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Attorney Serena Siew

Attorney Serena Siew


Serena Siew is an attorney with a specialty in immigration defense and legal writing for the general public. She is a member of the State Bar of California and admitted to practice before the California Supreme Court, the U.S. District Court for the Central District Court of California, and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. She obtained her J.D. from Southwestern University having clerked for the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office and a federal appellate judge in Buenos Aires. She has practiced immigration defense before the Executive Office for Immigration Review, Board of Immigration Appeals, and Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Her fights for inadmissibility waivers and humanitarian parole have been publicized as have her articles on immigration and water law. Born and raised in California, Serena graduated cum laude from the University of Southern California. She received a CALI Excellence Award for legal writing on White Collar Crime and has written for The Los Angeles Daily Journal’s Daily Appellate Report. Additionally, Serena comes with years of experience writing content for over 100 national law firms. When not working, Serena enjoys trying to stay on horses using her ever-diminishing riding skills.

All ArticlesDebtsHousingNon BankruptcyTaxes

Articles written by Attorney Serena Siew

How Much Debt Is Too Much Debt?

Carrying too much debt not only keeps you from accomplishing your goals but also lowers your credit score. This makes it harder to get loans with favorable terms and low interest rates. This article explains the difference between revolving and non-revolving debt, “good” debt and “bad” debt, and the financial consequences of having too much debt. We’ll also explain how to calculate your credit utilization and debt-to-income ratio, two factors that lenders consider in approving loans.

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How To Write a Hardship Letter for a Short Sale

If you choose to write a hardship letter for a short sale, you’ll want to make yours stand out to lenders so that you have a better chance of avoiding foreclosure. This article discusses what to include—and what not to include—in a hardship letter requesting approval for a short sale.

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Working With a Short Sale Attorney

If you're trying to avoid a damaging foreclosure on your credit report, you might be considering a short sale. In this article, learn more about the short sale process, how you might be eligible to use the short sale process, and how a short sale attorney could help you through the process. Also, find out some of the pros and cons to hiring a short sale attorney so you can determine if using one might be beneficial to you.

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Texas Repossession Laws

Texas repo law restricts how creditors can take your car. If they break the law, you can sue them for wrongful repossession. Borrowers also have rights to prevent repossession and get their cars back. This article details the repossession process in Texas and outlines the rights of both parties if it happens.

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Second Mortgage & Foreclosure

Facing foreclosure on your home can feel devastating enough with only a single mortgage. If you have a second mortgage on top of that, your financial situation could feel even more precarious. In this article, you will learn about the differences between a first and second mortgage, what you can expect to happen if your house is foreclosed by the bank while you still owe a balance on a second mortgage, and what to do if you're facing a lawsuit from a second mortgage holder.

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Removing a Repossession From Your Credit Report

A car repossession can stay on your credit report for up to 7 years and the negative impact can be devastating if not dealt with. But a repossession does not have to ruin your financial future. In fact, you have more options than you think. This article explains why a credit report is important, how to get a free report, and steps you can take to remove negative marks like repossession from your record.

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Debt Collector Scams: How to Avoid Them

Fake debt collectors are good at shaking people down for money. Fear and intimidation are the tools of their trade. By tapping into credit reports, scammers can find your debts and then call pretending to be one of those creditors. This article will help you spot red flags indicating that a collection call isn't from a legitimate agency, giving you tools to fight back and be on the alert for scammers.

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Debt Payoff Calculator: Path to a Debt-Free Life

Debt repayment strategies are not one-size-fits-all and each has their own benefits. It’s important to have a debt management plan that works for you. This article will talk about different types of debt, some of the different debt payoff strategies, and how to use Upsolve's Repayment Calculator.

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Paying Off Credit Card Debt: Options & Processes

Credit cards can be convenient, but credit card debt has a way of accumulating. With high interest charges and potential late fees, it can be hard to get out once you've gotten over your head. Fortunately, there are options available to you. This article discusses credit card debt, how it can affect your credit score, and various ways to achieve debt relief.

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Going Debt-Free: Debt Avalanche Method

There are many strategies for getting out of debt. One strategy you can use is the debt avalanche method. In this article, we’ll discuss the debt avalanche method, the snowball method, and other debt relief options so that you can decide which one is best for you.

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I’m Unemployed. How Can I Get Help With My Mortgage Payments?

If you’ve lost your job and need help with your mortgage, don’t panic. Several mortgage assistance programs may be available to you. You may also take advantage of special protections enacted due to the COVID-19 pandemic that aren’t ordinarily available.

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How To Beat A Credit Card Lawsuit In Court

Getting sued by a credit card company can be intimidating. Maybe you’ve become so good at ignoring collection calls that you’re tempted to trash the complaint and summons. Don’t. You have legal rights and defenses that you’ll lose by not contesting the lawsuit. Plus, if you fight back in court, your chances of winning the case are much better than you might initially expect.

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3 Consequences of Missing a Car Payment (And What To Do If You Will Miss a Payment in the Future)

Missing a car payment can be a big deal, so try to avoid it as much as possible. If you know that this is a temporary issue, don’t be afraid to ask the lender to defer payment for one to two months. If you know that you’re going to miss more payments, consider refinancing your car or selling it privately. This article will walk you through the three most common consequences of missing a car payment and give you options on how to deal with it.

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What Repossession Fees Mean For You

Repossession fees are what creditors pay to repossess your car. Towing, storage, and auction fees are common examples. If you’re delinquent on your car loan and your car is repossessed, those fees are passed on to you. Keep reading to find out more about repossession and what repossession fees mean for you.

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Using an Offer in Compromise to Settle a Tax Debt

An Offer in Compromise is a good choice when there's a large debt covering more than one tax year. The IRS will only consider an offer if you meet all the eligibility criteria and the IRS finds that making you pay your entire tax burden would cause extreme financial hardship.

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Can I Reaffirm My Mortgage in a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?

The reaffirmation of mortgage debts is possible in Chapter 7 bankruptcy but it's not necessary. Learn what a reaffirmation agreement is how it affects your home mortgage.

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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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