Deciding To File

If you’re asking yourself, “Should I file for bankruptcy?” we can help you. We walk through the bankruptcy means test and other things to consider.

Can bankruptcy take your 401k or IRA?

Retirement accounts are almost always protected in a bankruptcy case. If you are considering filing, it’s best to keep your retirement assets where they are. Unless you can fully pay off all of your debts, taking money out of your retirement accounts to keep up usually only prolongs the inevitable.

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Will Bankruptcy Stop Wage Garnishment?

Wage garnishment is a tool used by creditors to collect their debts through the court. Filing for bankruptcy will not only temporarily solve your wage garnishment problems, but potentially eradicate them altogether.

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Can I File For Bankruptcy After Moving To A New State?

Moving generally only impacts the property that you’re able to protect during your bankruptcy process. If you're moving to a new state, or have recently moved, you’ll need to know which bankruptcy property exemptions now apply to you.

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Can bankruptcy help with payday loans?

Filing for Chapter 7 triggers the Automatic Stay which prevents the payday loan company from trying to collect the debt. If it is later discharged, you are no longer obligated to pay it back.

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What if I'm afraid to file for bankruptcy?

Many people in the United States are afraid to file for bankruptcy because they do not understand that most people who file are financially better off in the long run. After filing, most people see their debt erased and their credit scores improved. If their wages are garnished due to judgments, bankruptcy stops wage garnishment. Bankruptcy also improves employment outcomes.

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How can I get free legal aid help?

If you’re filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, there is a good chance that you cannot afford an attorney to help you through the process. Attorneys are a great investment for people who can afford them, as they’re constantly available to answer questions and it is usually pretty easy to find an attorney who can take your case right away if you’re willing to pay them for it.

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I'm married. Will filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy affect my spouse?

If you’re filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy and your spouse is not, you may be wondering whether they are going to be affected. The short answer is that if your debts are separate, their credit will not be impacted.

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I haven’t worked in years, can I apply for bankruptcy?

Yes! Many of the people we help do not have jobs. You do not need to have a job to file for bankruptcy. 

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I didn’t file my tax returns for the last two years. Can I still file for 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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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](http://my.upsolve.org "online screener") to see if you meet our either criteria. 

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My credit is really bad. Will bankruptcy help?

The vast majority of people who have low credit scores see their credit scores increase post-bankruptcy. For academic research on this subject, check out [this study](https://www.newyorkfed.org/medialibrary/media/research/staff_reports/sr725.pdf "this study"). 

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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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What documents do I need before I start?

You need the following documents before you get started with Upsolve: 1. Pay stubs from the last 60 days if you're employed and get pay stubs 2. Tax returns from the last two years, if you filed taxes  3. Names/Address of all the people you owe money to that aren't on your credit report. Upsolve pulls your credit report, so we will know about everyone on it. You don't actually need the bills. Just make sure you have names/addresses. 

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My son needs to file for chapter 7 bankruptcy. What should I do?

Tell your son to go to [upsolve.org](https://upsolve.org "upsolve.org") and click the green button that says "See If You Qualify."

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

__No__. In short, if you file bankruptcy, your social security number is the one the bankruptcy attaches to. A co-signer’s social security number will not be involved, and thus the bankruptcy does not go on their credit.

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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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Will my utility company take my deposit when I file bankruptcy?

Maybe. The utility company is allowed to keep any security deposit that you paid them before bankruptcy. They are also allowed to charge you a reasonable security deposit for future services after you file.

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I might be moving to a new state. Should I wait to file until after I move?

If you plan to move out of state within the next three months, *__it is usually better to wait to file unless your 341 meeting would occur before your move.__*

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I just took out pay day loans. Should I wait 90 days to file?

It is a good idea to wait at least 90 days to file after taking out payday loans or making any substantial purchases. This is because these types of transactions can make a trustee or judge suspicious and less likely to approve your bankruptcy. It looks like you are "cheating" - wracking up debt knowing that you could just get rid of it in bankruptcy right after.

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Can I File for Bankruptcy After a Lawsuit?

Bankruptcy can help a lawsuit depending on the type of lawsuit you’re involved in. The most typical kind you might be facing is if a creditor has filed a civil suit against you for non-payment of a debt which may lead to the creditor garnishing your paycheck.

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Should I file for bankruptcy before I get married?

Having a spouse does not automatically mean a bankruptcy affects both of you. However, if you and your future spouse have joint debts then there are multiple factors to consider such as whether one or both of you need to file, what your future plans are and if you want to conserve costs to file.

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Keeping a Checking Account During Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

If your account is being garnished, the bankruptcy case should stop the garnishment. The garnishment should not start again if the debt is wiped out in the bankruptcy case. However, if the garnishment is for alimony, child support, or taxes, the bankruptcy won’t wipe out the debt and the garnishment continues.

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Will bankruptcy stop a levy?

In most cases, bankruptcy can help pause and then erase the debts that cause you to have a levy on your account.

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Can I Get a Job, Housing, and Benefits if I File For Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?

Many people feel that the consequences of bankruptcy will extend to their life, work and income. However, the vast majority will keep their day-to-day lives intact without issue.

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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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Will Chapter 7 bankruptcy lower my credit score?

According to the New York Federal Reserve, the credit scores of those who file for bankruptcy are higher than people in the same shoes who don't.

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Can Bankruptcy Take Your House?

A serious fear that many people have when they file for bankruptcy relief is losing their home. Sadly, losing a home may prevent some people from seeking legal advice about bankruptcy relief. Let’s look at some factors that address the fear that bankruptcy takes homes.

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Should I File For Bankruptcy or Debt Relief?

When a person cannot pay his or her debts, creditors can become extremely demanding in their attempts to collect debts. In some cases, debt collectors may harass individuals for payment of debts. However, if you do not have any money left over each month to pay your bills, you cannot manage to pay the debt regardless of what a debt collector tells you.

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Is It Bad To File For Bankruptcy?

Many people asking themselves, "Should I file for bankruptcy?" also wonder, "Is it bad to file for bankruptcy?" If you're in lots of debt, the answer is usually no.

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Should I File For Bankruptcy After A Repo?

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

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Should I File for Bankruptcy do another Debt Relief Option?

Many people considering bankruptcy also consider other debt relief options. Find out which is the best option for you to manage your debt.

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Low Cost Bankruptcy: Do Good Options Exist?

Filing for bankruptcy can get expensive. Apart from finding an affordable bankruptcy attorney, there are ways to file at low cost.

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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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Can Bankruptcy Stop Foreclosure?

Filing bankruptcy can help you stop foreclosures, so that you can stay in your home.

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What are the Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Income Limits?

This article outlines the income limits you need to know about if you're filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

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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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Bankruptcy Requirements for Chapter 7

Filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy has several requirements. Whether you're filing for bankruptcy on your own or with an attorney, you'll want to follow them.

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How long does Chapter 7 bankruptcy take?

How long does Chapter 7 bankruptcy take? Upsolve explains how long it takes to get a discharge from start to finish.

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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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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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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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How Can I Stop Florida Wage Garnishment with Bankruptcy?

Wage garnishment can be stressful and hurt your ability to recover from financial shocks. In Florida, there are laws that may be able to help you protect your income.

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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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Finding Bankruptcy Paperwork for your Chapter 7 Case

Filing for bankruptcy can be complicated. This article gives tips on how to find the right paperwork to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

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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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What Happens to My Car Loan After Bankruptcy?

You might be wondering what happens to your car loan after bankruptcy. One popular misconception is that bankruptcy can get rid of your car loan while allowing you to keep your car. This article goes over your options for dealing with a car loan during and after Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

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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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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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How Can You Eliminate Tax Debt to the IRS with Bankruptcy?

You may be able to eliminate debt that you owe to the IRS for taxes by filing for bankruptcy. Learn how filing for bankruptcy can help with your tax debt.

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Legal Aid Bankruptcy Resources in New York City

Free legal aid nonprofits provide pro bono assistance to people who cannot afford bankruptcy attorneys. See if there's a legal aid nonprofit in New York City that can help you.

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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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What are the Chapter 7 Income Limits?

Before you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you have to make sure you're eligible. Check out Upsolve to see if you qualify - they're a nonprofit that helps low-income Americans get a fresh start through Chapter 7 bankruptcy at no cost.

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How Do I Prepare for Bankruptcy?

It may be helpful to take these steps to prepare for filing for bankruptcy, whether you're working with a bankruptcy attorney or filing on your own online.

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Bankruptcy Filings in America - 2017

Millions of Americans have found debt relief through bankruptcy. In fact, thousands of Americans file each month.

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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 Non-Dischargeable Debts in a Bankruptcy Filing?

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 11 Explained

If you are searching to find a solution to debt problems, we can help you choose between a Chapter 7 vs. Chapter 11 bankruptcy case. A Chapter 7 bankruptcy can help you get rid of debts quickly for very little cost to you. You can get the fresh start you need with Upsolve’s assistance.

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Bankruptcy in Georgia

Bankruptcy in Georgia can help you get rid of unsecured debts. We'll walk you through special considerations for filing in Georgia.

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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 Chapter 11 Bankruptcy?

Chapter 11 bankruptcy is designed to help struggling individuals and businesses restructure their finances. Unlike Chapter 7, Chapter 11 reorganizes your debts, instead of liquidating them. Check out Upsolve for more information on how to get a fresh start with Chapter 7 bankruptcy at no cost.

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What is the San Diego Bankruptcy Court?

Are you ready to file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case in the San Diego Bankruptcy Court? If you need help but you cannot afford to hire a bankruptcy attorney, contact Upsolve for no cost bankruptcy services for low-income Americans from a trusted nonprofit organization.

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How Much Does Bankruptcy Cost?

Filing for bankruptcy has a cost. But the cost of filing for bankruptcy is different, based on your financial situation. Learn the price of bankruptcy for you.

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

Chapter 7 bankruptcy has its pros and cons. Read this article to figure out whether Chapter 7 bankruptcy is a good fit for you.

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Why Chapter 13 Is Probably A Bad Idea

Chapter 13 can often leave you in worse financial shape. It costs more than Chapter 7 and your case is is less likely to be successful.

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Should I File for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?

If you're in debt and you're thinking about filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy to erase your debt, this article will help you make your decision.

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Do I Need Debt Consolidation?

Debt consolidation does not erase debt, but it can be helpful in reducing your interest rate on debt you owe.

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Can I Keep My Property If I File for Bankruptcy?

Most people who file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy end up keeping all their property. But that’s by no mean a given. Before filing for bankruptcy, it’s very important to know which exemptions will apply to your property and whether they can protect your property.

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How Will Chapter 7 Affect My Employment?

You cannot be fired simply because you filed for bankruptcy. In fact, employers usually don’t learn about it and it is illegal for an employer to discriminate based on your past filing history.

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What is Bankruptcy Legal Aid and Pro Bono?

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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Chapter 7 vs. Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

Many low-income debtors have to decide between filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy and filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy. This Upsolve guide will help you figure out which type of bankruptcy is best for you.

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What is Bankruptcy?

Chapter 7 bankruptcy is a powerful tool that helps Americans erase their debt from credit cards, medical bills, judgments, personal loans, etc.

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Bankruptcy Information You Need to Know

Bankruptcy does not need to be a complicated process. Here's basic bankruptcy information that you need to know.

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Questions about bankruptcy?

Research and understand your options with our articles and guides.

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Questions about Upsolve?
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Upsolve is a 501(c)(3) legal aid nonprofit that started in 2016. Our mission is to help low-income Americans in financial distress get a fresh start through Chapter 7 bankruptcy at no cost. We do this by combining the power of technology with pro bono attorneys. Spun out of Harvard Law School, our team includes lawyers, engineers, and judges. We have mission-driven funders that include the U.S. government, former Google CEO Eric Schmidt, and private charities.

To learn more, read our reviews from past clients, or read our press coverage.

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