Bankruptcy Law, student loan debt

Betsy DeVos Faces Possible Jail Time for Failing to Forgive Student Loan Debt

Department of Education Secretary, Betsy DeVos, has been under fire for her failure to forgive student loans for more than 150,000 student loan borrowers. These borrowers have filed a lawsuit against both DeVos and the Department of Education, alleging they are being deprived of student loan forgiveness they have earned through the borrower defense.

DeVos has been accused of continuing to pressure former students of one of these institutions, Corinthian Colleges, Inc., to continue to pay their student loan debts. These same students say they were promised that their student loan debts would be forgiven under the borrower defense.

student loan debt, Student Loans

100,000 Borrowers Rejected for Public Service Student Loan Forgiveness

Statistics have come out showing just how many borrowers who have applied for public service loan forgiveness have ended up being denied loan forgiveness.  It is estimated that more than 100,000 applicants have been rejected since the program began, which has many scratching their heads asking why so many borrowers are being rejected?

According to the U.S. Department of Education, as of June 30, 2019, 90,962 student loan borrowers submitted 110,729 applications for public service student loan forgiveness. Of these applications, a total of 102,051 have been processed while 8,677 remain pending. Only 1,216 of the over 102,000 applications submitted have been approved, leaving a total of 100,835 applications being rejected. These numbers mean that less than one percent of all applications have been approved.

Digging deeper into these numbers, only 845 borrowers have received a collective $52 million in public service student loan forgiveness. The average debt discharged is $61,592. Another 726 applications have been approved under the Temporary Expanded Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program, which has given an additional 681 borrowers relief. However, a large number are still left without any recourse or assistance.

The reasons why so many applicants are being rejected vary. Fifty-five percent of them were because the borrowers failed to make all the required qualifying payments while 24 percent of them were due to missing information. Another 15 percent reportedly did not include “eligible” loans. Two percent were rejected due to employment date discrepancies, and another two percent were because the employer listed was not an eligible employer under the program.

If these issues are discovered early on, they can be remedied fairly easily. However, problems arise when the borrower does not discover this fact until years into the program.

The Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program forgives federal student loans for borrowers who are full-time employees, working more than 30 hours per week, in an eligible federal, state, or local public service job or 501(c)(3) nonprofit job. The borrower needs to make 120 eligible on-time payments, as well. Over half of borrowers who were rejected failed to meet this specific requirement.

One of the requirements under the program is the borrower must complete the Employment Certification Form and submit it to the U.S. Department of Education whenever the person begins a job in public service, when he or she switches employers, and annually to ensure that the borrower is on track. Not submitting this certification form can result in the person not remaining on the right track to qualify for the program.

Additionally, borrowers must be enrolled in an income-based federal student loan repayment plan to qualify and must make 120 required payments while enrolled in this federal student loan repayment plan.  As these kinks get worked out, it is possible that the number of applicants who are approved for loan forgiveness will increase. At this time, however, the small amount that are being approved is less than encouraging.

Please click here to read more.

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.

 

Bankruptcy Law, student loan debt

How to Handle Zombie Student Loan Debt

Student loan debt has been known to haunt borrowers for years, if not decades, after that first loan is issued. Many borrowers find themselves on payment plans that can least up to 25 years. To them, a student loan is like a mortgage without the benefit of having the house to live in. Once the debt is paid in full, the last thing that person wants to think about again is that loan. However, for many borrowers, that debt never seems to go away and often comes back in the form of zombie debt.

Most forms of debt are limited by a statute of limitations, which governs how long a creditor can sue the borrower for the debt. Federal student loans were once governed by a six-year statute of limitations until 1991 when that statute of limitations was lifted. Now they are technically collectible indefinitely. Private student loans, however, are still limited by statute.

student loan debt

5 Tips to Keep in Mind Before Taking out a Direct PLUS Loan

Many parents will do anything possible to help their children get a higher education, and that desire to help often takes the form of financial aid. It is estimated that at least 3.4 million individuals have taken out a Direct PLUS Loan to help pay for their child’s college education.  Before considering these loans, it is important to be aware of the risks that come with this form of financial assistance.

Direct PLUS Loans allow parents of eligible college students to take out loans for their children’s education through a federal government program. The U.S. Department of Education is the lender, which is why many borrowers believe that these loans offer a safe and secure option to pay for their child’s education.

  1. Loan Eligibility, Amount Available and Fees. Not all parents are eligible to take out Direct PLUS Loans. First, they must be taken out on behalf of biological and adopted children, although some situations allow for stepparents of dependent students to take out these loans. Parents can take out enough money needed to have their child attend college; minus any amount of financial aid the student receives. Since the tuition and expenses vary from college to college, no maximum amount is set on how much a parent can take out through the PLUS program.Interest rates on PLUS loans are set by the federal government and are currently at 7.6 percent. Since these loans are unsubsidized, this means that interest on the loan begins accruing immediately. Payments on the loans can be deferred by the borrower until his or her child finishes college, but the balance will grow since the interest continues to accrue. If no deferment is requested, the parent will need to start paying right away. Borrowers also will have to pay a loan fee along with interest charges, which varies depending on the year. The fee comes out proportionately from each loan disbursement, but it does not increase the total amount of the loan.
  2. Limits on Repayment Programs. Parents have a handful of repayment options available for PLUS loan programs. The standard repayment plan involves equal payments made over the course of ten years. Borrowers can also request a graduated repayment plan, which allows the borrower to start off with lower payments, building up every two years over a ten-year period. Borrowers can also pay under an extended plan, which spreads the payments out over 25 years instead of 10. The monthly payments are lower, but the borrower ends up paying much more in interest in the long run. However, parent borrowers are limited on the types of repayment plans they may have in addition to these plans, while student borrowers have more options available to them.
  3. Repayment Responsibility May Not Be Transferred. Many parent borrowers take out PLUS loans on the assumption that they can eventually transfer the debt to their child upon graduation. However, this option is not available for a PLUS loan. Responsibility for repayment stays with the parent who is the legal borrower. This fact is important for the parent to realize if loan payments present a problem later as the parent approaches retirement age.
  4.  Impact on Credit Score. Any time a borrower takes out a loan, it should be expected that his or her credit score will take a hit, and that includes PLUS loans. If a parent takes out a PLUS loan, he or she should expect the loan, its balance, and payment history on the loan will appear on the parent’s credit score. So long as the borrower makes payments on time, this fact should not cause too much of a problem. However, if the parent is not able to keep up and misses a payment, the damage to the borrower’s credit score could be significant.
  5. Consequences of Defaulting on the Loan. It is extremely important that the parent borrower be able to handle the payments associated with the PLUS loan. Defaulting on a PLUS loan comes with serious financial consequences and can put the borrower at risk of wage garnishment, as well as offsets on his or her tax refunds or Social Security disbursements.

Please click here to read more.

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.

student loan debt, Student Loans

Lawsuit Filed Against Betsy DeVos for Failure to Cancel Defrauded Students’ Debt

More than 150,000 student loan borrowers have filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Dept. of Education and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos alleging they are being deprived of student loan debt forgiveness they are rightfully entitled to. The lawsuit accuses the Department of Education of failing to implement an Obama-era regulation known as “borrower defense, ” which allows students to have their federal student loans cancelled if their school misled them or engaged in other misconduct.

The attorney representing the Plaintiffs in the case say, “The law is clear: Students who experienced fraud should not be required to pay back federal loans that should never have been made by the Department in the first place.”

Borrower Defense Applications continue to pour in, but it has been reported that the Dept. of Education has not approved or denied a claim since June 2018.  The majority of the complaints concern “for-profit” schools, of which there are some 7,000 around the country, which take in around 15% of government financial aid.

Last year, a federal judge ruled that DeVos’ delays of the borrower defense protections were unlawful.  Still, the agency continues to neglect the applications.

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. 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.

Bankruptcy Law, Debt Relief, Student Loans, Timothy Kingcade Posts

Student Loan Debt Can Affect Your Job in These 13 States

It is hard to believe that student loan debt can cost you your job.  But in 13 states it is legal to revoke a professional license if the borrower defaults on their student loan debt.  These states include:

  • Arkansas
  • California
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Hawaii
  • Iowa
  • Louisiana
  • Massachusetts
  • Minnesota
  • Mississippi
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee
  • Texas

All of these states have laws on the books that make it possible for a professional license to be revoked in the event a borrower defaults on his or her student loans.

This situation puts borrowers at a distinct disadvantage in these states. After all, you need to be able to work to continue making student loan payments every month. However, if your professional license is revoked due to your student loan burden, how are you able to continue paying on your loans?

Many different professions require a license for a person to work in that specific career field. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, approximately 25 percent of all U.S. workers need to hold a license to work in their field, including lawyers, doctors, nurses, teachers, and hair stylists. For many of these individuals, not only did they need to go through years of education to work in their profession, but they also had to obtain a license, which can be a difficult and expensive process. Without that license, they are not able to earn a living in their respective fields.

Recently, more than 100 Florida healthcare workers lost their licenses to practice medicine due to their inability to repay their student loans. If someone is struggling to pay his or her student loan obligations, it can often be beneficial to first reach out to the loan servicer to see if an arrangement can be made. For federal student loans, borrowers have the option of forbearance or deferment.  However, this option can add thousands of dollars to the loan balance, as the interest will continue to accrue.

Bipartisan legislation was introduced last month in Congress that would prohibit states from taking these types of measures to penalize student loan borrowers who default on a federal student loan. Six states, including Alaska, Illinois, Kentucky, North Dakota, Virginia and Washington already have enacted laws that prohibit this practice.

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.

Related Resources:

https://www.usnews.com/education/blogs/student-loan-ranger/articles/2019-04-10/these-states-could-revoke-your-professional-license-over-student-loan-debt

 

 

Bankruptcy Law, Debt Relief, Student Loans

Another Broken Promise to Student Loan Borrowers: Public Service Loan Forgiveness

Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program Proves Unforgiving for Borrowers

A program that was once promoted as a way for student loan borrowers to receive forgiveness for their student loans is now coming under fire after it has been discovered that 99 percent of its applicants have been rejected.

The Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program was created in 2007 and promised to cancel any remaining student debt for those who work government jobs or for non-profit organizations and have been making continuous payments on their student loans for 10 years.  Many teachers, public defenders, Peace Corps workers, and law enforcement officers have applied for the student loan forgiveness offered by the program.

It is estimated that over 73,000 borrowers have applied for debt forgiveness as of March 31, 2019, according to data from the U.S. Department of Education.  However, only 864 of these borrowers have had their loans forgiven. In fact, only one percent of all Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) applications submitted were approved for loan forgiveness. This rate of approval leaves borrowers frustrated and confused as to why they worked so hard to qualify for a program that is now failing them.

Consumer advocates claim that the legislation was poorly written while others claim that mismanagement by loan servicers has led to the issues these borrowers are now facing.

According to the breakdown from the U.S. Department of Education, 16 percent of the denials were due to the borrower having the wrong type of loan while 25 percent were due to information missing in the applications.  In addition, 53 percent of applications were denied due to the borrower not making enough payments.

One of the major issues that borrowers are discovering is that while their loans are federally-guaranteed, they are actually privately owned.  Many law schools have been accused of offering only private student loans in their financial-aid packages but not clarifying this fact to the borrower. Congress has fixed this issue by eliminating federally-guaranteed private loans as of 2010, but if you are a borrower who took out one of those loans before that time, this fact may hurt your chances of qualifying for the loan forgiveness.

Government officials have also been accused of not properly educating borrowers on the requirements of the program or publishing clear guidelines on which employers qualify as a public-service organization and which do not, another issue that has resulted in denials for many borrowers.

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. 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.

 

Bankruptcy Law, Student Loans, Timothy Kingcade Posts

99 Percent of Public Service Student Loan Forgiveness Applicants Rejected

According to recent U.S. Department of Education statistics, more than 99 percent of people who have applied for available public service student loan forgiveness have been rejected. As of December 31, 2018, it was reported that 65,500 total applications for the public service student loan forgiveness program had been submitted. However, of this total, 58,000 applications had been processed with the majority of them resulting in denials. An additional 7,200 applications were marked as pending.

The program’s requirements are complicated, and not well-explained to qualifying borrowers.  Approval requires more than simply working in public service. The Public Service Student Loan Forgiveness Program is offered through the federal government and requires the borrower work full-time, meaning more than 30 hours per week, in an eligible federal, state or local public service job. The borrower can also work for a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, so long as the position is a full-time, eligible one. The borrower must make 120 eligible on-time payments to qualify.

Several different reasons were given for these denials. Seventy-three percent of these rejected applications were denied due to the applicant not meeting the “program’s requirements.” These requirements could mean either the borrower did not have student loans that were eligible for forgiveness, did not have qualifying employment, or did not make the 120 consecutive required qualifying student loan payments. Another 25 percent of these student loan forgiveness applications were denied because the applications were incomplete or had missing information on the employment certification form.

The report indicated that only 610 applications for student loan forgiveness had been approved and that 338 borrowers had received a collective amount of $21.1 million in public service student loan forgiveness. Less than 0.5 percent of the applications submitted were successful.

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. 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.

 

Student Loans

ABI Releases Key Recommendations on Discharging Student Loan Debt in Bankruptcy

Student loan debt can be particularly challenging to discharge in bankruptcy.  The current undue hardship standard can be difficult for most borrowers to meet.  However, that doesn’t mean student loan debt is any less burdensome than other types of debt that are discharged in bankruptcy.  Borrowers can spend years struggling to make payments on student loans, only to see thousands of dollars in interest and fees added to the total if they default on a payment or have to go into forbearance.  Most borrowers do not see bankruptcy as being a viable option to discharge their student loan debt.

However, this may soon change thanks to the recommendations made by the American Bankruptcy Institute (ABI). How student loan debt is handled in bankruptcy is just one of issues being reviewed by ABI and discussed in the final report made by the Commission on Consumer Bankruptcy.

The ABI Commission on Consumer Bankruptcy was created in 2016 with the mission of researching and recommending improvements to the country’s current bankruptcy system. The changes include amendments to the Bankruptcy Code, as well as administrative rules, recommendations on interpreting the current bankruptcy law, and modifications to the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure.

When the Commission began its work, they asked for input on what bankruptcy issues should be reviewed. Student loan debt was one of the issues that received the most recommendations. With consumers holding an estimated $1.5 trillion in student debt, the fact that this issue is an area of focus by the ABI Commission on Consumer Bankruptcy is not surprising. It is also estimated that over 40 million American consumers currently carry some amount of student loan debt.

Bankruptcy is intended to serve as a fresh start for consumers struggling financially, but the tests currently used by bankruptcy courts to determine whether the filer’s student loan debt should be partially or completely discharged makes this fresh start an impossibility for many.

The Commission recommended that the current bankruptcy law be re-written so that student loan borrowers who are no longer able to continue paying on their debts and default on their student loans be allowed to receive this fresh start.

Currently, the law requires that the borrower prove an undue hardship before being able to discharge the debt. However, what qualifies as a hardship is not defined legally. Courts have used various tests to determine what qualifies as a hardship, but no uniform test exists. The Commission recommended that a student loan debt be allowed to be discharged unless certain factors exist including: 1) the debt was made, insured or guaranteed by a government agency; 2) the debt was incurred for the borrower’s own education, and 3) the student loan first became payable less than seven years before the bankruptcy petition was filed.

The recommendations made by the Commission would have the effect of eliminating the protection private student lenders have previously enjoyed. Additionally, it would make it possible for individuals who took loans out on behalf of someone else to get out of the debt, including parents who co-signed loans for their children. These recommendations are being submitted to Congress, and it is hoped that lawmakers will take this report and use it to propel change to the current bankruptcy system.

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. 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.

Related Resource:

https://consumercommission.abi.org/

 

Bankruptcy Law, Debt Relief, Student Loans, Timothy Kingcade Posts

President Trump Plans to End Student Loan Debt Forgiveness Program

The White House has released President Trump’s budget proposal for 2020, and many of the cuts take aim at the student loan debt crisis. Here are some of the specific proposals, which could affect borrowers’ ability to pay off their student loan debt.

  • The end to public service loan forgiveness. According to Trump’s proposed budget, the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program would be eliminated. The effects could adversely impact members of the U.S. Armed Forces, police officers, firefighters, first responders, prosecutors, public defenders, and other public servants.
  • A change to federal student loan repayment. The number of income-driven repayment plans would be reduced to just one. Current plans, such as PAYE and REPAYE, allow borrowers to repay their federal student loans based on income, family size and additional factors, and can result in student loan forgiveness.  The changes would favor undergraduate borrowers who typically earn less than graduate school student loan borrowers. Monthly student loan payments would be capped at 12.5% of income and after 15 years of monthly payments, any remaining student loan debt would be forgiven.  This is five years earlier then the current income-driven repayment options. Graduate student loan borrowers would see the opposite effect – a five year increase to student loan debt repayment before their loans are forgiven.
  • The end to subsidized student loans. Subsidized student loans has traditionally meant that the government pays the interest costs on federal student loans while borrowers are enrolled in school. The rationale behind eliminating these type loans is to save the federal government money by collecting additional interest.  This could result in the cost of a higher education being that much more expensive due to additional interest costs.

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. 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.