Posts Tagged: ‘student loan debt relief’

How to protect yourself from being the victim of a Student Loan Debt Relief Scam

July 12, 2017 Posted by kingcade

Hundreds of companies charge high fees with the promise of helping struggling borrowers reduce or eliminate their student loan debt.  These companies have capitalized on a booming market.  Not all companies that collect fees in exchange for student loan debt relief are scams, but more than 130 businesses have histories that give consumers a reason to be skeptical.  A recent public records investigation revealed penalties, lawsuits from federal and state authorities, private lawsuits and poor ratings from the Better Business Bureau on these “so called” student loan debt relief companies.

Here are some steps you can take if you are dealing with a fraudulent student loan debt relief company.

End your affiliation with the company: Contact the company to request a refund and cancel your contract, if you signed one.  Contact your bank immediately to cancel automatic payments.  Tell them that you no longer authorize charges from the company.

Contact your lender or servicer: Call and explain the situation and that you have been paying a third-party company for student loan assistance.

Regain control of your student loan account:  Contact your lender or servicer in writing and send a copy of the letter to the debt relief company.  Once you regain control of your student loan account, resume making loan payments to your federal loan servicer or lender if you have stopped.

Take a look at your “FREE” options: Everything a “so called” student loan debt relief company can offer you, the Department of Education or your federal loan servicer can provide for free.  This includes:

Seek legitimate financial help: If you are looking to discuss your financial situation with a professional, a certified student loan counselor trained by the National Foundation for Credit Counseling is a viable option. These advisors work for nonprofit credit counseling agencies and provide one-on-one services, oftentimes free of charge.

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.

Obama Administration Unveils NEW Student Loan Forgiveness Program

June 17, 2016 Posted by kingcade

This week, the Obama administration announced new guidelines for the forgiveness of certain student loans.  The program would forgive student loan debt for those borrowers who were the victims of scams perpetrated by for-profit colleges that used fraudulent or illegal practices to convince students to enroll.  While there are already federal laws in place for this, these new guidelines would make it easier to apply for this type of forgiveness.

If finalized, the new program would go into effect in July 2017. Under the new plan, borrowers would be able to ask for debt forgiveness if they can prove one of the following:

  • The school had a court judgement against it;
  • The school breached their contract with the student;
  • The school made a “substantial misrepresentation” about their offerings, graduate job prospects or the debt the student would accrue.

Under the new proposal, students would be able to request debt forgiveness up to six years following their discovery of the school’s wrongdoing, an increase from the current two-year limit.

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.

Duxbury Father Wins Student Loan Debt Relief Settlement

April 19, 2016 Posted by kingcade

A federal appeals court this week has urged a bankruptcy judge to consider a settlement that would allow a Duxbury father to discharge more than $246,000 of student loan debt he borrowed to send his three children to college.

The case has generated national attention amid the growing concern about student loan debt and what it means for our nation’s economy. For the past four years, The Educational Credit Management Corp., a company hired by the US Department of Education, has vigorously fought the efforts to have the loans discharged in bankruptcy.

Four months after the US First Court of Appeals heard oral arguments in the case and urged the parties to try to settle, the company signed an agreement acknowledging that the debtor should be forgiven because he has proven that repaying the debt would pose an undue hardship. The following day, the appeals court sent the proposed settlement to the bankruptcy court.   The final decision lies in the hands of the bankruptcy judge.

Most courts rely on one of two tests when defining hardship.  These include: The Brunner test, which requires a borrower to show that he has made a good faith effort to repay the debt, cannot maintain a minimal standard of living for himself and his dependents if forced to repay the loan, and is facing additional circumstances that make it unlikely he will be able to pay in the future.

The second test, called the “totality of the circumstances” test, considers a debtor’s past, present, and future financial resources; living expenses; and any other facts and relevant circumstances surrounding each particular bankruptcy case. When assessing hardship, most courts require borrowers to show extraordinary circumstances, such as a serious illness, psychiatric problem, or permanent disability.

In this case, the debtor Robert Murphy lost his $165,000-a-year position as president of a Canton manufacturing company when it moved overseas in 2002, and had been unable to find another job. He depleted his retirement savings to pay bills, which included more than $61,000 that was applied to his student loan debt, which left him and his wife primarily dependent on her $13,200 teacher’s aide annual salary.

Murphy sought to discharge the $246,000 he still owed on a dozen Parent Plus loans he took out between 2001 and 2007 to send two of his children to Loyola University Maryland and a third to the University of Connecticut and Bridgewater State.

If he had it to do over again, Murphy says he would have never borrowed the money, even though he was unemployed when the government issued him the majority of the loans.  Like many in his situation, he believed he would be able to find another high-paying job and repay them.  He launched an exhaustive search and attributed his inability to find work to his age, a failing economy and the decrease in manufacturing jobs.

Murphy’s case was being watched by consumer advocates across the country, who hoped the appeals court would take a new look at what defines undue hardship. The settlement has the possibility to preempt a decision that could establish a precedent.

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

 

Discharging Student Loan Debt is Easier than You Think

January 15, 2016 Posted by kingcade

Contrary to popular belief, it is not impossible to have your student loan debt discharged in bankruptcy. Findings from a study conducted by Jason Iuliano, a Harvard Law graduate and a Ph.D. candidate at Princeton reveal that 40% of those who filed received some sort of discharge from the bankruptcy court.

Iuliano reviewed every bankruptcy case involving student loan debt from 2007. Of the 169,774 student loan debtors who filed for bankruptcy, only 213 filed adversary proceedings. An adversary proceeding is a lawsuit filed within a bankruptcy case. It is also a necessary step in bankruptcy when you are seeking to have student loan debt discharged. Out of the 213 who filed an adversary proceeding, 51 debtors received a full discharge, 30 received a partial discharge and 25 received an administrative remedy.

This means that only 0.1% of those who filed for bankruptcy tried to have their student loan debts discharged and of those who tried, half of them received some form of relief from the court.

Due to the public’s perception that student loan debt cannot be discharged, most student loan debtors who are struggling with large amounts of debt do not attempt to have their loans forgiven.

Below are the steps you should take if you are considering filing for bankruptcy to have your student loan debts discharged:

Hire an attorney. Do not be discouraged if you have to meet with several attorneys before finding one who is willing to take on your case. There are some bankruptcy attorneys who do not take on cases involving student loan debt.

Do some background research for yourself. Look into some of the successful cases where the debtors experienced similar financial struggles that you are experiencing.

Try to negotiate with your lender before filing for bankruptcy. The Department of Education has issued a guidance stating when a lender should not contest a debtor’s claim of undue hardship in bankruptcy.

Bankruptcy court can be invasive. If you decide to file bankruptcy, expect that all of your finances and purchases will be questioned.

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.

 

Related Sources:

http://www.alllaw.com/articles/nolo/bankruptcy/adversary-proceedings-bankruptcy.html

 

Bankruptcy Court Determines “Income Based Repayment” Unrealistic

January 4, 2016 Posted by kingcade

Another borrower has triumphed over his student loan debt, after he filed his own adversary proceeding with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court of the Western District of Missouri.  The judge in this case decided the borrower’s federal student loans should be discharged tax free in bankruptcy, allowing him to save for the future and have a better life.

In his decision, the judge looked at the “totality of the circumstances” the debtor was facing and criticized the income based repayment programs offered by the Department of Education.

The struggling borrower in this case was a truck driver who had maximized his earning potential. The public records summarized his situation by saying, “The Debtor (who represented himself) is forty years old and is unmarried. He is currently employed as a delivery driver, but at times in the past, he has worked as an over-the-road truck driver. He currently earns gross regular income of $2,420 per month, plus overtime in the approximate amount of $643 per month, for a total gross monthly income of approximately $3,063 per month. After payroll deductions for taxes, a modest retirement contribution, insurance, and child support, his net take-home pay is approximately $1,183. The Debtor testified that, due to Department of Transportation limitations on hours of service, he is unable to earn any more than what he is currently earning with the overtime, even if he took a second driving job. He also testified without contradiction that he has no job skills other than as a driver.”

Chief Bankruptcy Judge Arthur Federman noted in his opinion that Income Based Repayment Programs (IBRP) are “not the magic answer to federal student loan debt.”  He further went on to say, a court, “must be mindful of both the likelihood of a debtor making significant payments under the IBRP, and also of the additional hardships which may be imposed by these programs. As stated, interest and other charges would continue to accrue while the Debtor participated in IBRP, meaning that the total debt would be increasing. The overhang of such debt could well impact not only the Debtor’s access to credit over the 25-year IBRP period, but could also affect future employment opportunities and access to housing.”

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.