the Upsolve Team

the Upsolve Team

Upsolve is fortunate to have a remarkable team of bankruptcy attorneys, as well as finance and consumer rights professionals, as contributing writers to help us keep our content up to date, informative, and helpful to everyone.


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Articles written by the Upsolve Team

What are Non-Dischargeable Debts in a Bankruptcy Filing?

Non-dischargeable debts are debts that can’t be eliminated in a bankruptcy because the U.S. Bankruptcy Code doesn’t allow it. If you have non-dischargeable debts, a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case will not get rid of the debt. However, a Chapter 7 case can get rid of other debts so that you can pay non-dischargeable debts. Most debts are eligible for a discharge in Chapter 7.

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What are Non-Dischargeable Debts in a Bankruptcy Filing?

Non-dischargeable debts are debts that can’t be eliminated in a bankruptcy because the U.S. Bankruptcy Code doesn’t allow it. If you have non-dischargeable debts, a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case will not get rid of the debt. However, a Chapter 7 case can get rid of other debts so that you can pay non-dischargeable debts. Most debts are eligible for a discharge in Chapter 7.

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Chapter 7 vs. Chapter 13 Bankruptcy in 2020 | The Truth

Chapter 7 bankruptcy vs. Chapter 13 bankruptcy: Learn the differences, which type of bankruptcy is better depending on the situation, and the downsides of each.

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How to Deal with Debt Collectors (when you can’t pay)

If you’re receiving calls from debt collectors about unpaid debt, there’s an obvious way to make it go away: Pay off the debt in question. But what if you’re at a point where it’s impossible for you to pay? It might seem like you’re out of options, but don’t despair - there’s a way out of this.

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Guide to PACER: Getting your court notices without an attorney

PACER stands for Public Access to Court Electronic Records. It’s a system to access case information, the docket, and the documents filed in a particular case electronically.

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What is Debt Settlement?

Debt settlement is a type of debt relief that may allow you to settle your debts for less than the full amount due. Most debt settlement programs work by setting aside money to negotiate with, then making settlement offers one debt at a time. But, like any debt relief solution, debt settlement isn’t for everyone. In this article, you’ll learn more about how debt settlement works, the benefits of making lump sum payments, and the risks you should know about.

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What does the bankruptcy discharge do?

A bankruptcy discharge is an order from the Bankruptcy Court that is granted to the filer in a successful Chapter 7 bankruptcy case. Discharge orders are also entered in Chapter 13 cases, but only if the filer is eligible for a discharge, which most often includes completing the payment plan. The debt that is discharged depends in part on the type of bankruptcy you file.

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What does the bankruptcy discharge do?

A bankruptcy discharge is an order from the Bankruptcy Court that is granted to the filer in a successful Chapter 7 bankruptcy case. Discharge orders are also entered in Chapter 13 cases, but only if the filer is eligible for a discharge, which most often includes completing the payment plan. The debt that is discharged depends in part on the type of bankruptcy you file.

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Provide free evaluations to people who need help

If you’re an experienced bankruptcy attorney who provides affordable assistance and has a pristine record with your State Bar Association, we invite you to reach out to us.

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What is non-exempt equity?

What property you are allowed to keep and what you may be forced to sell or surrender when you file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy depends on how much non-exempt equity you have in the item. Let’s explore what this means for you, so you can choose the path to debt relief that makes the most sense for you.

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What is non-exempt equity?

What property you are allowed to keep and what you may be forced to sell or surrender when you file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy depends on how much non-exempt equity you have in the item. Let’s explore what this means for you, so you can choose the path to debt relief that makes the most sense for you.

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Bankruptcy Statistics

The bankruptcy statistics in this article will provide a high-level view of consumer bankruptcy filings around the country, bankruptcy rates from state to state, the types of bankruptcy cases most often filed, and the financial problems that trigger bankruptcy filings.

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Your Bankruptcy Discharge Date

Obtaining a bankruptcy discharge is the primary goal of every individual who files bankruptcy. The discharge date is the most important date in a personal bankruptcy, second only to the date the case was initially filed. Let’s take a look at 4 things you should know about your bankruptcy discharge, when your discharge will be granted by the bankruptcy court, and how to figure out the date of your discharge even if you can’t find your paperwork anymore.

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What Is A Co-Debtor and How Does My Bankruptcy Affect Them?

When you file bankruptcy, your co-signers will remain responsible for paying the debt that they co-signed for that is discharged in your bankruptcy. As long as they continue to pay the debt, your bankruptcy will not affect their credit.

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What Is A Co-Debtor and How Does My Bankruptcy Affect Them?

When you file bankruptcy, your co-signers will remain responsible for paying the debt that they co-signed for that is discharged in your bankruptcy. As long as they continue to pay the debt, your bankruptcy will not affect their credit.

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Using A Fee Waiver For Free Bankruptcy Credit Counseling

Everyone who wants to file for bankruptcy has to take a credit counseling course before they can do so. While there is a small cost associated with this requirement, it is possible to take the required course for free by requesting a fee waiver.

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Using A Fee Waiver For Free Bankruptcy Credit Counseling

Everyone who wants to file for bankruptcy has to take a credit counseling course before they can do so. While there is a small cost associated with this requirement, it is possible to take the required course for free by requesting a fee waiver.

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Rebuilding Credit After Bankruptcy (A Guide)

A bankruptcy does not destroy your credit forever. Instead, following some simple tricks and taking advantage of the various credit repair tools can help you build a stronger credit report and higher credit score after filing for bankruptcy.

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Rebuilding Credit After Bankruptcy (A Guide)

A bankruptcy does not destroy your credit forever. Instead, following some simple tricks and taking advantage of the various credit repair tools can help you build a stronger credit report and higher credit score after filing for bankruptcy.

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How do I prepare for my hearing?

Your bankruptcy process will include at least one (the 341 meeting), and likely two (fee waiver) hearings. Here are some of the most common hearing types you might encounter along the way to your fresh start.

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How do I prepare for my hearing?

Your bankruptcy process will include at least one (the 341 meeting), and likely two (fee waiver) hearings. Here are some of the most common hearing types you might encounter along the way to your fresh start.

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What is Bankruptcy?

Bankruptcy is a legal tool to obtain debt relief and get a fresh start. Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy are the most common types. This article explores consumer bankruptcy basics, the different types of bankruptcy, and the bankruptcy process overall.

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What are the Virginia Bankruptcy Exemptions?

Exempt property, such as a car or trade implements, is free of the claims of your creditors and can’t be taken by your trustee to be liquidated. Laws in Virginia determine the types as well as the amount of exempt property.

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Does Bankruptcy Clear Judgments in 2020?

When a creditor or debt collector gets a judgment against you, it's dischargeable as long as the original debt was dischargeable. The question becomes a bit more complicated if the creditor gets a judgment lien on your property. Here’s how it works.

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What Is A Charge Off On A Car Loan? (2020)

A charge off on a car loan is debt that a creditor declares uncollectible. An auto loan charge off hurts your credit history and lowers your credit score. The charged off debt could stay on your credit report for seven years and drop your credit score by 100 points. The creditor can still collect the charged-off debt, and the person that took out the auto loan still owes the charged-off debt. Car loan debt feels like it will last forever, but even a car loan charge off can be discharged through bankruptcy.

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What is Debt and How Should I Handle It?

Debt is money borrowed that has to be paid back over a period of time. Lending institutions, like banks, will lend you money so you can make a purchase. In turn they expect you to pay them back, with interest. Debt can be classified in two broad categories: corporate debt vs. personal debt. Corporate debt involves loans between businesses and, generally speaking, has little to no impact on personal debt. This article will explain the most common types of consumer (personal) debt and how to handle it.

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Is It A Good Idea To Delay Filing Bankruptcy?

There are times when filing bankruptcy as soon as possible is best, but, there are other times when it may be a good idea to delay the filing. This article will explore some of the circumstances that may justify filing for bankruptcy right away and some of the circumstances that may warrant a delay.

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What Are Disposable Earnings?

Did you know that creditors have the right to seek a garnishment order against you if you fail to repay your debt? This article will give you an overview of what income may be garnished under the law and how to avoid and/or stop garnishment actions by filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case.

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What are the Texas Bankruptcy Exemptions?

If you live in Texas, you are lucky. It is one of the best states in the US in which to file bankruptcy. Here is why you will benefit from filing bankruptcy in Texas. Some US states, including Texas, allow filers to choose between the federal bankruptcy exemptions and the state exemptions. However, it has to be one or the other—if you opt for the Texas state exemptions, you cannot cherry-pick specific exemptions off the federal bankruptcy exemptions, and vice versa.

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Debt Collection After a Bankruptcy Discharge

A bankruptcy discharge order permanently forbids creditors to try to collect discharged debt. Some creditors and collection agencies try to collect debt despite a bankruptcy court order telling them to stop. Phone calls and letters for discharged debt are illegal collection practices. Not all collection phone calls are illegal, and some types of debt can be collected after bankruptcy. We’ll help you recognize the difference and learn how to stop debt collectors that violate a bankruptcy court order.

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Is life Insurance Protected in Bankruptcy?

A bankruptcy filing can provide debt relief and protection against collection activity and creditor harassment. Bankruptcy also provides asset protection, as many debtors file without losing any property. Exemptions help debtors protect their assets, including life insurance policies. However, receiving life insurance proceeds for a certain amount of time before and after filing bankruptcy is a significant event that must be reported to your bankruptcy trustee.

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What are the Michigan Bankruptcy Exemptions?

Michigan allows residents to choose between the federal bankruptcy exemptions and state exemptions.

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How Settling a Credit Card Debt Affects Your Credit Score

Settling a credit card account will resolve your debt, but before you commit to this course of action, please read on to learn more about the negative impacts a debt settlement will have on your credit score, alternative debt-relief options, and how you can turn debt relief into a positive opportunity to rebuild your credit over time.

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Bankruptcy Basics: What Is Bankruptcy & How Do I File?

In a nutshell, a bankruptcy case is a legal course of action that puts your debt behind you so you can get a fresh start. This article will give you a short explainer on bankruptcy basics, including what types of cases you can file, how to file bankruptcy, and what to expect from the bankruptcy process.

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Foreclosures & Eviction Protections Under The CARES Act

As Americans struggle to cope with the financial uncertainty caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, the United States Congress has passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. Among other things, the CARES Act protects borrowers of federally backed mortgage loans from foreclosure. This article will discuss the foreclosure protections, moratorium on evictions, and other mortgage relief implemented by the CARES Act.

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Discharge vs. Dismissal: What's the Difference?

Many individuals filing bankruptcy for the first time are unsure of the terminology used by lawyers and the courts. Two words that frequently confuse first-time filers are “dismissed” and “discharged.” The purpose of this article is to explain the difference between the two and when lawyers and the court are most likely to use them when referring to your case.

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Can A Credit Card Company Sue Me If I Stop Paying?

Failing to pay credit cards will result in a credit card company escalating its efforts to collect the debt. If these efforts fail, it will file a civil lawsuit to recover the debt. Once a creditor receives a judgment, it can take other measures, such as a wage garnishment, bank account levy, or judgment lien to satisfy the debt.

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What Will Happen If I Don’t Pay an Unsecured Loan?

Unsecured debt includes credit card debt, student loans, personal loans, cash advances, medical debt, retail store accounts, and money borrowed from family or friends. This article will discuss unsecured debts, what happens if you default on these types of debts, and what options you have for dealing with them after defaulting.

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How to Remove Collection Accounts From Your Credit Report

You have a legal right to dispute debt reported by collection agencies and debt collectors. You can ask for validation or that it be removed from your credit report.

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COVID-19 and Bankruptcy: Frequently Asked Questions

The Bankruptcy Court has been closely monitoring and following recommended guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and local public health officials, and preparedness guidelines from the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts (AO) regarding the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) and is releasing updates almost daily. This article provides some guidance for frequently asked questions.

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What Is a Judgment and What Do I Do About It?

Learn the nuts and bolts about judgments, where they come from, what happens when a creditor gets a judgment against you, and what you can do to minimize the consequences associated with debt-related judgments.

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What Is the Process of A Nonjudicial Foreclosure?

Most states allow nonjudicial foreclosures, which permit states to proceed with foreclosure sales without first obtaining a court order. Because nonjudicial foreclosures are much faster and less complex, homeowners don’t have as much time to defend against these actions.

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Intellectual Property and Bankruptcy

Intellectual property receives special treatment in bankruptcy. It's important to evaluate applicable law, review licenses, contracts, ownership status, and navigate IP laws, bankruptcy laws, contract laws, and state laws before filing a bankruptcy.

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How to Pay Off Credit Card Debt When You Have No Money

There are a number of strategies to put in place when you find yourself in credit card debt. Common advice includes tightening your budget, prioritizing your highest-interest accounts and negotiating with creditors. But those strategies only work if you actually have some money to put toward paying down your credit card debt. What are you supposed to do if you truly have little to no money to put toward your debt?

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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 Upsolve's Contact Information?

As a small nonprofit we sadly don't have the resources to be able to provide phone or other live support. If you are a current user and need to get in touch with us, please please visit help.upsolve.org and use the "Submit a Request" feature in the top right corner to send us a message and someone will get back to you as soon as possible. If you have general questions about filing bankruptcy, feel free to visit our Learning Center any time to find out more about the process and what to expect.

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How Long Can I Stay in My Home After A Foreclosure Sale?

In this article, we’ll give you an overview of foreclosure, discuss the before and after of a foreclosure sale, and give you valuable information about foreclosure timelines so you can get a better idea of how long you can stay in your home while planning your eventual move.

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How to Stop Collection Calls (Guide)

If you have debt you’re struggling to manage, you don’t need the added stress of irritating collection calls. Keep reading to learn how you can stop debt collection calls from interrupting your life.

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Can A Judgment Creditor Take My Car?

Once a creditor files a lawsuit and is awarded a judgment by the court, it has several options to satisfy its debt. It can garnish wages or levy a bank account. It can also obtain a judgment lien and place it on real property such as a house or even personal property such as an automobile. This article will explain your options and how you can use them when a so-called judgment creditor files a lien on a motor vehicle.

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What is the presumption of abuse in bankruptcy? 

This article will explain what the presumption of abuse is and take a brief look at how it's possible to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy even though there is a presumption of abuse.

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What is the presumption of abuse in bankruptcy? 

This article will explain what the presumption of abuse is and take a brief look at how it's possible to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy even though there is a presumption of abuse.

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5 Important Bankruptcy Questions (and Answers!)

If you’re thinking about filing bankruptcy, you have questions. We’ll answer the most common bankruptcy questions for you right here so you can decide whether you want to take the next step in the bankruptcy process or explore other debt-relief options that might interest you.

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Student Loan Rehabilitation Gets the Default Status Dropped

Student loan rehabilitation is a way to get your student loans out of default status. If you’re currently trying (unsuccessfully) to get student loan relief but aren’t eligible for any programs because you’re in default, student loan rehabilitation may be exactly what you’ve been looking for.

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How A Personal Bankruptcy Lawyer Can Help You Erase Debt

A personal bankruptcy lawyer can help you erase debts or you may choose to file bankruptcy on your own. Depending on the complexity of your situation and the type of bankruptcy you file, hiring a personal bankruptcy lawyer can be a great investment.

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What are the Colorado Bankruptcy Exemptions?

While the U.S. Bankruptcy Code operates in basically the same way throughout the country, there is one important exception: States have the ability to choose whether their residents can use the federal bankruptcy exemptions or have to use the exemptions available under state law even in a bankruptcy. While some US states allow people to choose between exemptions drafted by state lawmakers and federal bankruptcy exemptions, as a Colorado resident, you are not permitted to use the federal exemptions. Fortunately, Colorado has generous bankruptcy exemptions that can protect your property. So, you will have to use Colorado’s bankruptcy exemptions and federal nonbankruptcy exemptions, if applicable in your case. Unless stated otherwise, married couples in the state filing together can usually “double” the amount, provided both have an ownership interest in the relevant asset or property.

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Can My Spouse Be Pursued for My Debts?

A judgment is a court order declaring that you do owe the debt and must repay it. How all of this can affect your spouse, if you are married, largely depends on whether you reside in a common law or community property state and the judgment-debtor laws of your state.

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Debt Collection Basics: Can I Pay Off Debts in Collection?

Learn how to tell if your debt is in collection, how you can use a payment plan to pay off your past-due debt and what steps you can take to stop stressful collection account activity.

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Chapter 7 Document Checklist

Filing bankruptcy is a very document intensive process. In this article, we’ll look at what documents you’ll need to gather to ensure your case proceeds smoothly and without unnecessary complications.

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Bankruptcy for Senior Citizens

Filing any bankruptcy can be a complicated process but filing bankruptcy as a senior citizen can be especially challenging. This article will discuss when bankruptcy may be right for seniors, the types of bankruptcy and debt relief alternatives to filing for bankruptcy.

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What are the California Bankruptcy Exemptions?

If you are a California resident, you can’t protect your possessions, like bank deposits and commercial vehicles, under the Bankruptcy Code’s exemptions. So, Californians filing bankruptcy have to use California exemption law. Some states permit filers to choose between a set of federal bankruptcy exemptions and the state exemption system. However, California isn’t one of them. California is called an “opt-out” state, which means federal bankruptcy exemptions are not available to filers in the state.

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The Small Business Reorganization Act: How Subchapter V Election Changes A Small Business Debtor’s Bankruptcy Filing

The SBRA creates a subchapter to Chapter 11 that is designed to allow small business debtors an alternative to large and expensive Chapter 11 cases. Electing Subchapter 5 removes many of the financial barriers and administrative burdens faced by small business debtors in a typical Chapter 11 case. While Subchapter 5 streamlines the Chapter 11 bankruptcy process, you will still need an attorney to successfully complete this bankruptcy successfully, as it is a complicated process.

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What Does Bankruptcy Mean?

Bankruptcy is one of those words that everyone’s heard but many don’t really know what it means. Especially with so many high profile bankruptcies in the news these days, it can be hard to figure how bankruptcy can actually help a regular consumer. Let’s take a look at what bankruptcy means and how the different types of bankruptcy enable you to take back charge of your finances.

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How to Protect Property from Garnishment

A garnishment is an order by a court to withhold and surrender a portion of a person’s pay to another entity that has been awarded a judgment against the debtor. Exemptions exclude certain property or funds from being taken by way of garnishment or levy.

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What Happens If I Have Pawned Property and File For Bankruptcy?

Pawn transactions are almost always the last option for individuals seeking cash, as pawn contracts do not favor the borrower. They favor the pawnshop or title loan company. If you’re thinking about filing for bankruptcy, read on to learn more about how pawn shops work, what a title loan is, and what happens to these transactions in a bankruptcy case.

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Can I Fix Negative Information on My Credit Report?

This article will explain how to obtain your credit report, and what types of information, both negative items and positive, will appear on that report. This article will also discuss the issue of “fixing” a credit report when misinformation appears on your credit history.

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What are the Wisconsin Bankruptcy Exemptions?

You will find a list of available exemptions in the federal Bankruptcy Code, or you may instead decide to use exemptions available under Wisconsin law. However, keep in mind that each state has the option of “opting out” of this scheme. Bankruptcy filers in an opt-out state may only use their state exemptions and not use the federal exemptions. As Wisconsin hasn’t opted out of the choice between state exemptions and federal exemptions, Wisconsinites who file bankruptcy can choose between federal bankruptcy exemptions or state exemptions. Actually, you will be happy to know that Wisconsin is one of the few US states that allows filers this choice, and this is a real advantage if you are filing Chapter 7 in the state. However, keep in mind that you are not allowed to cherry-pick exemptions from both lists; you can select only one set of exemptions. If you’re using Wisconsin law to exempt your property, you can also use the federal nonbankruptcy exemptions, if applicable. This also means that if you’re filing for bankruptcy in the state, you should review both sets of exemptions and then choose what scheme can best protect your property. Hiring an attorney can be helpful in this respect.

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What are the Oregon Bankruptcy Exemptions?

There is some good news for Oregonians who are looking to file for bankruptcy protection in the state. Note that now there are 2 separate systems of bankruptcy exemptions to protect Oregon filers in bankruptcy. The Governor signed a significant law on July 1, 2013, that now allows individuals filing either Chapter 7 bankruptcy or Chapter 13 bankruptcy in the state to elect to use federal bankruptcy exemptions. It is a huge change to the bankruptcy process in Oregon with a substantial impact on bankruptcy cases now being filed.

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What are the Ohio Bankruptcy Exemptions?

Although some states in the country allow people to choose between the federal bankruptcy exemptions and state exemptions, this option is not available if you are filing bankruptcy in Ohio. Ohio, like many other states, has its own bankruptcy exemptions. If you’ve lived in Ohio for at least 2 years when filing your case, you have to use the Ohio bankruptcy exemptions and can’t use federal exemptions Note that one great advantage of using state bankruptcy exemptions in Ohio is that you will have an additional list of bankruptcy exemptions that might be available to you. So, while you have to use Ohio bankruptcy exemptions if you file a bankruptcy in the state, you can use the federal nonbankruptcy exemptions as well. These exemptions protect certain qualifying property, like federal and military retirement benefits.

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What are the Illinois Bankruptcy Exemptions?

If you have done a bit of research on bankruptcy cases in Illinois or exempt property, you will probably have come across the terms federal bankruptcy exemptions and state exemptions. Many states in the US allow people to choose between the federal exemptions and state exemptions. However, you don’t have that option in Illinois. In Illinois, you are not permitted to use the federal bankruptcy exemptions if you’ve lived in the state for at least 2 years when you file bankruptcy. Fortunately, Illinois has generous bankruptcy exemptions that can protect your property.

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What are the Florida Bankruptcy Exemptions?

If you have done some research on bankruptcy cases or exempt property, you will probably have come across the terms federal bankruptcy exemptions and state exemptions. Although the federal Bankruptcy Code has a list of bankruptcy exemptions, these exemptions aren’t available in Florida. In Florida, you are not permitted to use the federal bankruptcy exemptions. Florida residents have to use the state exemptions. Also, you can use the federal nonbankruptcy exemptions contained in the federal law if you have any assets covered by them.

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Is Upsolve the same as DebtorCC?

No, Upsolve is not the same as DebtorCC. Upsolve is a legal aid nonprofit that helps low-income Americans get Chapter 7 bankruptcy relief without an attorney. DebtorCC is a government approved credit counseling company that offers the required pre- and post-filing bankruptcy courses to folks in all 50 states.

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What Happens if You Ignore Debt Collectors?

Most of us don’t like talking to debt collectors. Anxiety over past-due bills runs high enough. No one wants the added pressure of collection calls and threatening letters. To make matters worse, many people who have collection accounts feel powerless. When there isn’t enough money to go around, it may seem pointless to pick up the phone and talk to a collection agency. Even talking with an original creditor can be tough once your account moves into collection status. Fortunately, you have options for taking charge of your debt and rebuilding financial security. Upsolve is here to help you find the information you need to make the right decision for you and your family.

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Corporate Bankruptcy Explained

When a corporation gets into financial trouble, the company may be able to file for bankruptcy protection. In some ways, corporate bankruptcy is like consumer bankruptcy. But, there are also important differences. In this article, you’ll learn how the two types of business bankruptcy differ, how each works, and how corporate bankruptcy is different from personal bankruptcy.

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Should I inform my tax preparer about my bankruptcy case

Yes. If you find out that you are owed a refund there may be special instructions provided by your trustee that you will need to follow regarding your refund check that your tax preparer must know before filing your returns.

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What is debt consolidation?

Debt consolidation is one of many possible options for debt relief. In simple terms, debt consolidation involves combining multiple debts into one obligation. However, there are risks and downsides associated with taking on this type of debt. This article describes how debt consolidation works, how it can be beneficial, and what pitfalls you may face.

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What is credit counseling?

Credit counseling is not a debt relief solution in itself. Instead, it’s a starting point for people who are looking for the right solution.

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What is post petition debt?

This article will explain what “post-petition” means, what post-petition debt is, the difference between post-petition debt and debts you simply forgot to include in your bankruptcy forms, the effect of your discharge on post-petition debt and whether the timing of the discharge affects the new debt.

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Debt Consolidation v Bankruptcy – Which is Better?

Almost anyone who is experiencing difficulty paying their bills and considering filing for bankruptcy will come across advertisements or solicitations for something known as “debt consolidation.” This article will discuss the difference between debt consolidation and bankruptcy and give you some help in deciding which is better for you.

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What are Priority Unsecured Debts?

We usually hear debts divided into two categories: secured and unsecured. A debt is secured if the lender has a security interest in some property and can take that property if you don’t pay. But, in bankruptcy, there are other important distinctions. Some unsecured debts get special treatment. In this article, we’ll explain the different types of unsecured debt, and what it means when a debt has priority.

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What is a Debt Management Plan?

When you’re struggling with debt, your first step should always be to educate yourself about your options so you can make the best decision for you and your family. This article describes one possible option: a debt management plan, also known as a DMP. A debt management plan involves working with an agency to consolidate your payments. The agency will also work with your creditors to try to get you better terms, so you can pay off your debt more quickly.

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Bankruptcy and the Homestead Exemption

Bankruptcy exemptions play an important role in Chapter 7 cases, and the homestead exemption may be the most important of all. It’s the homestead exemption that makes it possible for many people to wipe out unsecured debt in Chapter 7 bankruptcy without losing their homes. In this article, you’ll learn how the homestead exemption may protect your house in bankruptcy. We’ll also touch on some of the limitations of the homestead exemption. And, we’ll discuss alternatives for people who aren’t fully protected by their state’s exemptions.

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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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Telling your Creditors about Filing Bankruptcy

You don’t have to tell a creditor that you’re filing bankruptcy before you file. Doing so may or may not help you simmer down collection calls. Once your case is filed, the court notifies your creditors.

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What to do if you have to get something notarized for your bankruptcy case

While it’s not common in bankruptcy cases, there are occasions when a filer may be required to submit a document with a notarized signature. When a signature is notarized, the notary public has confirmed the identity of the person signing the document and made sure that the person is signing the document voluntarily. 

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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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