapter 7 case to stop a levy? What if you cannot afford to hire a bankruptcy attorney to stop a levy? Can you still stop a levy without a bankruptcy attorney? All of these are important questions to be asking yourself. Let’s go over some important information about levies and ways you can stop a levy.

Read More →

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.

Read More →

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. 

Read More →

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. 

Read More →

Is Upsolve a petition preparer?

No. Upsolve is a non-profit that provides a free self-service software tool for low-income Americans filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy without an attorney. Upsolve is not a bankruptcy petition preparer.

Read More →

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.

Read More →

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.

Read More →

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.

Read More →

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.

Read More →

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.

Read More →

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.

Read More →

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.

Read More →

Bankruptcy Filings in America - 2017

Bankruptcy Filings in America continue to be an effective way for many people to obtain debt relief. Congress enacted the to allow Americans to file for bankruptcy relief. help people who have suffered a financial crisis that they cannot overcome without assistance. Upsolve helps individuals file bankruptcy cases to resolve their debt problems. You can file a bankruptcy case to obtain the debt relief you need.

Read More →

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.

Read More →

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

No. Even if the car is sold for much less than what you owe on the loan, your personal liability to pay the loan is discharged.

Read More →

Do you help with amended filings?

Yes, if you filed your case after going through Upsolve to prepare your bankruptcy forms, we can help. For instructions on how to use our free web app to prepare your amendment, please visit help.upsolve.org and use the "Submit a Request" feature in the top right corner to send us a message. If you did not use Upsolve to file for bankruptcy in the first place, you unfortunately can't use Upsolve to generate your amendment(s).

Read More →

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.

Read More →

Do I meet with an attorney?

No. Upsolve is a free online self-service software tool for people to file bankruptcy on their own.

Read More →

Is Upsolve free?

Yes, Upsolve is 100% free to use. We're a nonprofit funded by the government and charities.

Read More →

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.

Read More →

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.

Read More →

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.

Read More →

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.  

Read More →

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.

Read More →

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. 

Read More →

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.*__

Read More →

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."

Read More →

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.  

Read More →

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.

Read More →

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.

Read More →

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.

Read More →

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").

Read More →

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.

Read More →

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.

Read More →

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.

Read More →

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.

Read More →

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.

Read More →

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. 

Read More →

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.

Read More →

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.

Read More →

Can I start over?

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

Read More →

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.

Read More →

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.

Read More →

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.

Read More →

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. 

Read More →

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. 

Read More →

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. 

Read More →

Do you do things other than bankruptcy?

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

Read More →

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. 

Read More →

Does this cost money?

No. Upsolve is totally free. 

Read More →

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. 

Read More →

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.

Read More →

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. 

Read More →

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.

Read More →

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. 

Read More →

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. 

Read More →

Do you do Chapter 13?

No, Upsolve does not do Chapter 13 bankruptcies. 

Read More →

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."

Read More →

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"). 

Read More →

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.

Read More →

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"). 

Read More →

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. 

Read More →

I already took my credit counseling course.

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

Read More →

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. 

Read More →

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.

Read More →

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.

Read More →

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. 

Read More →

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. 

Read More →

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.  

Read More →

How do I save information I've already inputted?

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

Read More →

Does a laptop count as a household good?

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

Read More →

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.

Read More →

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. 

Read More →

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"). 

Read More →

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. 

Read More →

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.__*

Read More →

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.

Read More →

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.

Read More →

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

Read More →

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.

Read More →

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.

Read More →

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.  

Read More →

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. 

Read More →

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. 

Read More →

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. 

Read More →

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. 

Read More →

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. 

Read More →

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. 

Read More →

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. 

Read More →

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. 

Read More →

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.__*

Read More →

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.

Read More →

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.

Read More →

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.

Read More →

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.

Read More →

I received my counseling certificate from a different course.

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

Read More →

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.

Read More →

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.

Read More →

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. 

Read More →

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. 

Read More →

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. 

Read More →

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.