Our Plans for the Future

3,344 families filed bankruptcy using Upsolve.

Written by Rohan Pavuluri.  
Updated May 16, 2019

A nonprofit web app that helps you file bankruptcy for free.
  • We've helped over 2,000 families each clear on average $52,507 of debt.
  • Our users often file within 10 days of starting.
  • Our award winning nonprofit's help is 100% free.

Every week at Upsolve, I have the opportunity to explain what we’ve done so far and where we’re heading. What we’ve done:

  1. Relieved $50,000,000+ in debt for low-income families. We’re now the largest legal aid nonprofit in the United States for bankruptcy by a factor of five. By the end of the year, we hope it’ll be by a factor of 10.

  2. Became the first national legal service provider in the United States. We did this by choosing software rather than brick-and-mortar offices to deliver our service. Before Upsolve, legal aid has been delivered on a state-by-state or city-by-city basis.

  3. Found a sustainable business model, which now covers over 50% of our operating costs.

When it comes to where we’re headed, three things will always be the same. These have stayed constant since we started.

  1. Our desire to automate as much of the attorney and paralegal experience as possible, while preserving the human element that we believe is required.

  2. Our desire to reach more low-income families in debt.

  3. Our desire to generate earned revenue, so we’re less reliant on philanthropy.

Our precise plan for how we execute on automation, growth, and monetization changes every week, month, and quarter as we learn new things about how our users behave and what they like. At the moment, here are the strategies we’re executing.

Automation

We’re building features to make the QA process that our attorney reviewer conducts as seamless, short, and high quality as possible. This includes streamlining our manual attorney review experience and improving the automated checks we perform on the data our users submit.

We’re also building features to automate as much of the paralegal experience as possible. We automate customer support by improving self-service content. After a user files, we’ll also automate texts messages to them about what they need to do next, based on the information we get from the court. Our paralegal does this manually now.

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Fresh Start Diaries
"I'm going to be honest with you, pre-bankruptcy my credit score went down to a 543. My score today is a 720. With the help of Upsolve, I feel free again. I have the ability to build myself into something new."
I filed with Upsolve. Read my story →

Growth

For top of the funnel, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is our main growth channel, and we’re confident it’s the most scalable, effective channel available to us right now. SEO is driven by producing the best content possible and getting as many backlinks to your website as possible from other reputable websites. We invest resources into SEO by hiring people to write great content and by hiring people to do outreach for backlinks.

Once low-income families end up at our site and decide to use Upsolve, we grow our impact by making sure that people do not drop off in our funnel due to friction they experience with our product.

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Monetization

Our main revenue source is fees that attorneys pay us for referrals we make when a website visitor is not a good fit for our service. By improving SEO, we improve revenue. Better visibility in Google search leads to more people on our website who opt into attorney referrals because we can't help them.

We philosophically believe we should help everyone we can. This means that even moderate means families who are above 200% of the poverty line, which is the general income limit for legal aid, still receive assistance from Upsolve. Our income limit is the median income, which is higher than every legal service provider in the United States. We don’t believe in lowering our income limit so that we can generate more referral fees.

We also generate a small amount of revenue by asking users to donate what they think is fair after they file with us.

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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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