Kristin Turner, Harvard Law Grad

Kristin Turner, Harvard Law Grad

Attorney

Kristin is a recipient of Harvard Law School’s Public Welfare Foundation A2J Tech Fellowship. At Harvard Law, she served as a member of the Harvard Defenders, the Women’s Law Association, and the Harvard Law Negotiation Review. She was the 2016 – 2017 president of the Harvard Black Law Students Association and a semifinalist in Harvard Business School’s New Venture Competition 2016. She holds a B.A. in political science from the University of Southern California and served on the executive committee for the Harvard Law School Association. Before Upsolve, Kristin spent time at White & Case LLP in Palo Alto, Public Defender Service in Washington DC, and the Department of Justice, specializing in Human Rights. Kristin was an invited speaker at the Legal Service Corporations’s 2019 Innovations in Technology Conference.


All ArticlesAfter BankruptcyBankruptcy BasicsBefore FilingCarsChapter 13Chapter 7CourtCreditors MeetingDebtsDeciding To FileDuring Bankruptcy CaseHow To FileLeasesMeans TestNon BankruptcyProperty ExemptionsStudent LoansTaxesUpsolveWage Garnishment

Articles written by Kristin Turner, Harvard Law Grad

Does Bankruptcy Affect My Social Security Income?

Social security income does not count on the means test. Any social security funds you have will be protected by an exemption as long as they're not commingled.

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My case was dismissed. When can I refile a new case or reopen my case?

As soon as a bankruptcy case is dismissed, the automatic stay ends and collections can resume. You can either reinstate your case or file a new bankruptcy one.

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Every Type of Bankruptcy in 2020 Explained

Bankruptcy has helped millions of Americans relieve their debt burden and get a fresh start. There are different types, so it's important to know the differences and similarities.

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10 Tips for DIY Bankruptcy Chapter 7

Looking for a way to do a DIY Chapter 7 Bankruptcy? Here’s 10 tips to make sure you DIY Chapter 7 bankruptcy goes off without a hitch.

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How Bankruptcy Affects Credit Score

There are a lot of misconceptions about the ways bankruptcy affects credit score. In this article, we'll dispel some of these myths and provide information on how to improve your credit score after bankruptcy.

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Is Upsolve real? Is this a legitimate service?

Yes! Upsolve is 100% a legitimate service! We are a small mission-driven team of dedicated individuals, focused on a single goal: Helping low-income Americans struggling with too much debt get a fresh start by filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

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Can Upsolve help me get my student loans discharged?

Unfortunately, no. Upsolve's free tool helps you file bankruptcy on your own but it can't help you discharge a student loan.

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What is an asset in bankruptcy?

Everything you own is an asset. Whether your property is valuable enough to turn your case into an asset bankruptcy depends on what bankruptcy exemptions you can use to protect your property.

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Should I File Bankruptcy Before Getting Married?

Whether bankruptcy is the right debt relief option for you depends on a few things, including your income, what type of debt you have, and whether you’ve filed bankruptcy in the past. If you’re already pretty sure that filing bankruptcy is the way to go, but are worried about the timing, keep reading. This article will focus on how being married (or not) impacts a bankruptcy case.

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If I file for bankruptcy, will it hurt my co-signer’s credit score?

No. A co-signer’s social security number will not be involved, and the bankruptcy does not go on their credit.

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If I file for bankruptcy, will it hurt my co-signer’s credit score?

No. A co-signer’s social security number will not be involved, and the bankruptcy does not go on their credit.

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Low Income Bankruptcy: Find the Option for You

There are special options available to low-income people filing for bankruptcy. Find out if one is right for you.

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What is Legal Aid and Why Does it Exist

Legal aid and pro bono attorneys can help you get through your bankruptcy filing. Find out how they work and why they exist.

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What is the Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Timeline?

Filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy can be an intimidating and daunting process. Especially if it's not something you've ever dealt with before, you may not know where to begin or how it ends. Here is an overview of what to expect as you prepare for your Chapter 7 bankruptcy and what happens after your case has been filed with the bankruptcy court. 

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What is the Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Timeline?

Filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy can be an intimidating and daunting process. Especially if it's not something you've ever dealt with before, you may not know where to begin or how it ends. Here is an overview of what to expect as you prepare for your Chapter 7 bankruptcy and what happens after your case has been filed with the bankruptcy court. 

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6 Steps To Stop Wage Garnishment After Filing Bankruptcy

Wage garnishments have to stop immediately once your case is filed but you should allow time for the creditor to provide your employer with the necessary paperwork to actually cause the stop. If your case is filed the day before your next payday, chances are you're paycheck will still be garnished, as the payroll has already been processed. However, you'll get that money back.

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How Can I Stop My Wages From Being Garnished in 2020?

Wage garnishment is a common problem for millions of Americans. It can be deflating to have your wages garnished. But you do have options to protect yourself.

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Bankruptcy Credit Counseling & Financial Management Courses

Everyone has to complete a pre-bankruptcy credit counseling course before and a pre-discharge debtor education course after filing their bankruptcy case. The courses are offered by nonprofit organizations that are pre-approved for each state by the U.S. Trustee (or the bankruptcy administrator).

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What are the Pros and Cons of Filing Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in 2020?

Chapter 7 bankruptcy is one of the most powerful debt relief options available in the United States. It gives you a fresh start by erasing your debts. This article explores the pros and cons of filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

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Chapter 7 Means Test Calculator (Updated 2020)

The Chapter 7 means test is the analysis that determines whether a person can file Chapter 7 bankruptcy. It’s called the bankruptcy means test because, at its most basic level, it looks at whether someone has the means to pay their debts.

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Chapter 7 Bankruptcy: What Can You Keep in 2020?

Chapter 7 bankruptcy exemptions allow you to protect property during your bankruptcy. Usually these exemptions allow you to keep most of your day-to-day property.

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What are Bankruptcy Friendly Credit Cards in 2020?

Find a bankruptcy friendly credit card so that you can have access to credit after filing for bankruptcy.

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Is bankruptcy discharge public record in 2020?

There are a few, limited ways that your bankruptcy becomes public record.This alone shouldn't stop you from choosing to file for bankruptcy.

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How Much Does Bankruptcy Cost in 2020?

Chapter 7 bankruptcy provides relief for individuals and businesses that have no hope of ever repaying their debts. That’s why it seems strange to some that there are actual costs involved to get this relief. Keep in mind, though, that everyone’s case is different and someone’s inability to pay their debts as they come due does not necessarily mean that they can’t pay the costs of filing a Chapter 7. Let’s take a look at what they are. 

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Should I File For Bankruptcy After A Repo in 2020?

Filing for bankruptcy after a car repo can get rid of any remaining debts that you have for your car.

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Federal Bankruptcy Exemptions Explained in 2020

The laws that protect your property from creditors are called exemptions. The exemptions listed in the Bankruptcy Code are called federal bankruptcy exemptions.

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What Happens After Filing for Bankruptcy in 2020?

Knowing what happens after you file bankruptcy can make it seem less intimidating. Read on to learn about filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the meeting of creditors, keeping your car, and why creditors must stop contacting you after filing.

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What is a Bankruptcy Trustee?

The bankruptcy trustee doesn’t represent the filer and they don’t represent any specific creditor. They review the filer's forms and conduct the creditors' meeting.

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Chapter 7 bankruptcy: What is it? Should I file? How to file?

Chapter 7 bankruptcy is a common legal process to clear your debt, but it’s not right for everyone. Let’s take a look at some bankruptcy basics to help you learn about it and decide whether it's right for you.

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Can I mention the Upsolve website to my trustee?

Yes. You should always be truthful. Make sure to mention that Upsolve is a legal aid nonprofit that charges nothing. 

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What Happens to Your Tax Refund in Bankruptcy?

When tax season comes, many individuals filing for bankruptcy expect to receive a tax refund check. So what happens to your tax refund when you file for bankruptcy?

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What Happens to Your Tax Refund in Bankruptcy?

When tax season comes, many individuals filing for bankruptcy expect to receive a tax refund check. So what happens to your tax refund when you file for bankruptcy?

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What does it mean to surrender your car in bankruptcy?

If you surrender your car as part of a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, your car debt is erased by the bankruptcy discharge.

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Should I Update My Forms If I Get a New Job Before Filing?

Congratulations on your new job! If you haven't filed yet, and you really don't know what your monthly income will be until your first paycheck comes in, you have one of two options for how to handle this.

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Are Student Loans Listed On The Forms If They Can't Be Erased

Yes. You should include all your debts on your bankruptcy forms, even if some cannot be erased. 

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Unfiled Tax Returns & Bankruptcy

If you were unemployed and weren't required to file your taxes: yes.  If you were employed and you were supposed to file your taxes but didn't: we can't help you at the moment. Please go file your taxes that you were supposed to file and then come back to us. 

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Can I Keep the Money If I Win A Lawsuit After Filing?

If you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the law of your state will determine whether you can keep the money from a lawsuit—but be prepared to give it up unless your state exemption law specifically says that you can keep the award.

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3 Things You Should Know About Bankruptcy Course 2

Every individual seeking bankruptcy relief must complete two educational courses: The credit counseling course is completed before the bankruptcy petition is filed with the court. The second course, on the other hand, can’t be completed until after the case has been filed. Without completing both courses, a bankruptcy filer cannot get their bankruptcy discharge. Here are 3 things you should know about the personal financial management course, including how it's different from credit counseling.

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What is Community Debt?

We explain what community debt is, what the community property states are, and how it can impact your bankruptcy.

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Five Essential Tips to File Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

Chapter 7 bankruptcy does not have to be complicated. Follow these 5 essential tips to make sure you have a successful case. Upsolve's free bankruptcy attorneys are here to help you out.

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Best Do It Yourself Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Software

Bankruptcy doesn't have to be expensive or confusing. You can use do-it-yourself Chapter 7 bankruptcy software online. Check out Upsolve to get started with our free bankruptcy process.

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How to Answer a Summons When You Are Sued

If you have yet to begin filing bankruptcy you may choose to answer the complaint. A summons can certainly lead to more drastic legal actions when not handled properly. You have a certain amount of time to answer the summons and if you fail to answer it could result in a default judgment.  

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What if I Can’t Afford to Pay a Judgment Against Me?

If you have a judgment against you for the following reasons, you will not be able to erase your deb. Not being able to pay a judgment can subject you to the post-judgment collection process. These methods include wage garnishments, bank account levies, and judicial liens.

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Where can I take the first credit counseling course?

You can take the course from any provider that has been approved to offer the course by the United States Trustee.

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What is a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy?

Chapter 13 bankruptcy is a type of bankruptcy that provides relief for folks who make too much money to qualify for Chapter 7. At its core, it’s a reorganization that allows the filer to pay as much as their budget can handle instead of trying to keep up with each creditors’ minimum monthly payments.

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How to Get a Free Bankruptcy Consultation in New York?

Find a free Chapter 7 bankruptcy consultation in New York City. A bankruptcy attorney will help you decide between Chapter 7 and Chapter 13.

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How to Get Veteran Debt Relief?

You can obtain veteran debt relief in one of several ways. If you cannot afford to pay your debts, filing bankruptcy may be the best way to obtain veteran debt relief.

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What are the Florida Bankruptcy Exemptions?

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

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How Can I Find a Free Bankruptcy Lawyer in New York City?

If you're looking for an affordable bankruptcy lawyer, look no further. Upsolve is a nonprofit that helps low-income Americans get the fresh start they need through Chapter 7 bankruptcy. We'll also help you look at other resources for affordable bankruptcy lawyers.

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How to Stop Wage Garnishment in California with Bankruptcy?

Wage garnishment is a way for debt collectors to take money directly from your paycheck. In California, your income level and amount of debt you have can determine how much of your wages can be garnished.

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Can I Buy a House After Bankruptcy?

There are multiple financing options available to buyers post-bankruptcy. The most important step is to make the most of your waiting period before you apply for a loan.

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How Do I Reaffirm My Car Loan?

The 6-step process of reaffirming a car loan.

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How Do I Reaffirm My Car Loan?

The 6-step process of reaffirming a car loan.

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What Goes into a Credit Score?

Your credit score is a combination of different factors such as payment history, types of credit, debt, and credit history that tell lenders who you are as a borrower. Being hands on about your credit score can help you take small steps toward a strong financial future.

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How to Stop Debt Collection Companies?

Do you want to stop debt collection companies? You may need to do more than to request that they stop contacting you.

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Discharging student loans in bankruptcy: The Brunner Test

Under the current Bankruptcy Code, an individual cannot discharge student loans in bankruptcy unless retaining this type of student debt would cause undue hardship. To determine whether such a hardship exists, the bankruptcy courts conduct an analysis known as the Brunner test.

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4 things you should know about the bankruptcy court system

The bankruptcy court oversees bankruptcy cases filed in the United States. The court maintains the records for all bankruptcy cases.

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What are the alternatives to Chapter 7 bankruptcy?

Bankruptcy is not right for everyone or every situation. If you're not sure whether bankruptcy is right for you, knowing what alternatives are available to give you some relief from your debts is a critical part of making the right decision for you and your family. Let's take a look at some of the most common bankruptcy alternatives.

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What is an "Official Form 309A -- No Proof of Claim?"

The court sends this document to the creditors you listed on your bankruptcy paperwork when you file. It gives each creditor important information about your case and tells them what they need to do if they have a reasonable objection to your bankruptcy.

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Bankruptcy Attorneys: What to Look For?

Are you looking for a bankruptcy attorney? It is incredibly important to choose a bankruptcy attorney that is right for you.

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Do I Qualify for Bankruptcy?

Do you qualify for bankruptcy? There are a lot of things to consider, and we try to break it down for you. At Upsolve, we provide free Chapter 7 bankruptcy services for those in need of a fresh start.

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If I received a discharge, when can I refile?

If your bankruptcy was fully discharged, you can refile bankruptcy after a certain amount of time has passed. If you file before the time limit is up, you will not be entitled to have your debts discharged.

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How do I find out if I'm required to file taxes?

Federal Taxes: All taxpayers are eligible to claim a standard deduction from their taxable income. This amount is based on your filing status and household size. State Taxes: If you are required a Federal Tax return, you usually need to file a state tax return as well.

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How Does Bankruptcy Affect My Retirement?

Your retirement savings usually aren’t affected by bankruptcy. After you file, saving for retirement after bankruptcy might be even easier than before.

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What is the difference between an EIN, TIN, and ITIN?

The acronyms that the IRS uses to identify the different types of taxpayer identification numbers can be confusing, and we get a lot of questions about these three in particular.

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Should I be Embarrassed About Filing for Bankruptcy?

Should I be embarrassed by a Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing? We'll let you know how you should think about your discharge of your debts.

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I am planning to get married soon after I file. Will my bankruptcy affect my spouse?

Usually your individual bankruptcy will not affect your new spouse. If you are filing for a Chapter 7, is can be helpful to wait until after you receive your discharge to get married just in case.

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I receive money from social security. Can I file for bankruptcy?

Definitely. Getting money from social security does not disqualify you from filing for bankruptcy with Upsolve. You should take our online screener to see if you meet our either criteria. 

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What do I list as my address if I lived overseas 3 years ago?

Questions about your addresses on your bankruptcy forms are used to determine one of two things: 1. Which state you are eligible to file bankruptcy in and 2. Which state's exemptions you can use to protect your assets.

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Should I use a law firm or file for myself?

This is up to you to decide. If you can afford $1000+ for an attorney, they are often a good investment. If you cannot, our team at Upsolve would love to guide you through your filing at every step of the way. 

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How many steps are there from start to finish before I file?

There are six pre-filing steps, and we will guide you every step of the way.

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How can I schedule a meeting with Upsolve?

Unfortunately, we do not schedule meetings with our users. We wish we could. We love our users. But sadly, we don't do calls or live chats. We get 100+ inquiries a day, so we don't have the resources as a cash-strapped nonprofit.

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I own a mobile home/manufactured home. Can Upsolve help me?

Unfortunately, Upsolve is unable to help homeowners and owners of mobile homes or manufactured homes at this time.

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How can I get debt collectors to stop calling me?

If you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you can tell bill collectors that your filed, and they must stop calling you under the law.

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Where can I get taxes done for free?

The IRS has free tax help centers available. Type in your [zip code here](https://irs.treasury.gov/freetaxprep/ "zip code here") to find the nearest location. 

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How to Stop Wage Garnishment with Bankruptcy in New York?

If you live in New York and your wages are being garnished, bankruptcy may be able to help you keep your paychecks and stop wage garnishment.

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Will my landlord be notified that I filed for bankruptcy?

It depends. If you are on a month-to-month rental agreement, then the landlord doesn't have to know that you filed. 

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Will my landlord be notified that I filed for bankruptcy?

It depends. If you are on a month-to-month rental agreement, then the landlord doesn't have to know that you filed. 

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Can I get a credit card after filing for bankruptcy?

It's a myth that people won't be able to get a credit card after they file for bankruptcy. 

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I don’t have the names of my doctors. Is that okay?

Yes, that's fine. Just do your best when you write down the names, addresses, and amounts owed to your creditors. If possible, please Google around to find info you don't know off the top of your head.  

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If a creditor was charged off, do I still need to list them?

Yes, you need to list them. A debt being charged off by the creditor does *not* mean that you don’t owe it anymore; it only means that the creditor has decided the debt is uncollectible for accounting purposes.

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Can non-government private student loans get discharged?

Unfortunately, Upsolve is not a good fit for anyone trying to discharge student loans. We suggest you contact an attorney.

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A creditor is suing me. What should I do?

When you file your bankruptcy paperwork, you will need to mention this lawsuit. Don't worry - our system will ask you all of the relevant questions, so as long as you have your case information available when you get to that section, you should be good to go.

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If I have a debt that’s not dischargeable, should I still list it?

Yes. You must list every debt you have on our questionnaire. The court needs to know about all of them. 

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Why doesn't my car appear on my exemptions list?

There are a few reasons that your car(s) might not be listed on your exemptions list.

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Can I buy a car before or after I file for bankruptcy?

There is nothing that prohibits debtors from buying a car before filing or after filing. Whether it makes sense to buy now or after filing is a personal decision that depends in part on whether a debtor has good credit now, that will deteriorate after filing or bad credit that will improve after filing.

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How can I surrender my car in Chapter 7 bankruptcy?

"Surrendering" your car means that you give it back to the lender that gave you the loan to purchase it. If you surrender your car as part of your Chapter 7 bankruptcy, any debt that you owe on it will be eliminated when you receive your bankruptcy discharge.

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How can I surrender my car in Chapter 7 bankruptcy?

"Surrendering" your car means that you give it back to the lender that gave you the loan to purchase it. If you surrender your car as part of your Chapter 7 bankruptcy, any debt that you owe on it will be eliminated when you receive your bankruptcy discharge.

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I want to redeem my car. When do I do it?

"Redeeming" your car means that you buy it from the lender that you financed it with for the fair market value of the car, paid to the lender in one lump sum. The rest of your loan is discharged.

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How Do I Value My Pet?

If you are filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection, you are required to include your pets in the schedules. While your pets are priceless, the trustee needs to know if it can be sold for an amount higher than the allowable exemption amount. Unless you have a rare, purebred, champion show animal with breeding rights that can generate income, it is likely that your pets will not be worth near as much as the limit for exemptions.

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Should I choose the federal or my state bankruptcy exemptions?

The exemptions you choose will play a big role in determining how much of your stuff the trustee can sell to repay your creditors. Most Upsolve users select the Federal exemptions, but the choice that is right for you will depend on your answers to two questions.

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Will my bankruptcy affect my child's 529 College Saving Plan?

Whether or not funds in your child's 529 plan are protected when you file bankruptcy depends on how long ago you deposited the funds in the account.

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Should I list my PayPal account?

If it's PayPal credit, you should list it as a creditor. If it's a standard PayPal account without any lines of credit, list it as a checking account in the financial accounts section. 

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How much money is considered a gift?

The bankruptcy system doesn’t care about relatively modest gifts, and most people considering bankruptcy only have the ability to make modest gifts. Specifically, the bankruptcy forms ask whether you gave gifts with a total value of more than $600 per person within the two years before you filed for bankruptcy.

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Which states allow me to use the federal bankruptcy exemptions?

Find out which states allow filers to choose between their state's exemptions and the federal bankruptcy exemptions.

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Will someone show up in court against me?

In virtually all Chapter 7 cases that do not involve expensive property, no creditors show up to court against you. It's very, very, very unlikely that anybody will show up in court against you. 

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How do I find out who my trustee is?

You find out who your trustee is after you file your bankruptcy paperwork. You'll either learn right away from the court who your trustee is, or you'll get mail a few days later with your trustee's information.  

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I received a letter for a Meeting of Creditors. What is this?

Your meeting of creditors is the meeting that takes place at the court between you and your trustee. This is also known as a 341 meeting. 

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I received a letter for a 341 meeting. What is this?

A 341 meeting is the same as the meeting of the creditors. This is the meeting between you and the trustee who oversees your case. It usually takes place at your local court. 

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Filing for Bankruptcy with Electronic Self-Representation (ESR)

This article provides an overview of Electronic Self-Representation and how you can use it to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy by yourself without the help of an attorney. If you can't afford an attorney, but don't want to go through the process on your own, Upsolve may be able to help!

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Where Can I Find Free Bankruptcy Chapter 7 Forms?

Filing for bankruptcy can seem confusing, and the paperwork itself can be daunting. Find the bankrutpcy forms for free.

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If I tell the trustee I forgot to list a creditor will she reschedule my 341?

In most cases, no.  Although you can mention it during the 341 meeting. Trustees are usually concerned with assets that can be distributed to creditors, more than debts.

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What is an Emergency Bankruptcy Filing?

People seek an emergency bankruptcy filing when creditors are threatening to take immediate action to seize or sell assets. The emergency bankruptcy filing stops the creditor as soon as you file the main bankruptcy forms.

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I missed my 341 Meeting! What should I do now?

If you miss your scheduled 341 Meeting it is imperative that you speak with your assigned trustee ASAP and reschedule!

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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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