Posts Tagged: ‘U.S. Department of Education’

How To File For Bankruptcy with Student Loan Debt

December 26, 2017 Posted by kingcade

For consumers struggling with significant debt, filing for bankruptcy may be your best option to provide you with a fresh start. If your debts consist of federal student loans, it is not an easy process to get these discharged in bankruptcy; however, it is possible.

The first thing you must do is to decide whether you will file for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. In Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the goal is to get unsecured debt wiped out. This means, you have little disposable income available to pay off your debts. If you choose to file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, your plan is to get your debts restructured in order to repay some of it. This also means you likely have some disposable income to repay part of your debt.

The most important part of your case when you have student loan debt is that you must prove “undue hardship” to the court. This means that you must prove that you cannot pay back your federal student loans. In order to prove undue hardship, you and your bankruptcy attorney must file a petition called an adversary proceeding, which is unique to bankruptcy involving student loan debt.

In most courts, The Brunner Test is used to evaluate hardship. Below are 3 factors of The Brunner test outlined by the U.S. Department of Education’s Federal Student Aid office:

  • The filer cannot maintain a basic standard of living if paying back federal student loans
  • The filer can prove the hardship will last for a large percentage of the repayment period
  • The filer honestly tried to repay the loans before filing

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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 McMaken 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 McMaken website at www.miamibankruptcy.com.

When Shared Bills Outlast Your Relationship

January 6, 2017 Posted by kingcade

Between 1993 and 2005, married couples were legally allowed to consolidate their student loan debts. In 2005 the federal government stopped allowing joint consolidation loans, however, thousands of couples who have since gone through divorce have been stuck with their former spouses’ student loan debts.

The Boston Globe reported an instance where a woman consolidated her student loans with her husband’s in order to get a lower interest rate. At the time, she owed approximately $4,000 and he owed $19,000. When the couple divorced four years later, the woman was stuck with the entire joint debt that had reached over $30,000. After fighting it in court, she was told it could not be split and since her former husband did not have a job at the time, she was ultimately responsible. As a result, she lost her home to foreclosure, declared bankruptcy and had her paycheck and tax returns garnished.

Unfortunately, this is not uncommon for couples who consolidated debt during their marriage and later divorced. The U.S. Department of Education says federal law does not allow the old loans to be split, even in cases involving domestic violence. Joint borrowers also cannot apply for income-based repayment plans unless both parties submit financial information.

Borrowers facing “unique circumstances, such as domestic violence,” are encouraged to contact the Federal Student Aid Ombudsman to explore options.

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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.

The U.S. Government is Collecting Student Loans it Promised to Forgive

December 27, 2016 Posted by kingcade

In recent years, the U.S. Department of Education has taken on two different roles in the lives of indebted former college students. The same bureaucracy must collect on the $1.1 trillion in student loans in an attempt to protect taxpayer dollars and it also oversees the nation’s largest-ever effort to forgive student loan debt.

The government’s dual roles have since caused problems for former Corinthian Colleges Inc. students. Tens of thousands of these former students had their student loans cancelled and according to the Obama administration they were supposed to be reimbursed in full. However, the Department of Education has been actively collecting on federal student debt owed by the former students.

Corinthian Colleges Inc. filed for bankruptcy in 2015 under a cloud of fraud investigations. As a result, government officials had reason to believe that some of these students’ debts should be forgiven. However, former students have come forward saying that they are still being approached for payment on their loans. When companies have made similar attempts at collecting on debt that is not actually owed in the past, they have been charged by federal and state regulators with violating the law.

According to the former director of the Federal Trade Commission’s consumer protection division, David Vladeck, “There’s no clear-cut reason why there shouldn’t be automatic loan forgiveness for people who otherwise would have a legal claim for deceptive conduct against this now-bankrupt company.” He went on to say, “These kids by and large have been scammed, and the Department of Education in some sense is continuing that harm by making them jump through hoops to get the relief to which they are entitled.”

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.

Student Loan Debt Hits another Record High

November 1, 2016 Posted by kingcade

Student loan debt has reached another record high, according to the annual report of The Institute for College Access and Success (TICAS).  In fact, 68% of graduating seniors had student loans, and their average debt increased 4% from the previous year’s record to $30,100.

This means college graduates will face student loan payments exceeding $300 a month over the next 10 years.  What is more disturbing is that 19% of those loans are private student loans, which are loans issued by banks instead of the federal government.

Private student loans tend to come with higher interest rates, non-flexible repayment plans and oftentimes do not offer loan forgiveness.  Compared to federal loans, private student loans can be much harder to repay, especially if the borrower falls on hard times.

The high level of private debt is concerning because much of this debt is avoidable. Nearly half of students who take out private loans have not maximized all of the federal student loans they are eligible for.  The U.S. Department of Education will lend almost any undergraduate anywhere from $5,500 to $12,500 a year, depending on their age and year in school.

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.

The collapse of ITT Tech gives former students a chance to wipe out their student loan debt

September 1, 2016 Posted by kingcade

Students who graduated or dropped out of ITT Technical Institute may be the biggest winners in the federal government’s aggressive actions against the for-profit school.  The Education Department’s sanctions on the Carmel-based ITT Educational Services Inc. allow past students to take advantage of the “defense to repayment” rule that can wipe out their student loans.

Federal law gives the Education Department broad discretion to forgive student loans for borrowers who claim they were defrauded or that their college violated state laws. The government recently made the case that ITT has done just that and is inviting former students to request what could amount to hundreds of millions of dollars in loan forgiveness.

The “defense to repayment” rule applies to all former students with federal loans, but does not cover private loans.

Another piece of good news- The Education Department is simplifying the claim process for borrowers. The defense to repayment rule falls under the U.S. Higher Education Act. It has existed for years, but received little attention until recently.

The Education Department has already forgiven more than $4.2 million in loans from more than 2,000 Corinthian College students who claim they were defrauded by the for-profit chain. Students at other for-profit colleges, such as Brown Mackie College, which is closing most of its campuses, will likely have a strong case as well due to the precedent set by Corinthian.

ITT has been ordered to begin working with other colleges to facilitate transfers for students. Anyone already enrolled in ITT can continue to access federal loans if they want to finish their program. If ITT closes, the Education Department has said it will forgive current students’ loans.

Here are some ways you can submit a claim:

Go online: https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/repay-loans/forgiveness-cancellation/borrower-defense

Email your claim: FSAOperations@ed.gov

Mail your claim: U.S. Department of Education, PO Box 194407, San Francisco, CA 94119

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.indystar.com/story/money/2016/08/26/itt-techs-collapse-could-help-former-students-wipe-out-their-loans/89419812/