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reboot_your_life_after_bk-ebook-picThere are so many things that set us apart and in my opinion make us one of the best law firms in the Tampa Bay area that you can choose to file your bankruptcy.  Whoever you are looking to hire to file a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you should ask these questions:

  • What kind of lawyer and staff turnover do you have?  (our bankruptcy paralegal and attorney have been with us for five plus years – nearly ten in fact – it helps to speak with the same person as your case progresses, who knows you and your situation)
  • Can you help me with my student loans (this is where we really stand out — we own student loans – every day, we are reducing or outright eliminating student loan debt in one form or another)
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debt-settlementWells Fargo has always been difficult to work with when we try to negotiate private student loan settlements.  However, we’ve started to see better deals in the past two weeks from other private student loan servicers  – so I believe Wells Fargo loans are now fair game.

Well Fargo is exiting the student loan business.  In a recent Bizjournal article “Wells Fargo sells off private student loan business,” nearly $10 billion of student loans were transferred to Apollo Global Management, Inc. and Blackstone Group, Inc.  While it’ll be a few weeks, we expect this changing of the guard will open the doors for reasonable settlement opportunities.  Something we haven’t been seeing for most all of Wells Fargo loans.

What we’re telling our clients now is this:  don’t wait until the moratoriums are over.  Now is the time to get good deals.  In a few months time, after the moratoriums are lifted, creditor attorneys will back at it.  Filing lawsuits.  Garnishing wages.  Repossessions.  When they have the power to do those things, they will raise their settlement demands.  Their clients are bleeding money right now.  Now is the time to settle your debt  — whether it be credit card, deficiency judgments, private student loans, car loans, you name it.  In 6-12 months, the economic landscape will be better, and these deals we see now, won’t be there any longer.

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stimulusLet’s be frank.  If you have more than $10,000 unsecured debt, it may be better to use any stimulus monies to discharge all of your unsecured debt by filing a chapter 7 bankruptcy, rather than simply put it toward the interest that continues to accrue.

If this is your best option, there is good news.  The new stimulus bill provides that this money will not be considered property of the bankruptcy, nor will it count against your income.

The most recent stimulus payments under the new stimulus bill (Consolidated Appropriation Act) are not property of the estate under temporary Code § 541(b)(11) enacted under the CCA.  They are also excluded from CMI under the original CARES Act, at least until March 27, 2021.  After March 27, until Dec. 27, 2021 when the CCA provisions sunset, you might argue that they are not disposable income under a separate amendment to the Internal Revenue Code enacted under the CCA (adds new 26 U.S.C. § 6428A) by providing that “no applicable payment shall be subject to, execution, levy, attachment, garnishment, or other legal process, or the operation of any bankruptcy or insolvency law.”

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https://www.tampabankruptcylawyerblog.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/10/2015/07/christie_d._arkovich_p.a_1_small.jpgDon’t let this happen to you or one of your loved ones!  Take action now!  Tell your loved ones and friends to take action now.  Don’t wait for Congress.  With the $2,000 stimulus that is now likely, it appears that President Elect Biden may have to push any meaningful student loan relief further down the road.  Also what will that relief mean:  10k reduction is my best guess – after Congress approval.  Why not reach out to us and go for the the whole tamale.  10k is usually nothing for most of our clients.

This is a review we received today from a very happy client in Tampa Florida after we got rid of ALL of his federal student loans:

Thank you so much, you have no idea how appreciated you are for your all of your time work, and effort {to eliminate 100% of my student loan debt tax free}.

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YAY — Bloomberg posted this tonight at 9:02 p.m.  I couldn’t be happier about Secretary DeVos resigning from the Department of Education.  It is well known that she has been a thorn in student loan advocates’ sides for quite some time!

It’s too early to tell what exactly all the changes will be, but I imagine they will be numerous.  Stay tuned and please follow us on Facebook or Twitter (see above buttons) or subscribe to our blog for a play by play…

Christie Arkovich

 

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https://www.tampabankruptcylawyerblog.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/10/2015/07/christie_d._arkovich_p.a_1_small.jpgHow do you feel about discharging student loan debt in bankruptcy?

The American Bar Institute (ABI) Consumer Bankruptcy Committee conducted a poll on what changes would attendees like to make to student loan discharges that I found interesting:

10%    Recommended no changes – leave it as it is

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ABIToday the American Bar Institute (ABI) Consumer Bankruptcy Committee presented an excellent webinar about the new bankruptcy bill pending in the House.  Basically, the House would eliminate the existing Chapter 7 and 13, and replace them with a new Chapter 10 under the Consumer Bankruptcy Reform Act of 2020.

While this is a major overhaul and expectations are low that it would pass as is, there is a good possibility that many of the points within may be included in various stimulus bills and are important to note for the future.  I am not expressing an opinion for or against any of these items.  I’ve included a short summary below:

The first goal was to streamline the process and make it cheaper:

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As the owner of a small bankruptcy law practice in Tampa, Florida, we were often thought of as the epicenter of the great recession and foreclosure crisis back in 2008-2012.

One thing that always made a big impression on me, was the number of people who genuinely believed and tried their very best to catch up with their bills once they became re-employed.  These were folks who unfortunately had to run up their credit cards when not working, only to encounter high interest rates and an inability to catch up and actually pay down the balance even after they got a good paying job.  Then I had to tell them that they could no longer file a Chapter 7 – the full bankruptcy.  Instead, they were limited to filing a Chapter 13 – and partially or even worse, fully repaying the debt.  Now this doesn’t always happen, but if you’re making 80k, are single and filing bankruptcy, it could.  And often did.

Don’t be this person.  Consult a bankruptcy attorney if you’ve had to run up your credit cards or incur a pile of debt whether medical expenses, unpaid rent, etc.

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https://www.tampabankruptcylawyerblog.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/10/2015/07/christie_d._arkovich_p.a_1_small.jpgThe question as to whether the private student loans were incurred “solely to pay qualified education expenses” under 26 U.S.C. Section 221(d)(1) is where these cases are won or lost.

In Conti v. Arrowood Indemnity Co., No. 20-1172 (6th Cir. 12/14/20), the Court affirmed a bankruptcy court’s judgment against the borrower, and refused to consider arguments that were not raised at the trial court level.

Why is Conti decision important?  Two reasons.  First, it put a lot of emphasis on the purpose of the loans – as opposed to their actual use.  Court vary on this approach and it may depend upon where you live as to what approach is used by your courts.  Second, the Sixth Circuit emphasized the need to fully flesh out all available legal arguments and facts at the trial court level.

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