2020 Best Invention

Timeline of an Adversary Proceeding (An Overview)

1 minute readUpsolve is a nonprofit tool that helps you file bankruptcy for free. Think TurboTax for bankruptcy. Get free education, customer support, and community. Featured in Forbes 4x and funded by institutions like Harvard University so we'll never ask you for a credit card. Explore our free tool


In a Nutshell

One of our goals this year is to publish a comprehensive guide on filing an adversary proceeding as part of a bankruptcy to discharge student loans. It will initially be published as a series of Learn Articles. The following is one of the sections in the working draft of the Upsolve's Student Loan Adversary Proceeding ("SLAP") Guide.

Written by Attorney Andrea Wimmer.  
Updated January 30, 2021


An adversary proceeding is basically a lawsuit that takes place in the bankruptcy court because that’s connected to a bankruptcy proceeding in some way. Each step of the process will be covered in detail in its own section of the Guide. What follows is a general overview only.  

Timeline Of An Adversary Proceeding To Discharge Student Loans 

Prepare the complaint, gather exhibits. 

Go to court to open an adversary proceeding and file a complaint

Clerk issues summons. This happens either on the day that you file your complaint or within a few days thereafter. Once issued, you have 30 days to serve the summons and complaint (more on how to serve something in an AP later). 

Summons is served and the defendant has 30/35 days to respond by filing either an answer or a motion to dismiss.

  • If they don’t do either and there’s no response, you can file a motion for default asking the court to declare you the winner and grant a judgment against the defendant by default. 

  • If they respond with a motion to dismiss, you’ll be given a chance to file a response to the motion and make your case to the judge at a hearing on the motion.  If the court rules in your favor, the defendant will file an answer.

  • If they respond by filing an answer, the case moves forward to the discovery period. 

Discovery period:  During this time you exchange information with the defendant as you both prepare for trial. This is also more time to reach a settlement with the other side. 

Pretrial proceedings. If no settlement is reached, the matter will eventually be set for trial. 

Trial. The court considers evidence and witness testimony, then makes a decision to either:

  • fully discharge the student loan 

  • partially discharge the student loan, leaving you responsible for the remainder

  • not discharge any portion of the student loan

Appeal. The losing party may appeal to the District Court or the Bankruptcy Appellate Panel (if any). 



Written By:

Attorney Andrea Wimmer

TwitterLinkedIn

Andrea practiced exclusively as a bankruptcy attorney in consumer Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 cases for more than 10 years before joining Upsolve, first as a contributing writer and editor and ultimately joining the team as Managing Editor. While in private practice, Andrea handled... read more about Attorney Andrea Wimmer

It's easy to get help

Choose one of the options below to get assistance with your bankruptcy:

Free Web App

Take our screener or read our bankruptcy F.A.Q. to see if Upsolve is right for you.

Take Screener
6,366 families have filed with Upsolve! ☆
or

Private Attorney

Get a free bankruptcy evaluation from an independent law firm.

Find Attorney

Bankruptcy Learning Center

Research and understand your options with our articles and guides.

Go to Learning Center →

Already an Upsolve user?

Read Support Articles →

News

    + Show Articles

    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.

    Close

    Considering Bankruptcy?

    Try our 100% free tool that thousands of low-income families across the country have used to file bankruptcy themselves. We are funded by Harvard University, will never ask you for a credit card, and you can stop at any time.

    File Bankruptcy for Free