Student loan debt has skyrocketed since President Trump took office. In fact, the amount of student loan debt has increased by $110 billion in the last 16 months to a total of $1.41 trillion nationwide. It is currently estimated that 45 million Americans have student loan debt and this figure is up two million since Trump’s inauguration.
Not only has the number of student loan borrowers increased rapidly, but actions taken by the Trump administration have raised major red flags with those who have fought for student loan reform for years. The Trump administration has methodically dismantled effective debt relief reforms set by the Obama administration in their efforts to curtail abusive lending practices.
During the Obama administration, the student loan industry was forced to give back approximately $750 million in what was found to be abusive marketing and collection practices targeting student borrowers.
Further, the Department of Education Secretary appointed under Trump, Betsy DeVos, has been moving to eliminate Obama-era rules that penalize lenders who engage in abusive student loan debt collection practices.
One of the major changes made by the Trump administration was through the reorganization of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and its student loan office. The administration argued this reorganization was routine and made no major change to the agency.
However, one of the major changes was made to the student loan debt office’s watchdog or ombudsman function. This specific office was created to address payment difficulties student loan borrowers were facing. By the time the borrowers got to the point where they were reaching out to this office, they were fielding numerous phone calls, many of them harassing and threatening, as well as lawsuits and collections cases. Other borrowers accused lenders of misleading them about any eligibility for debt relief programs, assistance that is meant to lower the borrower’s payments or have their loans forgiven.
The student loan office was key in a major lawsuit against Navient, Inc., a major student loan service provider and former division of Sallie Mae. Navient was accused of convincing borrowers to go into expensive repayment plans without telling them of more reasonable and cost-effective options. A trial date has not yet been set, which leads many to question whether one will ever be set.
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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. There are ways to file for bankruptcy with student loan 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.