Many people, he added, in financial straits don’t know their legal options or the benefits of bankruptcy, such as wiping out debt and stopping wage garnishment.
“It’s a fresh, clean start,” said Ashley Eklund, program director at the Clark County Volunteer Lawyers Program.
She said they’ve taken on about a dozen cases since the beginning of the year. The program got a $2,000 grant to cover the discounted license fee to use the Upsolve software, which pays for costs such as pulling tax returns and credit reports.
When clients call the volunteer lawyers program seeking bankruptcy filing assistance, they go through a screening process and then are directed to fill out Upsolve’s online questionnaire. Hiring a private attorney to do all the work from start to finish can cost anywhere from $990 for a simple case to $5,000, Eklund said.
“It’s unfortunate that a good percentage of this country can’t afford that,” Pavuluri said.
The Clark County Volunteer Lawyers Program is income-restricted, helping people who earn 200 percent of the federal poverty level or less; that’s a maximum annual income of $24,280 for a single person.
Need help filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy?
• Call the Clark County Volunteer Lawyers Program at 360-695-5313.
What to learn more about Upsolve?
• Visit https://upsolve.org/