Articles Posted in Student loans

Published on:

https://www.tampabankruptcylawyerblog.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/10/2015/07/christie_d._arkovich_p.a_1_small.jpgNope.  At least not at first blush, but keep reading.  Not surprisingly, a loan provided to refinance student loans does not change the character of the loan.  The Court in Juber v. Conklin (In re Conklin), No. 19-91 (W.D. N.C. Apr. 6, 2020) concluded that “[s]o long as the loan refinanced is a ‘qualified education loan,’ then the refinancing loan may still be considered nondischargeable debt under 11 U.S.C. Section 523(a)(8)(B) whether or not it would itself be independently considered an ‘educational loan.”

So what makes a student loan a ‘qualified education loan’?  Certainly not loans taken outside the true published cost of education.  Not loans to attend ineligible schools.  Nor loans made to ineligible students.  All of these are potentially grounds to discharge student loans now — private loans that is.

We successfully discharged/obtained full forgiveness for roughly $250,000 of private student loans for clients just this month.  And the month is only half way over.

Published on:

pslfThe American Prospect published an article yesterday about our Lawson-Ross Public Service Loan Forgiveness (“PSLF”) success in the 11th Circuit – which was very persuasively argued by Dan Zibel of National National Student Loan Defense Network.

Two quotes that should give student loan borrowers comfort and should give pause to servicers spewing false promises:

Yet, too often the loan servicers have every incentive to put their financial needs ahead of borrowers’ best interests. Servicers are paid a flat fee per loan in their portfolio, leading to chronic underinvestment in customer service. This dynamic leads the loan servicers to shunt students into less affordable plans or botch simple paperwork rather than take the time to get consumers into the right plans that best match their individual situations.

Published on:

penny-hoarderMost everyone has heard of the forbearance on student loan payments until September 30, 2020 due to COVID-19 – but like everything, there are nuances to this.  I was fortunate to be interviewed to participate in Tiffany Connors’ very insightful article, 5 Questions to Ask Before Deciding if Student Loan Forbearance Can Help You” for the PennyHoarder which went up today.

Lots of good advice on whether forbearance applies to your loans, and the pros and cons of accepting it.  I’ve been following PennyHoarder for years and it’s a great publication for those wanting to become debt free and live an independent life!  In fact, I’m typing this blog now while camping at Fort DeSoto in Pinellas County, Florida – my husband is out paddle boarding but since it’s near 90 out at noon, I’d really rather be doing this!  But I do like looking out over the water!

Also there are more helpful tips on using the CARES Act to help manage your student loans appear in our past few blogs if you’d like to scroll back through a few.

Published on:

money-talks-1010I was super pleased to be interviewed recently on the radio show Money Talks.  In our 4/29/20 radio interview, we spent approximately 30 minutes covering some things people can do to address debt during COVID-19.  This includes student loan and mortgage forbearances and limitations under the CARES Act, discharging private student loans in bankruptcy, protecting and restructuring debt in a small business Chapter 11 under new rules and on and on.  Take a listen.  Maybe you’ll learn something you didn’t know before and can make this time work for you to reduce debt.

Please check out our News page where this interview is linked.

 

To Schedule a Consultation
Published on:

heroes-actWe’ve been advocating for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (“PSLF”) to be fixed for a few years now.  Our class action lawsuit against Navient went nowhere, but the one against Great Lakes has been commended for a ruling last month by the 11th Circuit to help hold federal student loan servicers accountable when they talk to their borrowers:  like how their loans would be impacted by various programs for instance.  Something you’d expect a servicer to get right.  So when a servicer tells someone that their payments count toward PSLF, you can rely on that.

It’s now possible that Congress may work to fix the very serious problem where not all federal loans are treated the same.  Fixing this via legislation will impact a whole lot more borrowers than individual or even class action lawsuits.

Enter the proposed HEROES Act which would address problems with the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program, which allows qualifying public servants to get their federal student loans forgiven after 10 years of repayment. Currently, only Direct federal student loans are eligible for forgiveness under the PSLF program. Borrowers who have commercially-held FFEL-program federal student loans and Perkins loans do not qualify unless they consolidate those loans via the federal Direct consolidation program. By consolidating, however, they would erase any progress towards the 10 year repayment period and would effectively be starting over. The HEROES Act would allow payments made prior to consolidation to count towards PSLF.

Published on:

CARES-ACT

Webinar: Why you should care about the CARES Act

May 20, 2020 at Noon

 

The Tampa Bay Bankruptcy Bar Association will be hosting a FREE Webinar via Zoom on May 20, 2020 from 12:00 to 1:30pm. Why you should care about the CARES Act and its impact on Student Loans, Foreclosure, Collection, and Consumer and Business Bankruptcy. Christie Arkovich, Jake Blanchard, Nicole Mariani Noel and Chapter 13 Trustee, Kelly Remick, will discuss provisions of the stimulus bill that expand or create options for Debtors in Chapter 13 cases as well as Small Business Debtors under Subchapter V and many more. Panelists will also discuss foreclosure, forbearance, collection and student loan impacts. No cost to attend. This will be a live webinar and will not be recorded. Register here.

Couldn’t come at a better time now that things are hoppin’ a bit more!  I encourage our colleagues to register for local insight to help represent our clients the best we can in these trying times

 

Published on:

https://www.tampabankruptcylawyerblog.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/10/2015/07/christie_d._arkovich_p.a_1_small.jpgThere a few unanswered questions regarding the roll out of federal student loan borrower protections provided by the CARES Act.

The Student Borrower Protection Center and the National Consumer Law Center have combined forces and raised certain concerns to Secretary DeVos in a letter today that can be found here.

Clarifications are being made to the Paycheck Protection Program which have encouraged, in particular large cap, public companies, with access to other funds, to return funds that were meant for small business.  Perhaps the attached recommended consumer guidance will encourage the Department of Education to clarify and extend borrower protections where necessary as well.

Published on:

https://www.tampabankruptcylawyerblog.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/10/2015/07/christie_d._arkovich_p.a_1_small.jpgFalse information provided by federal student loan servicers applying the CARES Act may also lead to liability in light of a recent case allowing public service employees to seek PSLF relief after being misinformed about the applicability of the law.

A recent Forbes article noted our PSLF case’s potential impact.  “Student loan borrowers have scored another victory against a student loan servicer for unfair and deceptive practices. And the impact of this decision could be far-reaching.”

Lawson-Ross et al vs. Great Lakes Higher Education Corp., No. 18-14490 (11th Cir. 2020) involved two of our PSLF clients.  In this three year long battle, we worked with class and appellate counsel (attorneys Katherine Yanes, Dan Zibel, Brian Shrader and Gus Centrone) who did a fantastic job!  This should be helpful for any state consumer law violation – the Higher Educ Act does not preempt state consumer FCCPA/FDCPA claims for affirmative misrepresentations.  This was not a failure to disclose case.  It revolved around a servicer accused of giving false information.  See pages 18-19 for detailed analysis of the difference of a servicer providing false information when asked about a forgiveness program and a failure to disclose.

Published on:

https://www.tampabankruptcylawyerblog.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/10/2015/07/christie_d._arkovich_p.a_1_small.jpgYou’ve probably heard by now that the CARES Act provides for a suspension of payments and collections, and waiver of interest for six months.  However, not all loans are covered.

Importantly, 20% of federal student loan borrowers are not covered by the CARES Act.

  • Covered loans do not include FFEL loans that are commercially owned, Perkins loans and Private loans.
Contact Information