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Here’s a news clip on this topic that ran yesterday:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=77xsEU7rFM0

It’s a good short 2 minute summary of what this means and well worth a listen!  I haven’t seen this in the news much and we really need to get the word out because in my 30 years of practice, I see this as finally working to discharge significant federal student loan debt.

So how are we starting on this to get our student loan and bankruptcy clients discharges in 2023?

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how-to-tell-if-a-debt-collector-is-legit-832x400-1When is it time to ignore calls versus doing something about them?

If you are being harassed or threatened collection actions on old debt, there are many things to consider.  First, a legitimate collector is required to send you something in writing within five days of the initial contact under the FDCPA.  That’s sort of a litmus test.  Receiving nothing in writing is a violation, but it’s also a sign of a debt scammer.

Second, check your credit report via annualcreditreport.com.  If the debt is on there, it’s causing you harm and you should do something about it.  Contact us or another consumer attorney — the first steps would be to dispute the debt.  Often the consumer rules aren’t being followed.  For instance, balances are reflected more than once, or are inaccurate in other ways.  We often file actions under the Fair Credit Reporting Act which may result in the debt being removed once and for all (waiver of debt or trade line deletion), and you may receive damages due to the inaccuracies.  Everything relies on good credit it seems.  Bad credit can harm you in all kinds of ways.  You don’t pay us up front – we only get paid if we are successful in obtaining a recovery.

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Federal student loan paused again till June 30, 2023 or until 60 days after a final disposition of the lawsuits that are currently blocking student debt relief — whichever is sooner.

 

Working on a bankruptcy summary now — lots of new tools to add to our toolbox to help end student loan debt!

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While it took longer than I and many other consumer advocates thought, the house of cards is starting to slip finally.  Many mortgage companies did not fully disclose exactly what would be required once the CARES Act expired and mortgage payments would resume.  I’m sure many homeowners have claims out there but don’t realize it.  These consumer claims are no small thing and can be leveraged for better mortgage terms than what is being offered.  The CFPB is going after Carrington with a big fine — but a private action will result in actual damages for the homeowner.

CFPB Takes Action Against Carrington Mortgage for Cheating Homeowners out of CARES Act Rights

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is taking action against Carrington Mortgage Services for deceptive acts or practices under the Consumer Financial Protection Act in connection with mortgage forbearances, according to a CFPB press release. The CFPB found that Carrington failed to implement many protections, provided to borrowers with federally backed mortgage loans who were experiencing financial hardship, during the COVID-19 public health emergency. The CFPB found that Carrington misled certain homeowners who had sought a forbearance under the CARES Act into paying improper late fees, deceived consumers about forbearance and repayment options, and inaccurately reported the forbearance status of borrowers to the big three credit-reporting companies: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. The CFPB is ordering Carrington to repay any late fees not already refunded, repair its faulty business practices, and pay a $5.25 million penalty that will be deposited into the CFPB’s victims relief fund.

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Urgent 10/31 deadline for PSLF

We have learned that not only must the employer certification be dated 10/31 or before, but borrowers must use the PSLF HelpTool to download and sign the PSLF application by end of day 10/31. We recommend doing so as soon as possible to avoid any technical problems.

The application itself can be mailed or faxed after 10/31, but must be signed with a date of 10/31 at the latest.

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Borrowers seeking public service loan forgiveness have ONE week left or until October 31, 2022, to:

  1. Get your consolidation application filed for any FFEL or Perkins loans to make them eligible; AND
  2. Have your employer sign the PSLF certification form.
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We were able to help Michelle get rid of $160,000 in federal student loan debt and she posted this Google review today.  Note that the Biden forgiveness of 10k would have only been small drop in a very large bucket.  There are lots of things going on out there – and if you have student loan debt, this year is the very best year for you to finally do something about it!

$160,000.oo in student loan debt gone. $160,000.oo to $0.oo I wasn’t sure at first. They helped me file for my total and permanent disability discharge. I had my initial consultation with Attorney Arkovich and she was spot on with everything. After my initial consultation I worked with Jeremy on everything. He always answered my emails and phone calls quickly no matter the question. Even after my discharge he responded quickly to a question I had. I never thought I would get rid of my student loan debt. With my health failing it was a burden that I would never be able to manage. I would recommend Attorney Arkovich to any disabled person who needs help. My personal experience was exceptional. Thank you Attorney Arkovich and Jeremy 😃

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dinnerMuch like the chaos of a Targaryen family dinner, the Joint Consolidation Loan Separation Act was signed into law today by President Biden – which creates an enormous timing problem.

While this is awesome news for borrowers of federal student loans who are trapped in this “One Way In, No Way Out” Spousal consolidation program where none of the newest and best ways to obtain forgiveness applies — there is one very large problem and that is timing.

You only have two weeks to take advantage of this change for public service work!!!  Why isn’t this being talked about?

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A podcast I did for Wealthy Woman Lawyer about student loan debt relief just dropped here:  https://www.wealthywomanlawyer.com/episode-164/

The key to increasing wealth is often thought of as increasing multiple revenue streams etc.  While reducing expenses may not be the most important thing to increasing wealth, sometimes you just can’t get past the day to day without making moves to reduce your expenses.

In this podcast, Davina Frederick and I, discuss how a business owner can intentionally reduce their student loan debt by taking advantage of various programs and tax relief now.  Not next year, but now.  Many of the fixes to the broken federal student loan system expire at the end of this year so it’s important to review where you are and what your plan is to get rid of this debt now!  Tune in for some ideas here.

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People are often confused about how attorney’s fees work – when do you have to pay your own, and when does the losing party have to pay?  This question is very important when you are faced with a decision of whether to “take someone to court”.  In the United States, each party pays their own attorney’s fees unless a contract or statute states otherwise.  Often a person is denied justice unless a contract or statute allows recovery of attorney’s fees because it simply does not make financial sense to right all wrongs.

Many consumer protection or debt harassment protection statutes such as the FCCPA, FDCPA, and the FCRA provides for the recovery of attorney’s fees.  Attorneys act essentially like mini attorney generals in that regard.  We can sue for someone under a statute that provides payment from an offending creditor for instance.

Contracts are another way in which attorney’s fees are recoverable.  You might read in a mortgage or debt related contract that the creditor is permitted to obtain its attorney’s fees and court costs if it has to pursue legal action to collect a debt.  While these contracts don’t clarify this, an attorney’s fee provision in a contract goes both ways, at least in Florida.  If the consumer is the prevailing party, the consumer can obtain their attorney’s fees and court costs as well.

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