Articles Posted in Student loans

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Christie_1I just wrapped up an interview for for a story that they will run sometime in Nov or early December about the new rules allowing someone to discharge student loans in bankruptcy.  I’ll post links here when that story is ready.

Bottom line is that there is a growing awareness that private student loans can often be discharged in a bankruptcy as a non-education loan.  You’d be surprised at the results that we see!  Often a full discharge, or getting the balances dropped by 50-70% and interest reduced from 10-15% to 1-2%.  Very small payments spread over 20 or even more years.  And the kicker is that any discharge in bankruptcy is tax free forgiveness.  Who wouldn’t want to kick their private student loan to the curb…

But what about federal student loans?  In the past, we simply did not file these cases – it was nearly impossible to win a discharge of federal student loans.  I used to work for the other side running around the State of Florida trying these cases.  I think I lost one down in Miami.  One.  All the rest resulted in a win for the creditor (my client at that time before I moved to the consumer side of things).  But now since the new DOJ process is available, it is finally possible, if not probable.  Here’s the new results – see for yourself:

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Re: Youssef v. Navient Solutions LLC, et al., Adv. Pro. No. 17-1085, in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of New York.


Borrowers are eligible for free money under $16 million student debt settlement – but you need to file a valid Claim Form by November 20, 2023.  There is no cost to do so.

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Christie_1Consolidation before December 31, 2023 will help some borrowers maximize benefits under the Account Adjustment.  After the account adjustment, the qualifying PSLF payments made on loans later consolidated will be credited to the consolidation loan based on a weighted average of the qualifying payments on the underlying loans.  This will also help you to have one start/end date for PSLF forgiveness.

Those with Perkins loans or FFEL loans should definitely consider December 31, 2023 their deadline to consolidate their loans to Direct in order for prior payments to now count toward PSLF as well as future payments.  Remember, you can consolidate even one loan.  Think of this as a kind of refi – to a different type of loan.  Stay within the federal system – this is where all the forgiveness is occuring.

Please see our video on Double Consolidation if you have Parent Plus loans — this loophole may allow you to get into SAVE for a payment that is often MUCH LESS than the Income Contingent Plan (“ICR”).

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Have student loans that are entering repayment?  On hold with your servicer?  For hours?  Not quite sure what’s going on?

Your servicer is your debt collector — are you certain that whatever they are going to tell you, assuming you get through, is your best option to reduce or eliminate student loan debt?  Try this test:  call 3-4 times, see how many different answers you get…

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Lots of misinformation out there regarding student loans.  If you are receiving a bill, it’s important to speak with an expert or advocate who is on your side — discuss your options, make a plan.  You might save many thousands of dollars by doing this!

There are some important deadlines also for the IDR audit/recount, and Parent Plus loans in particular.  You may want to consider opting out of the IDR audit if you have a long loan history with gaps between loans — you can combine them and get more credit through a consolidation, then opt back in.  But consider a double consolidation if you have Parent Plus loans.  If all of this makes no sense to you, then see us, or someone like us!

Channel 13 10/17/23 Following a three-year pause, student loan payments have resumed for thousands of Americans.

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Christie_1I ran across this statistic and wanted to share with you about the DOJ attestation process to discharge federal student loans. A great many are still pending.
From 12/5/2022 through 7/15/2023 nationwide:
409 new complaints
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Christie_1Say you have a private student loan and you have previously filed a bankruptcy.  Was your private student loan discharged?  I’m presuming you did not file an adversary case to obtain a specific ruling as to dischargeability of these loans.

  • What is Homaidan?

Loans that could have been discharged as beyond the cost of attendance, that portion that was over and above tuition, books, room and board etc. may be the subject of Homaidan.  My understanding is that you can remain a class member for a discharge of any amounts that are outside of the cost of attendance and you’d remain responsible for anything else.  You can also opt out and pursue relief on your own of that or the remainder of the loans, or seek alternative grounds for relief such as ineligible institution, non-dependent borrower or undue hardship.

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Christie_1We also would want to take advantage of any other programs out there such as the IDR recount going on right now. Normally, we walk borrowers through the process for that during our strategy session and get it done then. The IDR recount is huge – it’s allowing forgiveness for people with older loans, counting extended forbearances and other things to get to 20/25 yrs – the only requirement is that a borrower consolidate to Direct loans which would allow re-dating all of the loans for IDR purposes to the earliest repayment date of ANY loan contained with the consolidations. It works really well especially for those with older loans, or gaps between education. For instance someone who went to grad school during covid, can consolidate now with their undergrad loans perhaps in 1990s and their IDR start date for ALL loans would be six months after graduation from undergrad. Borrowers could obtain a full forgiveness of even the grad loans as soon as the consolidation finishes and the loan is reviewed under the IDR recount.
For our attorney followers in the Middle District Tampa Division, I’m speaking at the TBBBA Sept consumer luncheon September 12 about student loans including this IDR recount if you’d like to listen in.
For borrowers, we offer strategy sessions where we go over your specific loans and figure out your options, often doing it right then with you on the phone or via shared screen on Zoom.
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Christie_1For people granted TPD, who are also eligible for IDR AUDIT Forgiveness, Dept. is moving TPD people from TPD forgiveness to IDR Audit forgiveness.  While there is no 3 year income monitoring on TPD anymore, there still is a three year monitoring on TPD for things such as returning to school so moving them to IDR Audit forgiveness will give these people faster forgiveness.  

Forgiveness before 12/31/25 is very good!  That’s when the stimulus bill expires allowing for federal tax waiver on any student loan forgiveness (private or federal).  It’s also when the TPD discharge provision providing for tax free forgiveness has to be re-funded by Congress.  So forgiveness now is Great News!  Even if the IDR Waiver is somehow stopped due to someone filing a court case down the road, it is unlikely to unravel a forgiven loan.  Rather it would most likely stop anyone in the future from obtaining forgiveness.  Of course, someone who has already consolidated their loans for the IDR recount can argue that they relied upon the program’s rules when doing the consolidation, and that laches (a fancy legal term for delay) prevents the creditor from asserting that now.

This information will be processed soon.

Your Discharge Will Be Reprocessed as IDR Forgiveness

Account Number: XXXXX
Dear XXXX,


The U.S. Department of Education (the Department) discharged your Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program and/or William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan (Direct Loan) Program loan(s) on the basis of your total and permanent disability (TPD) as of 05/01/2023. The Department has since reversed your TPD discharge because all of your loan(s) will instead be discharged on the basis of your income-driven repayment (IDR) forgiveness. We use the terms “you” and “your” to refer to the disabled individual who applied for discharge, XXXXX.


Because your loan(s) have been forgiven as they have accumulated time in repayment of at least 20 or 25 years, we, as your Total and Permanent Disability servicer, will transfer your loan(s) to Nelnet, who will work with you on the income-driven repayment (IDR) forgiveness. Nelnet will inform you by mail once the income-driven repayment (IDR) forgiveness is complete and which loans were included.


Please note that you will no longer remain in the TPD discharge program or be subject to the TPD three-year post-discharge monitoring period.

For additional information:
Please visit or email us at You can also contact us at 888.303.7818.


If you have questions about your income-driven repayment (IDR) forgiveness, call Nelnet at 888.486.4722 from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. (Eastern) Monday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday, and 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday and Friday. You may send mail to Nelnet, Attn: Claims, P.O. Box 82505, Lincoln, NE 68501-2505.


Your Total and Permanent Disability Servicer
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arkovich_law-narrowThe Supreme Court decision of United Student Aid Funds v. Espinosa (2010) 559 U.S. 260 is usually cited for the proposition that a court may not make an order on whether student debt is discharged without an adversary proceeding.

In USAF v. Espinosa, the issue was whether confirmation of a chapter 13 plan which provided for discharge of the student loan debt could be reversed. Rafael “Ted” Cruz lost in his quest to convince the Supreme Court to void the plan by means of FRCP Rule 60(b)(4).

But bankruptcy judges and practitioners were cautioned to always use an adversary proceeding for determinations on whether educational debt is discharged by § 523(a)(8).

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