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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 FileMeans TestNon BankruptcyProperty ExemptionsTaxesWage Garnishment

Articles written by Attorney Karra Kingston

Do I Need To Include My Spouse’s Income and Expenses on My Bankruptcy Forms?

Written by Attorney Paige Hooper
Updated June 17, 2022

If you and your spouse are filing a joint bankruptcy, you have to include their income and expenses on all of the required bankruptcy forms. If you and your spouse live together, but your spouse isn’t filing bankruptcy with you, you still need to include their income and expenses on Schedules I and J and your Statement of Current Monthly Income.

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What Are the New York Bankruptcy Exemptions?

Written by Attorney Karra Kingston
Updated June 9, 2022

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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Can Bankruptcy Help Me Get My Car Back After Repossession?

Written by the Upsolve Team
Updated June 8, 2022

If your car was repossessed, filing bankruptcy may help you get it back, but you need to act fast. If the lender has already sold your vehicle at auction, you won't be able to get it back. Even if you can use bankruptcy to help you get your car back, you'll want to carefully weigh your options. If you can't afford to keep making your monthly car payment, it may not make sense to file bankruptcy just to get your car back because you can end up in the same situation again.

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Can I Discharge Tickets, Fines, and Tolls in Bankruptcy?

Written by Attorney Karra Kingston
Updated June 1, 2022

It's not easy to discharge most tickets and government fines in bankruptcy. Though it depends on what the tickets or fine was assessed for, many tickets and fines are non-dischargeable debts. That means you have to repay them even if your bankruptcy case is successful in discharging other debts like credit card or medical bills. That said, filing Chapter 13 bankruptcy can be a good way to manage non-dischargeable fines and fees. It can also help you get your driver’s license reinstated if it’s been suspended due to unpaid fines.

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3 Steps To Getting a Fee Waiver in Bankruptcy Court (Guide)

Written by Attorney Karra Kingston
Updated April 22, 2022

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

Written by Attorney Karra Kingston
Updated April 5, 2022

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 Washington Bankruptcy Exemptions?

Written by Attorney Karra Kingston
Updated April 1, 2022

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 Type of Bankruptcy Should I File If I Have Assets?

Written by Attorney Karra Kingston
Updated April 1, 2022

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 Tennessee Bankruptcy Exemptions?

Written by Attorney Karra Kingston
Updated April 1, 2022

Exemptions help bankruptcy filers protect their property and assets. If you're looking to file bankruptcy and exempt your property in Tennessee, you'll be limited to Tennessee’s exemptions only. Filers in Tennessee can't use the federal exemptions. That said, you can use federal nonbankruptcy exemptions to protect certain retirement accounts and disability benefits.

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What Are the Minnesota Bankruptcy Exemptions?

Written by Attorney Karra Kingston
Updated April 1, 2022

Exemptions are used to protect your property and assets as you go trhough bankruptcy. You can choose from two sets of exemptions when you file Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Minnesota — federal bankruptcy exemptions and Minnesota bankruptcy exemptions. If you choose to use Minnesota’s bankruptcy exemptions, you may also use the federal nonbankruptcy exemptions to protect retirement accounts and disability benefits.

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What Are the Alabama Bankruptcy Exemptions?

Written by Attorney Karra Kingston
Updated March 31, 2022

Alabama bankruptcy filers only have access to the state’s exemptions. Alabama doesn’t recognize federal bankruptcy exemptions. Alabama has a homestead exemption to help protect real property you own, like a home, and a wildcard exemption to protect personal property of your choosing. Alabama doesn’t have a motor vehicle exemption or special exemptions for home goods and furnishings. Filers in Alabama can also use the federal nonbankruptcy exemptions to protect certain benefits and retirement funds.

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What Are the Pennsylvania Bankruptcy Exemptions?

Written by Attorney Karra Kingston
Updated March 31, 2022

Pennsylvania allows bankruptcy filers to use either the state or federal bankruptcy exemptions. Pennsylvania’s state exemptions are more limited than the federal exemptions for most items. In fact, Pennsylvania doesn’t have a homestead or motor vehicle exemption but there are federal exemptions for these items. Pennsylvania offers a $300 wildcard exemption, but this is far less generous than the federal wildcard exemption.

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Should I Keep Paying My Credit Cards if I’m Going To File Bankruptcy?

Written by Attorney Paige Hooper
Updated February 7, 2022

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're facing a hardship and are struggling to make ends meet each month, it's absolutely ok to fall behind on payments before filing bankruptcy.

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

Written by Attorney Karra Kingston
Updated January 10, 2022

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. This article will explore the effect of Chapter 13 bankruptcy on your credit report and credit score.

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What Are the Maryland Bankruptcy Exemptions?

Written by Attorney Karra Kingston
Updated January 5, 2022

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?

Written by Attorney Karra Kingston
Updated January 5, 2022

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?

Written by Attorney Karra Kingston
Updated January 5, 2022

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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How to Fix a Mistake on your Bankruptcy Forms After Filing

Written by Attorney Karra Kingston
Updated December 9, 2021

When you file for bankruptcy and submit your forms you testify under oath that your forms are true and correct. If your 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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What Your Bank Statements Tell the Bankruptcy Trustee

Written by Attorney Karra Kingston
Updated December 6, 2021

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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Can a Debt Collector Take Me to Court?

Written by Attorney Karra Kingston
Updated November 29, 2021

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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What Is a Tax Return?

Written by Attorney Karra Kingston
Updated November 16, 2021

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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What are the Missouri Bankruptcy Exemptions?

Written by Attorney Karra Kingston
Updated November 6, 2021

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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Will a Judgment Creditor Take My Car?

Written by Attorney Karra Kingston
Updated October 8, 2021

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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Completing Debtor Education After Filing Chapter 13

Written by Attorney Karra Kingston
Updated September 23, 2020

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?

Written by Attorney Karra Kingston
Updated September 3, 2020

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

Written by Attorney Karra Kingston
Updated August 11, 2020

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

Written by Attorney Karra Kingston
Updated July 22, 2020

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?

Written by Attorney Karra Kingston
Updated July 22, 2020

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?

Written by Attorney Karra Kingston
Updated July 22, 2020

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)

Written by Attorney Karra Kingston
Updated July 22, 2020

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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How To Settle Your Debts in Louisiana

Written by Attorney Karra Kingston
Updated December 31, 2021

The rest of this guide will help you prepare to settle your debts for less than the full amount you owe. It will also give you other debt-relief options to consider if debt settlement isn’t a good option for you at this time.

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How To Settle Your Debts in Minnesota

Written by Attorney Karra Kingston
Updated December 3, 2021

Below, you will find all the tools you need to achieve financial freedom using a debt settlement company.  This article will discuss different resources for you to use to find a good debt settlement company to work with. You will also get a brief explanation of other debt management options that you may want to consider if debt settlement doesn’t sound like a good fit for you.

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How to Get Free Credit Counseling in Rhode Island

Written by Attorney Karra Kingston
Updated March 26, 2021

If you feel that you need help getting out of debt, follow these five steps to get free credit counseling in Rhode Island.

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How To Get Free Credit Counseling in Virginia

Written by Attorney Karra Kingston
Updated March 26, 2021

Do you need help with your debts? If so, You have come to the right place. Follow the five steps below to get begin your debt relief  journey.

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How to Get Free Credit Counseling in South Carolina

Written by Attorney Karra Kingston
Updated March 26, 2021

If becoming debt-free is your priority and are in search of a good credit counseling in South Carolina,  you have come to the right place. Follow these five steps to get started.

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How to Get Free Credit Counseling in Vermont

Written by Attorney Karra Kingston
Updated March 26, 2021

If you use an accredited credit counseling agency, your chances of finding a consumer friendly Vermont credit counselor to work with are usually good. Follow these five steps to help you with your search.

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How to Get Free Credit Counseling in Utah

Written by Attorney Karra Kingston
Updated March 25, 2021

If getting out of debt is your number one priority, then finding reputable credit counseling in Utah is your first step. Follow these five steps to get more information about credit counseling.

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How to Settle Your Debts in Pennsylvania

Written by Attorney Karra Kingston
Updated March 25, 2021

If you are convinced that debt settlement is right for you, follow the steps and information below to help you prepare for the process ahead. If you aren’t sure whether debt settlement is a good option for you, consider some of the debt management alternatives listed at the end of this guide.

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How to Settle Your Debts in North Dakota

Written by Attorney Karra Kingston
Updated March 25, 2021

Below, you will learn about all the steps you’ll need to take before you can settle your debts. You will also gain some insight into other money management and debt-relief options designed to help you achieve financial freedom.

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How to Settle Your Debts in Kentucky

Written by Attorney Karra Kingston
Updated March 25, 2021

If you are wondering how the Kentucky debt settlement process works, this guide will give you all the tools you need to learn the basics. Once you’re familiar with the process, you’ll be able to determine whether debt settlement is an approach that might work for you and your family. 

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How to Settle Your Debts in Washington

Written by Attorney Karra Kingston
Updated March 19, 2020

This guide will educate you about the debt settlement process. After you read how the process works, you will learn about alternative debt-relief options that may or may not better serve your unique financial situation.

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How to Settle Your Debts in Rhode Island

Written by Attorney Karra Kingston
Updated March 19, 2020

This guide will provide you with valuable information about the debt settlement process and about how to choose a reputable Rhode Island debt settlement company. It also contains an introduction into other debt-relief options that are available to you in the event that debt settlement isn’t a good fit for you or isn’t the only option you should be taking advantage of right now.

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How to Settle Your Debts in Missouri

Written by Attorney Karra Kingston
Updated March 18, 2020

If you’re interested in learning more about settling your debts, read on! You’ll learn about the debt settlement process, debt settlement companies, and alternatives to debt settlement in the sections below.

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How to Settle Your Debts in Wisconsin

Written by Attorney Karra Kingston
Updated February 25, 2020

Below, you will learn what you need to collect to ensure that the debt settlement process runs smoothly. You will also learn about other options available to you if debt settlement isn’t a good fit for your situation.

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How to Settle Your Debts in Oregon

Written by Attorney Karra Kingston
Updated February 24, 2020

Below, you will learn about what documents you will need to begin settling your debts. You will also benefit from a discussion about the fees associated with debt settlement and other debt relief options available to you.

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How To Get Free Credit Counseling in Texas

Written by Attorney Karra Kingston
Updated November 30, 2019

If the thought of getting out of debt sounds like music to your ears, follow these five steps to get the free credit counseling in Texas.

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How to Get Free Credit Counseling in Tennessee?

Written by Attorney Karra Kingston
Updated November 30, 2019

Becoming debt-free may seem nearly impossible right now. But, it’s not. As long as you find yourself good credit counseling in Tennessee, you will be on your way to a debt free life.

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How to Get Free Credit Counseling in South Dakota

Written by Attorney Karra Kingston
Updated November 30, 2019

If you need debt relief and want information on free credit counseling in South Dakota, you have come to the right place. Follow these five steps to start the process.

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How to Get Free Credit Counseling in Pennsylvania

Written by Attorney Karra Kingston
Updated November 30, 2019

If your goal is to be debt-free and you’re in search of credit counseling in Pennsylvania you have come to the right place.

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How to Get Free Credit Counseling in Mississippi

Written by Attorney Karra Kingston
Updated November 30, 2019

If you are looking to get debt free and are in search of  credit counseling in Mississippi you have come to the right place.

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What Is The Bankruptcy Means Test in Alabama?

Written by Attorney Karra Kingston
Updated November 18, 2019

Please note that we don't operate in Alabama yet but look forward to expanding into your state. You're welcome to keep reading - our content is free for anyone looking to learn more about bankruptcy & filing without a lawyer.

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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.