A phone scam promising to forgive borrowers’ student loans is making the rounds, again. The scammer asks for an upfront fee to negotiate with the loan lender on your behalf, then takes the money and runs.
The best thing you can do if you are contacted, is to hang up the phone. Student loans can be forgiven, but only under certain circumstances. Here are some tips from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) to help spot a student loan debt relief scam:
1.) Upfront fees. No upfront fees should ever be charged by a student loan debt relief company. In addition, you should not be required to sign a contract with the company. The CFPB notes that free assistance is available through your student loan servicer and advises that oftentimes taking upfront payment before debt relief services have been provided is illegal.
2.) Promises. Fraudulent student loan debt relief companies will promise borrowers loan forgiveness or even complete cancellation. The false promise of negotiating with your lender under federal student loan programs is a flat out lie.
3.) Signing documents. Student loan debt relief companies should not require that you sign a “third party authorization” or a “power of attorney.”
4.) Requests for your Federal Student Aid PIN: Borrowers should be extremely cautious of any student loan debt relief company that asks for this information. The CFPB states that, “honest companies will work with you to come up with a plan and will never use your PIN to access your student loan information.”
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.