We’ve made the difficult decision to not take any further clients who have requested assistance in filing Borrower Defense to Repayment applications. Importantly, it is NOT because the program itself won’t result in possible full forgiveness, we still expect that for many borrowers, but it is taking a longgg time. If you have filed a BDTR application, go here and click Manage my Application to find any updates on its processing: https://studentaid.gov/borrower-defense/.
We’ll still be doing all of our other student loan stuff, just not the BDTR applications.
Mostly our decision to not offer assistance in filing BDTR applications is because the Department of Education’s procedures have tied our hands. We can no longer file the applications online like we used to be able to do. Even reviewing the PDF draft applications hasn’t been working well because the application itself when forwarded by the client to our office does not always convey the information to view, many of the text boxes are blank unless and until the application form itself is revised per Adobe to correctly retain the data. It took our IT company some time to figure that out and only the Department of Education can modify their application.
We have been trying to help to file these BDTR applications but it is causing our clients and our staff considerable unnecessary frustration.
If you are an existing client with a BDTR application that hasn’t been filed yet, we’ll be reaching out to you to advise of our difficulties and to offer refunds and advice on filing yourself. You are also welcome to reach out to me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please don’t fail to file an application. If you’ve been thinking about filing a BDTR application asserting that your school misled you and you relied on those false representations in taking out federal loans, but haven’t yet done so, here is the link to file: https://studentaid.gov/borrower-defense/.
Also, here is a guide to help file your application: To assist you in filling out each section of the application, the New York Legal Assistance Group has created this Federal Student Loan Borrower Defense to Repayment Application Guide. This guide can be used by anyone who attended any school regardless of the state you live in or where you attended school. Inside there are a few tips to avoid mistakes and save you time.
If you attended several schools, please fill out an application for each school. This is only for possible forgiveness of federal loans including Parent Plus loans taken out by your parents or grandparents.
I wish we could do more to help people file these BDTR applications but we are risking our stellar reputation by trying to do so because we have been ineffective in our attempts since the Department of Education has changed the rules. Maybe someday, they’ll actually create the attorney portal we were all promised, but I understand they’ve been very busy and I appreciate what ED has been doing on behalf of borrowers this past year which includes massive overhauls of the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program (remember the October deadline to consolidate to obtain the benefits of the PSLF waiver), as well as the most recent and significant changes to forbearance procedures to attempt to undue the wrong caused by many servicers who pushed forbearances rather than Income Driven Plans which would ultimately lead toward forgiveness. If you have questions about that recent change, please see our free video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=845ql-kUXnk.
Lastly, I’d like to sincerely apologize to our existing clients for our difficulties in trying to help to file these BDTR applications. We thought it would go much smoother than it has and we were wrong. We’ve wasted your time and ours, and it’s been stressful for all. But don’t give up, the program is worthwhile even though it sounds complicated and takes a crazy amount of time to hear back from the Department of Education. At least get an application on file, even though it may be incomplete. It’s worth the time. We’ve had clients receive full forgiveness who attended schools such as Corinthian, Everest and ITT Tech. Please don’t give up.