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Attorney Todd Carney

Attorney Todd Carney

Attorney

Attorney Todd Carney is a writer and graduate of Harvard Law School. While in law school, Todd worked in a clinic that helped pro-bono clients file for bankruptcy. Todd also studied several aspects of how the law impacts consumers. Todd has written over 40 articles for sites such as RealClear Policy and Lawfare. Prior to law school, Todd graduated from American University with a B.A. in political science and public communication and spent five years working in digital advertising. While working in digital advertising, Todd read a lot on consumer finance and that made him interested in studying it in law school, with the hope of getting to work on issues impacting consumers in the long-term. Todd lives and is admitted to practice law in Washington DC. The views in his pieces are his alone and do not reflect the views of his employer.


All ArticlesBankruptcy BasicsCarsConsumer RightsCredit IssuesDebtsDeciding To FileHousing

Articles written by Attorney Todd Carney

The Home Ownership and Equity Protection Act (HOEPA)

Written by Attorney Todd Carney
Updated April 12, 2022

Dealing with your mortgage likely always feels high stakes. The last thing you want is to jeopardize your home. Luckily, the Home Ownership and Equity Protection Act (HOEPA) protects Americans against abusive lending practices. This article will summarize these regulations and provide you with a clear understanding of what protections HOEPA offers.

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Filing for Bankruptcy To Stop Foreclosure: Chapter 7 vs. Chapter 13

Written by Attorney Todd Carney
Updated December 12, 2021

Filing for bankruptcy can help homeowners to prevent foreclosure. Most of the time, filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy is most effective at preventing foreclosure, as it allows homeowners to repay their overdue mortgage debt over a 3-5 year period of time.

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How the Federal Government Can Help After a Natural Disaster

Written by Attorney Todd Carney
Updated December 11, 2021

The federal government provides short-term and long-term help for victims of natural disasters like wildfires, earthquakes, severe storms. Federal disaster relief agencies like FEMA provide food, shelter, water, money, and healthcare for those affected by a natural disaster. The IRS, U.S. Small Business Administration, and U.S. Department of Labor are lesser-known government agencies that help out with various aspects of disaster relief as well.

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What Is a Deficiency Balance?

Written by Attorney Todd Carney
Updated December 9, 2021

A deficiency balance arises when the profits from a foreclosure sale are less than the amount owed on a mortgage. A lender who is owed this debt may pursue it by seeking a deficiency judgment from the court. It is possible for borrowers to negotiate repayment of these balances.

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Can I Change My Mortgage Loan Servicer?

Written by Attorney Todd Carney
Updated November 29, 2021

Borrowers cannot generally change their mortgage loan servicers unless they refinance. Even then, servicers may change at any time without a borrower's permission. It is important for homeowners to know their rights when it comes to dealing with mortgage servicers.

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Can You Buy Another Home After a Foreclosure?

Written by Attorney Todd Carney
Updated November 28, 2021

A foreclosure doesn't mean you're banned from buying another home. There are ways to get credit-worthy once you've overcome a foreclosure. No matter what your credit history looks like, you can get a home loan approval even after a foreclosure.

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Understanding the Assignment of Mortgages: What You Need To Know

Written by Attorney Todd Carney
Updated November 26, 2021

A mortgage is a legally binding agreement between a home buyer and a lender that dictates a borrower's ability to pay off a loan. Every mortgage has an interest rate, a term length, and specific fees attached to it.

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Understanding Foreclosure Lawsuits and Why You Need To File an Answer

Written by Attorney Todd Carney
Updated November 26, 2021

Your rights and responsibilities in contesting a foreclosure will vary depending on whether you are subject to a judicial or nonjudicial one. If you face a judicial foreclosure, it is crucial to file an answer. This article will help you understand foreclosures and why you should always file an answer.

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Can a Bank Change the Locks Before a Foreclosure Is Complete?

Written by Attorney Todd Carney
Updated November 26, 2021

If you’re facing foreclosure, it’s important to know your rights as a borrower. This article will take you through when mortgage companies can and can’t change the locks and what options you may have to avoid foreclosure altogether.

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How Do Deficiency Judgments Work in California?

Written by Attorney Todd Carney
Updated November 26, 2021

If your home sells for less than what you owed on the mortgage, you may still owe money and the creditor can get a deficiency judgment against you. California homeowners have access to certain protections under the state’s anti-deficiency statutes. These laws address borrowers’ rights during the foreclosure process, including deficiency balances and when and how much you have to pay. This article will explain deficiency judgments in California, when they apply, how to calculate them, how you can minimize what you owe under California’s Code of Civil Procedure (CCP).

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What To Do if a Debt Collector Is Calling You at Work

Written by Attorney Todd Carney
Updated November 22, 2021

The law prohibits debt collectors and creditors from contacting borrowers at work once they have reason to know that a borrower's employer doesn't permit these kinds of calls. The law does allow for other collection tactics, so it is important for borrowers to know their rights concerning debt collection communications.

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Can You Be Arrested and Put in Jail if You Don’t Pay Your Debts?

Written by Attorney Todd Carney
Updated November 17, 2021

You can’t be arrested or put in jail for not repaying a consumer debt. But you can be sued. If you’re sued and you don’t comply with the court requirements like showing up for a debt examination, you can be arrested. In this way, some debt collectors have found a loophole. But you can avoid being arrested by complying with any court orders.

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Can Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Be Removed From My Credit Report Before 10 Years?

Written by Attorney Todd Carney
Updated November 12, 2021

Chapter 7 bankruptcy stays on your credit report for 10 years. There’s no way to remove a bankruptcy filing from your credit report early if the information is accurate. Bankruptcy will hurt your credit at first, but the effect will lessen over time. And in the long term, it can help you get your financial life back on track.

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Which Is Better – Debt Settlement or Bankruptcy?

Written by Attorney Todd Carney
Updated November 11, 2021

Both filing for bankruptcy and pursuing debt settlement offer opportunities for significant debt relief. Each debt management approach has pros and cons that should be weighed carefully. Neither strategy is right for everyone.

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Are Subprime Loans the Right Option for You?

Written by Attorney Todd Carney
Updated November 11, 2021

Borrowers with poor or fair credit can't always secure conventional financing but are generally eligible for subprime loans. These loans tend to have high-interest rates and are harder to secure than standard loans. But, when they are the best option available, they can be the right choice for borrowers in need of credit.

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Can a Creditor Levy Your Bank Account More Than Once?

Written by Attorney Todd Carney
Updated November 6, 2021

A bank levy is a legal move that allows creditors to collect a debt by taking money directly from a borrower’s bank account. Creditors can continue to take money from your account until your debt is paid off. Although this process can seem scary, this article will educate you on how to be prepared for a levy and what your rights are.

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Lemon Laws for Cars: How They Protect You

Written by Attorney Todd Carney
Updated October 31, 2021

Lemon laws are in place to protect car buyers in all 50 states, who were sold defective vehicles. A defective vehicle is one that has serious problems that the manufacturer cannot fix. There is no standard in each state for what is considered a defective vehicle. If you’re in the market for a new or used car, knowing your lemon law rights will help you avoid getting stuck with a lemon and won’t drive you crazy.

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Can Social Security Legally Check My Bank Account?

Written by Attorney Todd Carney
Updated October 30, 2021

It is a common question – can the government see inside your bank account? The simple answer is no, but there are some reasons that your bank account may be checked if you're applying for Social Security benefits. Knowing how and why it happens, as well as some of the things that might affect your eligibility for Supplemental Security Income, will tell you whether these checks are nothing to worry about or something to be concerned about.

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You May Want To Think Twice Before Cosigning a Loan

Written by Attorney Todd Carney
Updated October 20, 2021

If you're thinking about cosigning to help someone get a loan, you'll want to do everything possible to protect your good credit. Use these tips to help yourself if problems arise.

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8 Reasons You Could Face Force-Placed Insurance

Written by Attorney Todd Carney
Updated October 12, 2021

Force-placed insurance is a home insurance policy that a lender or loan servicer places on a borrower’s property. Mortgage providers may do this if they find that the homeowner no longer has an active insurance policy or if they believe that the homeowner’s insurance does not adequately protect the property. This article explains what force-placed insurance is and the impact it can have on borrowers.

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How To Remove Hard Inquiries From Your Credit Report

Written by Attorney Todd Carney
Updated September 27, 2021

A hard inquiry (sometimes called a “hard pull”) is a record of every time that a creditor or lender runs your credit report to help decide what kind of credit or loan to grant you. When someone runs a credit check, it harms your credit score. Given the potential harm, you should look to remove as many hard inquiries as possible. This article takes you through how to remove hard inquiries from your credit report. It discusses which hard inquiries are removable and the specifics of disputing them.

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How To File Bankruptcy for Free in Iowa

Written by Attorney Todd CarneyLegally reviewed by Attorney Paige Hooper
Updated March 23, 2022

Filing for bankruptcy doesn’t have to be scary and confusing. We provide helpful tips and resources to help you file Chapter 7 bankruptcy in your state without a lawyer.

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How To File Bankruptcy for Free in Nebraska

Written by Attorney Todd CarneyLegally reviewed by Attorney Paige Hooper
Updated March 22, 2022

Filing for bankruptcy doesn’t have to be scary and confusing. We provide helpful tips and resources to help you file Chapter 7 bankruptcy in your state without a lawyer.

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How To File Bankruptcy for Free in Kansas

Written by Attorney Todd CarneyLegally reviewed by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated February 15, 2022

Filing for bankruptcy doesn’t have to be scary and confusing. We provide helpful tips and resources to help you file Chapter 7 bankruptcy in your state without a lawyer.

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How To File Bankruptcy for Free in Alaska

Written by Attorney Todd CarneyLegally reviewed by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated February 15, 2022

Filing for bankruptcy doesn’t have to be scary and confusing. We provide helpful tips and resources to help you file Chapter 7 bankruptcy in your state without a lawyer.

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How To File Bankruptcy for Free in South Dakota

Written by Attorney Todd CarneyLegally reviewed by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated February 15, 2022

Filing for bankruptcy doesn’t have to be scary and confusing. We provide helpful tips and resources to help you file Chapter 7 bankruptcy in your state without a lawyer.

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Repossession Laws in Idaho

Written by Attorney Todd Carney
Updated January 4, 2022

Repossession is the process of taking back a car after the owner defaults on their auto loan. Each state has different laws and regulations that dictate every step of the repossession process from start to finish. This page will provide an overview of Idaho's Repossession Laws and what you should know if you've fallen behind on car payments.

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Repossession Laws in the District of Columbia

Written by Attorney Todd Carney
Updated December 27, 2021

Repossession is the process of taking back a car after the owner defaults on their auto loan. Every state has different laws and regulations that dictate every step of the repossession process from start to finish. This page will provide an overview of District of Columbia's Repossession Laws and what you should know if you've fallen behind on car payments.

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Repossession Laws in Hawaii

Written by Attorney Todd Carney
Updated December 27, 2021

Repossession is the process of taking back a car after the owner defaults on their auto loan. Each state has different laws and regulations that dictate every step of the repossession process from start to finish. This page will provide an overview of Hawaii's Repossession Laws and what you should know if you've fallen behind on car payments.

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Repossession Laws in Georgia

Written by Attorney Todd Carney
Updated December 27, 2021

Repossession is the process of taking back a car after the owner defaults on their auto loan. Each state has different laws and regulations that dictate every step of the repossession process from start to finish. This page will provide an overview of Georgia's Repossession Laws and what you should know if you've fallen behind on car payments.

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Repossession Laws in Illinois

Written by Attorney Todd Carney
Updated December 27, 2021

Repossession is the process of taking back a car after the owner defaults on their auto loan. Each state has different laws and regulations that dictate every step of the repossession process from start to finish. This page will provide an overview of Illinois' Repossession Laws and what you should know if you've fallen behind on car payments.

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Eviction Laws and Tenant Rights in Delaware

Written by Attorney Todd Carney
Updated December 13, 2021

Landlords in Delaware can’t just change the locks, toss your belongings out on the front yard, or shut down essential utilities. A landlord must follow the eviction process in order to have a tenant evicted for any reason. Here's an overview of what this means for tenants in Delaware.

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Eviction Laws and Tenant Rights in Hawaii

Written by Attorney Todd Carney
Updated December 13, 2021

Landlords in Hawaii can’t just change the locks, toss your belongings out on the front yard, or shut down essential utilities. A landlord must follow the eviction process in order to have a tenant evicted for any reason. Here's an overview of what this means for tenants in Hawaii.

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Eviction Laws and Tenant Rights in Iowa

Written by Attorney Todd Carney
Updated December 13, 2021

Landlords in Iowa can’t just change the locks, toss your belongings out on the front yard, or shut down essential utilities. A landlord must follow the eviction process in order to have a tenant evicted for any reason. Here's an overview of what this means for tenants in Iowa.

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Eviction Laws and Tenant Rights in Idaho

Written by Attorney Todd Carney
Updated November 30, 2021

Landlords in Idaho can’t just change the locks, toss your belongings out on the front yard, or shut down essential utilities. A landlord must follow the eviction process in order to have a tenant evicted for any reason. Here's an overview of what this means for tenants in Idaho.

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Eviction Laws and Tenant Rights in North Dakota

Written by Attorney Todd Carney
Updated November 30, 2021

Landlords in North Dakota can’t just change the locks, toss your belongings out on the front yard, or shut down essential utilities. A landlord must follow the eviction process in order to have a tenant evicted for any reason. Here's an overview of what this means for tenants in North Dakota.

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Eviction Laws and Tenant Rights in Tennessee

Written by Attorney Todd Carney
Updated November 17, 2021

Landlords in Tennessee can’t just change the locks, toss your belongings out on the front yard, or shut down essential utilities. A landlord must follow the eviction process in order to have a tenant evicted for any reason. Here's an overview of what this means for tenants in Tennessee.

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Eviction Laws and Tenant Rights in California

Written by Attorney Todd Carney
Updated November 11, 2021

Landlords in California can’t just change the locks, toss your belongings out on the front yard, or shut down essential utilities. A landlord must follow the eviction process in order to have a tenant evicted for any reason. Here's an overview of what this means for tenants in California.

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Eviction Laws and Tenant Rights in the District of Columbia

Written by Attorney Todd Carney
Updated November 11, 2021

Landlords in District of Columbia can’t just change the locks, toss your belongings out on the front yard, or shut down essential utilities. A landlord must follow the eviction process in order to have a tenant evicted for any reason. Here's an overview of what this means for tenants in District of Columbia.

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Eviction Laws and Tenant Rights in Colorado

Written by Attorney Todd Carney
Updated November 11, 2021

Landlords in Colorado can’t just change the locks, toss your belongings out on the front yard, or shut down essential utilities. A landlord must follow the eviction process in order to have a tenant evicted for any reason. Here's an overview of what this means for tenants in Colorado.

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Eviction Laws and Tenant Rights in Massachusetts

Written by Attorney Todd Carney
Updated November 9, 2021

Landlords in Massachusetts can’t just change the locks, toss your belongings out on the front yard, or shut down essential utilities. A landlord must follow the eviction process in order to have a tenant evicted for any reason. Here's an overview of what this means for tenants in Massachusetts.

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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.