Posts Tagged: ‘social security benefits’

Struggling with Student Loan Debt after 50? You’re not alone

February 22, 2017 Posted by kingcade

Student loan debt is no longer limited to the young.  In fact, Americans age 60 and older are the fastest-growing population of student loan debtors.  Those seniors who are living month-to-month on fixed incomes are the most likely to default.  When this happens to borrowers 65 and older, the government can seize a portion of their social security benefits, even if this pushes them into poverty.

Approximately 20,000 Americans 50 years of age and older had their Social Security checks cut below the poverty line in 2015 because of student loan debt.

Many have accumulated the debt helping their children or grandchildren, either by borrowing directly or co-signing on loans.  As these borrowers age, it becomes more difficult to afford their loan payments while also paying for food, housing, prescriptions, and dental and medical expenses.

Many seniors who are carrying federal student loan debt are eligible for income-based repayment plans, where borrowers can pay as little as zero dollars per month or may even qualify to have their loans forgiven after a specified period of time.

But loan servicing companies have not made it easy for borrowers to enroll in the programs or even let them know it was an option.  This deprives seniors of information about payment plans that would allow them to meet their loan obligations without having to skimp on food or necessary medical care.

The federal government needs to make this group a priority, which means ending the practice of garnishing the Social Security benefits of poor or disabled student loan debtors.

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.

Related Resources:

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/13/opinion/haunted-by-student-debt-past-age-50.html?_r=0

Social Security Checks Being Garnished for Unpaid Student Loan Debt

December 29, 2016 Posted by kingcade

In an effort to recoup millions of dollars in unpaid student loan debt, the government has resorted to taking money from borrowers’ social security checks.  Since 2001, the government has collected about $1.1 billion from recipients of all ages.  In 2015 alone they collected $171 million. This has left thousands of retired or disabled Americans with below-poverty incomes, according to a recent report from the Government Accountability Office.

As of September 2015, 114,000 Americans who were 50 and older had their Social Security benefits reduced to offset defaulted student loans, according to the report. Since 2002, the figure has increased by 440%.

The report identifies an increasing trend of baby boomers entering retirement with student loan debt. According to the report, approximately 43% of people whose Social Security checks were decreased have held their student loans 20 years or more.

Borrowers who are determined to be permanently and totally disabled are entitled to have their student loan debt forgiven, though many are unaware of the option, according to the Wall Street Journal. Currently, the government’s student-loan portfolio is $1.26 trillion, with an increasing number of people continuing to fall behind on their payments.

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.

Related Resources:

http://www.wsj.com/articles/social-security-checks-are-being-reduced-for-unpaid-student-debt-1482253337

http://fortune.com/2016/12/20/social-security-checks-garnished/

Murphy Bill will Stop Garnishment of Social Security Benefits to Pay Student Loans

April 27, 2016 Posted by kingcade

A bill has been introduced by U.S. Representative Patrick Murphy that will prevent social security benefits from being garnished to repay student loan debt.  Murphy says it is a problem that needs to be addressed and believes expanding higher education opportunities and protecting Social Security benefits are key to bolstering the middle class.

In the fiscal year that ended in October, 860,000 individuals had their Social Security benefits reduced to pay for federal debts, with the federal government collecting $382 million, according to the Senate Finance Committee. This number included attempts to collect other debts besides student loans.

According to the General Accountability Office, the number of people whose Social Security benefits were reduced specifically to pay off student loan debt increased from 31,000 in 2002 to 155,000 in 2013. The numbers for those older than age 65 increased from 6,000 to 36,000 in the same period. Some of those were paying down debts incurred to educate their children through co-signing or Parent PLUS loans. In fact, people older than 65 owe $18.2 billion on student loans.

The Murphy Bill is a step in the right direction, but still falls short by failing to alleviate the debt for seniors.  Consumer advocates believe the real solution is a change in the law to permit unsustainable student loan debts to be discharged in bankruptcy.

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.

Senior Americans Burdened with Student Loan Debt

September 11, 2014 Posted by kingcade

The student loan crisis is not just affecting young college graduates, it is reported that a growing number of aging Americans are struggling to pay their student loans. Even a senior’s social security benefits become fair game for lenders when borrowers cannot keep up with their payments.

Among Americans ages 65 to 74, 4 percent in 2010 carried federal student loan debt, up from 1 percent six years earlier, according to a recent Government Accountability Office (GAO) report released. For all seniors, the collective amount of student loan debt grew from about $2.8 billion in 2005 to about $18.2 billion last year.

Student loan debt hits seniors especially hard because many of them are also struggling with other challenges such as health problems, divorce and job loss. Some went back to school in hopes of making a higher salary, or co-signed on loans to help fund their children’s education.

The GAO found that about 80 percent of the student loan debt by seniors was for their own education while the rest was taken out for their children or other dependents. Federal data revealed that seniors were more likely to default on loans for themselves compared with those they took out for their children.

The GAO found that about a quarter of loans held by seniors’ ages 65 to 74 were in default. In addition to docking Social Security benefits, the government can use a variety of collection methods to recoup student loans, such as docking wages or taking tax refund dollars.

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 http://www.miamibankruptcy.com

Related Resources:
http://bigstory.ap.org/article/older-americans-struggle-student-debt