Attorney Karra Kingston

Attorney Karra Kingston

NY & NJ Bankruptcy Attorney

Ms. Kingston began her career as a bankruptcy attorney. She has appeared in front of many federal court judges and has helped numerous debtors obtain a fresh start. Ms. Kingston understands the complex federal rules for discharging debt. While working as a bankruptcy attorney, Ms. Kingston’s dedication has resulted in settlements of large debts for clients at 20-30 percent of what they owed. She has also dedicated a great deal of her time helping clients facing foreclosure keep their homes through the process known as Loss Mitigation. Ms. Kingston has won loan modifications for her clients inside and outside of the bankruptcy courts. She has answered bankruptcy and debt relief questions for local and national publications including Fox Business, the Star-Ledger, NJ.com, and NJMoneyHelp.com.


All ArticlesAfter BankruptcyBankruptcy BasicsBefore FilingCarsChapter 11Chapter 13Chapter 7DebtsDeciding To FileDuring Bankruptcy CaseHow To FileLeasesMeans TestNon BankruptcyProperty ExemptionsTaxesWage Garnishment

Articles written by Attorney Karra Kingston

Staying In A Rental After Bankruptcy

If you are behind on your monthly rent payments, the bankruptcy process can provide different ways to help get you back on the right financial path. This article will discuss how to stay in an apartment after bankruptcy whether you are up to date or behind on your monthly rent payments.

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Converting a Chapter 13 to a Chapter 7 bankruptcy

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

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Can I Discharge Tickets, Fines & Tolls in Bankruptcy in 2020?

If you have any traffic tickets or court fines, then filing bankruptcy may help you get out of debt. You will first need to determine which Chapter of bankruptcy will be most helpful in your situation. At Upsolve we provide the tools you need to file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy without the help of a bankruptcy lawyer. If you feel more comfortable using a bankruptcy lawyer we can help you find one.

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Chapter 13 and Your Credit Report: What You Need to Know in 2020

Bankruptcy provides relief to those who can’t afford to pay their debts as they come due. Oftentimes folks filing bankruptcy have fallen behind on their debt payments and their credit score has already taken the hit. But, that’s not always the case and this is especially true for folks filing Chapter 13 to reorganize their debt, rather than eliminate it completely through [Chapter 7 bankruptcy](https://upsolve.org/learn/chapter-7-versus-chapter-13-bankruptcy/). This article will explore the effect of Chapter 13 bankruptcy on your credit report and credit score.

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What Your Bank Statements Tell the Bankruptcy Trustee (Updated 2020)

Even though it is not a formal requirement under the Bankruptcy Code, most Chapter 7 bankruptcy trustees ask filers to provide them with a copy of their bank account statement before the 341 meeting. Many ask for the statement that covers the filing date while some request several months of bank statements. Why are the trustees requesting this information?  It’s not to see how much you spent on take-out last month or to judge you for buying your lunch at the QuickTrip by your work every day. Instead, they’re looking for information that may not be anywhere else on your bankruptcy forms. Let’s find out what that might be! 

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Completing Debtor Education After Filing Chapter 13

Everyone seeking Chapter 13 bankruptcy relief has to complete a mandatory credit counseling class before their case can be filed with the bankruptcy court. This has to be done in the 6 months before the case is filed. But what about the second required course? What is that all about and when is the best time to take it? Keep reading to find out.

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Am I responsible for my business’s debts?

Running a small business can be difficult, and sometimes businesses fail. Many small business owners that are struggling and look to bankruptcy as a tool to help them get out of debt. Many small business owners often wonder “Am I personally liable for the debts incurred because of my business?” To answer that question, we first need to define personal liability as it relates to bankruptcy.

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What is a tax return?

It is important to take all the necessary steps to make sure that you have copies of your tax returns or transcripts when you file for bankruptcy. Your tax returns will give the Bankruptcy Court and your Trustee an idea of your financial history. To ensure your bankruptcy case goes smoothly make sure to locate copies of them before filing your bankruptcy case, so you don’t have to rush later.

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Can A Debt Collector Take Me to Court?

A debt collector will make several attempts to collect on an outstanding debt before initiating a lawsuit. If you are worried about a debt collector taking you to court,, it’s important to understand your rights. This article will discuss whether debt collectors can take you to court, the steps to take if you are sued by a collection agency, and how to handle your debt-related challenges.

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Will a Judgment Creditor Take My Car?

The short answer to the question, “Can a judgment creditor take my car?” is “Maybe.” Generally, creditors will only take a vehicle if your car has value.

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What Personal Property Can be Seized When a Creditor Has a Judgment

Judgment creditors are empowered to seize the personal property of judgment debtors if their property doesn't fall within an exemption. Generally, creditors will not take your personal property because the cost and time of locating the property is usually not worth it to them.

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Bankruptcy Issues Gay and Lesbian Same-Sex Couples Face

Since Obergefell, bankruptcy laws have treated all married couples the same, no matter the spouses' sexual orientation. As a result, same-sex couples have the right to choose whether they want to file for bankruptcy jointly with their spouse or separately.

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What If I Have a Car Accident During My Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Case?

Getting into a car accident during a Chapter 7 bankruptcy can make an already stressful situation even more stressful. This article will discuss those concerns and what happens after a car accident after filing bankruptcy.

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Can A Creditor Force the Sale of My Home to Pay A Judgment?

If you own a home, you may be wondering if a creditor can force the sale of your real property to pay off a judgment against you. A judgment awards a debt collector or creditor a court order that can be used to collect the funds they are owed via garnishment or bank account levy. This article explores judgment liens and how they can impact your home ownership.

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What are the Alabama Bankruptcy Exemptions?

When you file for bankruptcy you will learn that there are two sets of exemptions that states can use. The federal bankruptcy exemptions and state exemptions. Congress enacted the federal exemptions and gave states the option to allow their residents to use those exemptions. Alabama only allows filers to use the Alabama exemptions, not the federal exemptions. So, if you plan to file bankruptcy in Alabama, you will only be allowed to use the Alabama exemptions. Alabama exemptions can be found in the Alabama Code. Alabama exemption amounts are adjusted for inflation every three years. The next change will go into effect on July 1, 2020. In addition to Alabama's state exemptions, filers are able to use the federal nonbankruptcy exemptions to protect certain retirement accounts and disability benefits.

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What Type of Bankruptcy Should I File If I Have Assets?

If you are considering bankruptcy to help tackle your debt, your exemptions and assets will play a vital role in determining which type of bankruptcy you should file and what will happen to your property. This article will discuss what an asset is and why it matters when filing bankruptcy.

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What are the Washington Bankruptcy Exemptions?

There are federal bankruptcy exemptions and state exemptions that folks can choose from when filing bankruptcy. When Congress enacted the federal law on bankruptcy, they gave the states the discretion to decide if they wanted to use the federal bankruptcy exemptions or the state exemptions. Washington allows you to choose between the federal exemptions and the state exemptions. This means people filing bankruptcy in Washington can choose which set of exemptions is better to protect their assets. Keep in mind that Washington exemptions and the federal exemptions set forth in the Bankruptcy Code can’t be used together. Filers are required to pick one or the other. If you decide to use the state exemptions, you will be able to use the federal nonbankruptcy exemptions to protect certain retirement accounts and disability benefits.

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What are the Tennessee bankruptcy exemptions?

When Congress enacted the bankruptcy laws, it gave states the option to choose how they wanted filers to exempt their property. States were given the option to choose between allowing the federal exemptions set forth in the Bankruptcy Code and state exemptions. Some states allow filers to choose which exemption they want to use. Tennessee is not one of these states. If you are looking to file bankruptcy and exempt your property in Tennessee, you will be limited to Tennessee’s exemptions only. Tennessee law does not allow you to use the federal exemptions to protect property of the bankruptcy estate. One exception to this rule is that you can use the federal nonbankruptcy exemptions to protect certain retirement accounts and disability benefits.

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What are the Pennsylvania Bankruptcy Exemptions?

As mentioned above, when you file for bankruptcy you will need to determine whether to use the federal or Pennsylvania bankruptcy exemptions. As you fill out your bankruptcy petition, you will need to go through each of your assets and determine which set of exemptions fits best. Pennsylvania is one of the few states that allows you to choose which exemptions to use. Pennsylvania law allows you to either pick the federal or state exemptions, but you can’t use both. If you choose to use the Pennsylvania exemptions, you will only be able to use the federal nonbankruptcy exemptions to protect certain qualifying retirement accounts and disability benefits for public employees and military personnel. To stop people from fraudulently moving to different states to file bankruptcy where the exemptions are more favorable for them, the Bankruptcy Code requires you to be a Pennsylvania resident for at least 730 days (two years) to use Pennsylvania’s exemption scheme.

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What are the New York Bankruptcy Exemptions?

New York does allow consumers filing bankruptcy to use the federal bankruptcy exemptions. The Bankruptcy Code has implemented rules that require consumers to either choose either the federal or state exemptions meaning, they can’t use both at the same time. Moreover, you will need to have lived in New York for at least 730 days (two years) to be able to use the New York exemptions. Congress implemented this rule to stop people from gaming the system and moving to a different state just to be able to use more generous exemptions.

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What are the Missouri Bankruptcy Exemptions?

The most important thing you will need to educate yourself before filing bankruptcy is what bankruptcy exemptions you will need to use. Bankruptcy exemptions allow you to keep your property. When filing bankruptcy there are two types of bankruptcy exemptions you will need to be aware of - federal exemptions and state exemptions. When Congress enacted bankruptcy laws, they implemented federal bankruptcy exemptions to allow filers to protect their property. At the same time, they allowed each State the opportunity to choose whether they want to use the federal exemptions or to opt-out if not. If you file bankruptcy in Missouri, you will learn that Missouri is an “opt-out” state. This means that Missouri opted out of allowing filers to use the federal bankruptcy exemptions. You can use the federal nonbankruptcy exemptions to protect certain qualifying retirement benefits, death benefits, and veterans’ benefits.

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What are the Minnesota Bankruptcy Exemptions?

When you file a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy you will learn that there are two types of exemptions that you can use. In Minnesota, you can use both federal bankruptcy exemptions and Minnesota bankruptcy exemptions. When Congress enacted the bankruptcy laws, they allowed states to decide if they wanted to opt into using the federal exemptions. Minnesota is considered an “opt-in” state because you can choose to use either exemption. If you choose to use Minnesota’s bankruptcy exemptions, you may also use the federal nonbankruptcy exemptions to protect retirement accounts and disability benefits. These additional exemptions can’t be used if you choose to use the federal bankruptcy exemptions.

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What are the Maryland Bankruptcy Exemptions?

When Congress enacted the bankruptcy laws they created federal bankruptcy exemptions while at the same time, giving states the opportunity to decide if they want to use federal exemptions or create their own. A little less than half of the states allow filers to use either the federal bankruptcy exemptions or the state exemptions to protect their real property and personal property. Maryland requires filers who have lived in the state for at least 2 years to use the state exemptions. This means that to protect your property you will need to claim Maryland’s bankruptcy exemptions. Although you can’t use the federal bankruptcy exemptions contained in the Bankruptcy Code, you will be able to use the federal nonbankruptcy exemptions. The nonbankruptcy exemptions allow you to protect retirement accounts that are typically linked to a government job.

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What are the Indiana Bankruptcy Exemptions?

Most people are unaware that there are two types of exemptions that can be used if you file bankruptcy. When Congress enacted bankruptcy laws they allowed states to choose if they wanted to allow their residents to use the federal bankruptcy exemptions or state specific exemptions to keep their property. Indiana is one of the states that only allows filers to use the Indiana bankruptcy exemptions. So, when you fill out your bankruptcy forms, you will need to make sure that you are using the Indiana exemptions, not federal exemptions. One exception to this rule is that you can use the federal nonbankruptcy exemptions to protect certain retirement accounts and disability benefits. Keep in mind that choosing the right exemption to use is essential for your case to run smoothly.

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What Are the Georgia Bankruptcy Exemptions?

When you file for bankruptcy you will learn that there are federal bankruptcy exemptions and state exemptions. Georgia does not allow you to use the federal exemptions. So, if you plan to file bankruptcy in Georgia, you will be limited to using only the Georgia exemptions. One exception to this rule is that you can use the federal nonbankruptcy exemptions to protect certain retirement accounts and disability benefits.

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What is Monthly Net Income and How Will It Affect My Bankruptcy Case?

Net income is your income after deductions are taken out. Simply put, net income is your take-home pay, what you deposit into your bank account on payday. Generally, a paycheck stub will show all deductions from your income, including taxes, insurance, income tax, and FICA and other deductions that may come out your gross income, such as health insurance. The total amount left over after these deductions is the net income.

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What is A Chapter 11 Reorganization Plan?

A Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization plan lays out how the filer will pay their debt obligations moving forward. It gives the filer the chance to restructure and renegotiate the terms of paying back creditors.

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Can Filing Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Help Get Back Garnished Wages?

Many people who end up with a wage garnishment are already strapped for cash and can’t afford to have money taken out of their checks every week. Filing for bankruptcy is one of the ways to stop a wage garnishment.

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Why you should not include credit card or personal loan debt payments in Schedule J (Expenses)

Since Schedule J is essentially a budget for life after bankruptcy and since you will not continue to pay your debts after filing for bankruptcy, don’t list your monthly credit card payments etc. on your Schedule J. Anything that gets discharged in your case, that you won’t continue to pay for should be left off your Schedule J.

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Should I keep paying my credit cards if I’m going to file bankruptcy?

It’s important to understand that you don’t have to be late on credit card payments to file bankruptcy. But at the same time, if you are really facing a hardship and are struggling to make ends meet each month then it is absolutely ok to fall behind on payments before filing bankruptcy.

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Can bankruptcy help me get my car back after repossession?

If your car has been repossessed, you’re probably stressed out and worried. If you have fallen behind on your payments and are wondering if bankruptcy can help get your vehicle back, the simple answer is yes, though it doesn’t always make sense to do so. If your car has been repossessed, [bankruptcy can help](https://upsolve.org/learn/should-i-file-bankruptcy-after-repo/ "bankruptcy can help you") you get it back as long as you quickly take action to recover your vehicle.

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Can bankruptcy help me get my car back after a repossession?

Filing bankruptcy may allow you to get a car back after it has been repossessed. This article explores how this might work in Chapter 7 vs. Chapter 13 bankruptcy and why it may not always be a good idea to try.

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Do I Need to Include My Spouse’s Income and Expenses?

Married couples don’t have to file bankruptcy together. Depending on their situation, it may make sense for only one spouse to file. This article explains what information the filer needs to include with respect to their spouse’s income and expenses.

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3 Steps to getting a fee waiver in bankruptcy court (Guide)

If you can’t pay the filing fee, you may be able to get the filing fee waived, if you’re eligible, or pay the fee in installments after filing your bankruptcy case, once you’re protected by the automatic stay. Here we discuss the different fee-waiver forms you will need and how to fill them out.

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How to Fix a Mistake on your Bankruptcy Forms After Filing

When you file for bankruptcy and submit your forms you testify under oath that your forms are true and correct. If your [bankruptcy forms](https://upsolve.org/learn/chapter-7-bankruptcy-forms-explained "bankruptcy forms") have inaccuracies and you don’t fix your mistake, the Bankruptcy Court may assume that you’re purposely trying to hide information. Making an amendment to your forms is simple and shows the Court that you made a mistake.

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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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