Upsolve Named to TIME’S 100 Best Inventions of 2020 after Relieving $250 Million in Debt for Low-Income Families

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TIME has named Upsolve to its 100 Best inventions of 2020.

By recognizing Upsolve, TIME highlights the massive opportunity for technology-driven nonprofits to serve marginalized communities when the private market and government have failed to meet their needs.

TIME has named Upsolve to its 100 Best inventions of 2020. The list recognizes “groundbreaking inventions” that are “making the world better and smarter.”

Upsolve has built a free web app that helps low-income families who cannot afford lawyers file bankruptcy for free. Chapter 7 bankruptcy is a powerful poverty-fighting tool that allows families to relieve their debt and re-enter the economy after suffering from financial shocks – most commonly medical illness and job loss. Upsolve makes this tool accessible at scale.

In response to the award, Ivetty Estepan, an Upsolve spokesperson, noted, “We all usually think of innovation, especially in personal finance, as coming from the for-profit sector. By recognizing Upsolve, TIME highlights the massive opportunity for technology-driven nonprofits to serve marginalized communities when the private market and government have failed to meet their needs.”

To date, Upsolve has relieved over $250 million in debt for families across the United States and is currently the largest nonprofit in America helping families access bankruptcy protection. The average Upsolve user has $225 in their checking account, while the average cost of a bankruptcy lawyer is about six times higher than that amount.

According to Upsolve co-founder and CEO Rohan Pavuluri, “Today’s legal fees in many areas of poverty law are like modern-day poll taxes. When you can’t afford to pay the fee, you can’t access your rights. And many complicated legal forms, such as those in bankruptcy, resemble modern-day literacy tests, stopping you from accessing the rights you're supposed to be guaranteed.” Pavuluri continued, “I’m happy to see TIME recognize the role of technology and innovation to address these widespread civil rights injustices.”

Over the next 12 months, Upsolve aims to grow awareness around its service, focusing on the expected increase in demand from indviduals facing financial distress due to the historic unemployment crisis driven by COVID-19. In the long run, Upsolve aims to use its direct service track record to advocate for and inform a simpler, more equitable legal system that empowers more people to solve their own legal problems when they cannot afford a lawyer.

About Upsolve

Upsolve is a 501(c)(3) legal services nonprofit that helps low-income families file for bankruptcy for free, using an online web application. To date, Upsolve has relieved over $250,000,000 in debt. Spun out of Harvard Law School, Upsolve has received numerous awards, including TIME Magazine’s Best Inventions of 2020, Fast Company’s 2019 World Changing Idea of the Year Award in Social Justice, and the New York Times Good Tech Award in 2018. Upsolve is funded by Y Combinator, Eric and Wendy Schmidt, the Robin Hood Foundation, the Legal Services Corporation, the Hewlett Foundation, Jim Breyer, Vinod Khosla, Chris Sacca, and several others. For more information, please visit upsolve.org.

Important Links:

Types of Bankruptcies Explained

Pros and Cons of Bankruptcy

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Means Test Calculator

Cost of Bankruptcy

Buying a House After Bankruptcy

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Ivetty Estepan
Upsolve
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since: 02/2017
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