Debts

Bankruptcy can erase many debts from things like credit cards, medical bills, and payday loans. But it can’t erase some debts like most student loans.

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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Store Cards and Bankruptcy

Issuing credit cards to their customers is a favorite and quite effective marketing technique used by many retail stores. It makes the customer feel special and come back to take advantage of the “deals” only available to card holders. Common examples include Best Buy, Kohl’s and Apple credit cards. This article explores how store credit cards are treated in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

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Objection to Discharge

Although it doesn’t happen in most consumer cases, creditors have the ability to object to having their debt discharged. Some debts are not dischargeable by default. Others become non-dischargeable once a creditor objects and the court finds that cause exists to exclude a certain debt from being discharged. This article will explore why an unsecured creditor - like a credit card company or bank - would object to a discharge and how the process works.

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Can I keep using my credit cards until I file bankruptcy?

Once you’ve decided that you’ll be filing bankruptcy to deal with your debt, you should not continue to incur new debt. That includes making new charges on your credit card, or getting a new loan. 

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Can attorney fees be included in bankruptcy?

Attorney fees can, and should, be included in any bankruptcy filing. The larger question is whether attorney fees can be discharged in a bankruptcy proceeding. The answer to that question is generally yes. In this article, we will explore what to look out for if you're trying to discharge attorney fees.

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What is a luxury item and why does it matter for my Chapter 7 bankruptcy?

A luxury item is something that is not reasonably necessary for your maintenance and support. It’s something you don’t need to live. Non-luxury items, on the other hand, are things you purchase to cover necessities for yourself and your dependents. Things like groceries, utilities, rent, and gas. The term luxury item includes both products and services that cost more than $725.

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Giving gifts before filing bankruptcy

The bankruptcy system doesn’t care about the fact that you purchased your kids some toys for Christmas, or that you’re giving a friend a $10 gift card for their birthday. But, you will be required to list all persons who received gifts with a combined value greater than $600 within the 2 years before your bankruptcy case is filed. This article discusses how gift giving is viewed in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

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Can Social Security Overpayments be Discharged in Bankruptcy?

If you owe money to the government due to an overpayment of social security benefits, you may be concerned about whether you’ll be able to eliminate this debt as part of a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Keep reading to learn how to make sure you are able to discharge your debt for this overpayment.

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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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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 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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Our favorite personal finance blogs

Learn about some of our favorite personal finance-related blogs.

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Can I leave debts out of my bankruptcy?

Even though it might seem to make sense to leave certain debts out of your bankruptcy filing, you're not permitted to actually do so.

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Does Bankruptcy Affect Alimony?

You will still be obligated to pay alimony if you file for bankruptcy. Alimony is not a dischargeable debt.

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Can I erase judgments in bankruptcy?

If you've been sued by someone you owe money to, your bankruptcy discharge will protect you from having to pay the judgment, but that's not true for all judgments. Here is an overview of what types judgements are erased in bankruptcy and examples of judgment that can't.

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What is Community Debt?

"Community Debt" is: - any debt that you or your spouse acquired *__while married__* or - any debt for which you and your spouse are co-signers

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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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How long does it take my debt to be discharged?

Your trustee meeting takes place 21-40 days after you file for bankruptcy. Then, about 60 after your trustee meeting, your debt will be officially discharged. 

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What should I do if a creditor tries to collect a debt during my bankruptcy?

Filing bankruptcy means that you shouldn't have to deal with creditors or debt collectors for a while.

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What type of debt can I erase in Chapter 7 bankruptcy?

Most debts can be erased in Chapter 7 bankruptcy, including: - Credit card debt - Medical debt - Most judgments from collection lawsuits - Personal loans - Utilities bills - Phone bills

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What Happens to My IRS Tax Debt If I File Bankruptcy?

The most common of all of debts owed to the IRS is back, or unpaid, income taxes. Chapter 7 bankruptcy is an option if your tax debt meets certain requirements.

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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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What is Secured Debt in Bankruptcy?

When you get a loan by promising property as collateral to a creditor, you have a secured debt. A [Chapter 7 bankruptcy][1] can eliminate your obligation to pay a secured debt. But, bankruptcy can’t prevent creditors from taking any property you pledged if you default on your payments.

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Can Bankruptcy Erase Student Loans?

Millions of Americans are dealing with student loan debt. If you are looking for a way to erase your student loan debt then bankruptcy may be an option for you. This article details ways you can deal with your student loan debt.

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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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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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Can I Get Rid of my Medical Bills in Bankruptcy?

This article will explain what bankruptcy is and what type of bankruptcy may be beneficial to you, how your medical debt is affected by bankruptcy, and how you can get started on your journey to discharging your debt and obtaining a fresh start. 

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How to Find a Credit Repair Lawyer?

A credit lawyer can help you repair your credit score by correcting mistakes and errors on your credit report. However, you can perform many of these steps yourself without an attorney. If you need to file for bankruptcy relief without an attorney, Upsolve can provide guidance

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What is Unsecured Debt?

You can get rid of unsecured debt by filing a bankruptcy case. Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 cases eliminate most unsecured debts.

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What should I do if I don't remember the creditors I owe in my bankruptcy?

If you don't remember the creditors you owe when filing for bankruptcy, don't worry. In many cases, you can still erase the debts you owe.

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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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