Posts Tagged: ‘Bankruptcy Protection for Student Loan Borrowers’

Student Loan Debt- Not just a burden to the student

December 3, 2015 Posted by kingcade

Ninety-four percent of parents of college students are increasingly feeling the burden of student loan debt, according to a 2014 survey by Citizens Financial Group.  More than half of those parents are worried that the cost of college will impact their ability to retire.  Parents who cosign on their child’s student loan debt assume equal responsibility for repaying the loan.  That means any late payments not only hurt the child’s credit, but the parents as well.

The problem is wide-reaching, but the middle class seems to have been hit the hardest.  In many instances, the debt is held by private lenders because federal loans have been maxed out.  Those taking out the loans oftentimes do not qualify for need-based aid since their parents make “too much” money.

Parents who are shouldering the burden of student loan debt are encouraged to look for ways to improve their cash flow by reducing monthly expenses like cable bills, refinancing mortgages to lower interest rates and shopping around for the best insurance coverage.

Click here to read more on this story.

For borrowers who are struggling with student loan debt, relief options are available. Many student loan borrowers are unaware that they have rights and repayment options available to them, such as postponement of loan payments, reduction of payments or even a complete discharge of the debt. It is important you contact an experienced Miami bankruptcy attorney who can advise you of all your options. As an experienced CPA as well as a proven bankruptcy lawyer, Timothy Kingcade knows how to help clients take full advantage of the bankruptcy laws to protect their assets and get successful results. Since 1996 Kingcade & Garcia, P.A. has been helping people from all walks of life build a better tomorrow. Our attorneys help thousands of people every year take advantage of their rights under bankruptcy protection to restart, rebuild and recover. The day you hire our firm, we will contact your creditors to stop the harassment. You can also find useful consumer information on the Kingcade & Garcia website at www.miamibankruptcy.com.

Law School Grad Tries to Discharge Student Loan Debt in Bankruptcy

November 26, 2015 Posted by kingcade

A recent law school graduate with close to $300,000 in student loan debt is asking for the U.S. Supreme Court’s help in getting it discharged in bankruptcy.  Courts including the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Seventh and Eighth circuits are split on what constitutes “undue hardship,” the determining factor as to whether a debtor is eligible for a bankruptcy discharge.  The U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit is also on the fence with the issue.

Law school debt has been getting more attention recently.  Lawmakers on both sides have “sharply criticized U.S. law schools” for burdening students with crushing debt and non-marketable degrees, according to Bloomberg Business.

This particular student’s alma mater – Florida Coastal School of Law in Jacksonville, FL – has received some negative press about its graduates’ debt.  Those in the 2015 graduating class that had debt (93 percent) carried a balance of almost $163,000. In addition, the median Law School Admission Test (LSAT) score for Florida Coastal students was in the bottom 25%.

This student has failed the bar exam for the third time and is living at home with his parents below the poverty line. According to the debtor’s petition, he has struggled with depression and misdemeanor convictions, which make it difficult to find work in the legal field.

It is extremely difficult to prove undue hardship in the Seventh Circuit, without the presence of a serious medical condition, like Alzheimer’s disease or being paralyzed in a car accident.  The bankruptcy laws are supposed to be uniform, but there is a split on what the courts consider undue hardship.

The Eight Circuit uses a “totality of the circumstances test,” which is a more flexible standard.  It allows bankruptcy courts to consider a variety of factors when determining undue hardship.  As a result, if a debtor lives in Arkansas – in the Eight Circuit – like in this case, there is a good chance the high court will grant the certiorari.

Click here to read more on this story.

For borrowers who are struggling with student loan debt, relief options are available. Many student loan borrowers are unaware that they have rights and repayment options available to them, such as postponement of loan payments, reduction of payments or even a complete discharge of the debt. It is important you contact an experienced Miami bankruptcy attorney who can advise you of all your options. As an experienced CPA as well as a proven bankruptcy lawyer, Timothy Kingcade knows how to help clients take full advantage of the bankruptcy laws to protect their assets and get successful results. Since 1996 Kingcade & Garcia, P.A. has been helping people from all walks of life build a better tomorrow. Our attorneys help thousands of people every year take advantage of their rights under bankruptcy protection to restart, rebuild and recover. The day you hire our firm, we will contact your creditors to stop the harassment. You can also find useful consumer information on the Kingcade & Garcia website at www.miamibankruptcy.com.

How the Government Polices what Student Debtors Spend

November 4, 2015 Posted by kingcade

A social worker at Sacramento County’s department of children’s protective services who filed for bankruptcy, asked the court to forgive the $137,000 she owed in student loans because paying them, she said, would make it impossible to provide for her five family members, which include her elderly mother, disabled husband, and three children.

According to lawyers for the Department of Education, her $700-per-month food budget was too high and “she cannot purposely choose to live a lifestyle that prevents her from repaying her student loans.”

The government’s scrutiny of her cash flow is not surprising. For more than a decade, the Education Department has closely examined debtors’ basic expenses in its fight to prevent student borrowers from discharging their student loans in bankruptcy- often disqualifying those who need it the most.

In some bankruptcy proceedings, courts will consider how much someone is spending, to determine how much they can reasonably pay back to their creditors in the future. However, when it comes to student loan debt, the government has additional leverage. The Education Department can deny people bankruptcy altogether if its lawyers can show that debtors are spending too much on basic items like fast food, cable television, or even their pension plans.

Government lawyers are given license to do such meticulous accounting because of a provision in the bankruptcy code. Congress passed rules in the 1970s making it nearly impossible to get rid of student loan debt in bankruptcy unless they can prove “undue hardship,” without defining the term. Instead, it is left to the courts to interpret the law. Most courts require debtors prove they cannot maintain a “minimal” standard of living while paying the debt back.  Lawyers for the Education Department generally view any sign of excessive spending as an argument that debtors don’t qualify.

Click here to read more on this story.

For borrowers who are struggling with student loan debt, relief options are available. Many student loan borrowers are unaware that they have rights and repayment options available to them, such as postponement of loan payments, reduction of payments or even a complete discharge of the debt. It is important you contact an experienced Miami bankruptcy attorney who can advise you of all of your options. As an experienced CPA as well as a proven bankruptcy lawyer, Timothy Kingcade knows how to help clients take full advantage of the bankruptcy laws to protect their assets and get successful results. Since 1996 Kingcade & Garcia, P.A. has been helping people from all walks of life build a better tomorrow. Our attorneys’ help thousands of people every year take advantage of their rights under bankruptcy protection to restart, rebuild and recover. The day you hire our firm, we will contact your creditors to stop the harassment. You can also find useful consumer information on the Kingcade & Garcia website at www.miamibankruptcy.com.

New Initiative Aimed at Restoring Bankruptcy Protection for Student Loan Borrowers

February 10, 2012 Posted by kingcade

The National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys (NACBA) is launching a new initiative aimed at restoring bankruptcy protection for student loan borrowers. 860 members responded to the survey asking about experiences with potential clients who have tried to discharge student loan debt. The message of the survey results was clear: ‘unmanageable student loan debt threatens to reach crisis proportions in the not distant future if Congress does not restore bankruptcy relief.’

Individually, college seniors who graduated with student loans in 2010 owed an average of $25,250, up five percent from the previous year, according to a report from the Project on Student Debt at the Institute for College Access & Success (TICAS). Collectively, the amount of student borrowing crossed the $100 billion threshold for the first time in 2010 and total outstanding loans exceeded $1 trillion for the first time last year. Americans now owe more on student loans than on credit cards, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, the U.S. Department of Education and others. Additionally, because there are fewer people with student loans than there are credit card holders, the debt burden on the individual borrower is considerably higher.

Although educational borrowing is up for every age group over the past three years and young people still carry the biggest student loan debt burden, borrowing has grown far more quickly for those in the 35 to 49 age group, according to an analysis by the credit score tracking site CreditKarma. Bills are pending in the House and Senate to restore bankruptcy protection for private student loans. NACBA supports those bills and is asking Congress to go further and restore bankruptcy relief for government education loans.

To read more on the report prepared by the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys (NACBA) visit:
http://nacba.org/Portals/0/Documents/Student%20Loan%20Debt/020712%20NACBA%20student%20loan%20debt%20report.pdf

If you are in a financial crisis and are considering filing bankruptcy, contact an experienced attorney who can advise you of all of your options. Since 1996 Kingcade & Garcia, P.A. has been helping people from all walks of life build a better tomorrow. Our attorneys’ help thousands of people every year take advantage of their rights under bankruptcy protection to restart, rebuild and recover. The day you hire our firm, we will contact your creditors to stop the harassment. You can also find useful consumer information on the Kingcade & Garcia, P.A. website at www.miamibankruptcy.com.