After the debtor’s attorney makes the final diagnosis, confirming the debtor is a good fit for bankruptcy, the attorney should send the debtor to Upsolve to get instructions on the pre-filing credit counseling course. This is the last step before the debtor and the attorney meet to finalize the bankruptcy forms.
We direct debtors to take the course online at the nonprofit Cricket Debt. We have an integration with Cricket Debt in which our debtors have a special login page. Upsolve also automatically receives the debtor’s Certificate of Completion and attaches it to the email we send the LSP that contains the complete petition.
Yes. But Upsolve does not do this for debtors. The debtors must apply for fee waivers themselves. We do tell debtors that credit counseling fee waivers exist and provide information on how to apply for them.
Yes we do. This is attached to the petition we email our point of contact at LSPs after the debtor has used our software.
The attorney who assists the debtor enters into a limited scope agreement with the debtor. As outlined below, the attorney helps the debtor complete and review the petition, but the attorney does not show up in court to represent the debtor.
No. The attorney’s name and signature do not appear on the petition in anyway. There is a notice of pro se assistance that includes the legal aid organization’s name and appears at the end of the petition submitted to the court. But this notice of pro se assistance does not have the attorney’s name. In the really small chance some further assistance is required by the debtor after filing, the attorney is not professionally obligated to provide it in anyway. The court does not know who the attorney is that provides assistance to the debtor.
The Upsolve workflow requires an attorney exactly twice.
To see the full checklist, click here. It includes items the attorney can complete before the meeting with the debtor and items the attorney must complete during the meeting with the debtor. When the meeting is over, the attorney must provide guidance to the debtor on next steps.
Upsolve sends the LSP an editable PDF that the attorney can open and edit in Adobe Acrobat Reader, a free desktop application available for download here.
The debtor must get a printed copy of the final petition, sign it in all the right places, and mail/hand deliver it to the courthouse in which he is filing. The debtor must also make two copies of the signed petition and send mail one to his assigned Trustee, who he will receive from the clerk’s office. Electronic filing is currently not permitted for pro se debtors.
If the debtor meets with the attorney in person (or the debtor meets with the attorney over teleconference at the LSP’s office), we suggest the attorney or LSP staff member print out the petition for the debtor, have the debtor sign it, make two copies, and then mail the petition to the right bankruptcy courthouse. If the bankruptcy courthouse is anywhere near where the debtor lives, we suggest the attorney or LSP staff member give the hard copies of the petition to the debtor to file in person at the courthouse on his own, instead of mailing the copies to the courthouse. This allows the debtor to get a feel for what the court is like and where it’s located.
If the meeting occurs over the phone while the debtor is at home, the attorney must email the debtor a complete final draft of the petition. The debtor must print it out on his own, sign it, make copies, and mail/hand deliver the petition to the court himself.
When all the signing, printing, and mailing is done, the attorney/LSP staff member tells the debtor to return to Upsolve to complete the post-bankruptcy debtor education course and watch the 341-prep video.
The debtor can take the post-filing debtor education course right after the filing is complete. We suggest the debtor take the course as soon as he files his petition, so that he can print out the Certificate of Completion and give it to the clerk’s office when he goes to the court for his 341 meeting. At Upsolve, the debtor receives instructions on where and how to take the course.
No. If a debtor is above the household median income and is subject to the means test, the LSP should not send them to Upsolve.
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.