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Christie_1Despite lots of changes in the landscape allowing the discharge of both federal and private student loan debt under the right circumstances, many people still believe that student debt survives a bankruptcy.

Private loans follow very different rules then federal as you probably know.

One thing I haven’t written much about are private loans for these vocational schools such as those for coding, helicopter, cosmetology etc.  If the school is NOT on the federal Title IV list for the years of attendance, those are dischargeable in a bankruptcy.

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Christie_1Are you having trouble with your federal student loan servicer who is asking for  income documentation?  You can avoid all that for now, by simply self-certifying your income.  You can self certify through February 29, 2024 and here is how:

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arkovich_law-narrowWhat should you do if you are being harassed for a debt that you did not sign for?  Here are some ideas:

  • If you acted as a power of attorney (POA) for another, the creditor is likely violating several consumer statutes for unlawfully collecting a debt against you.  We can help with that!
  • Most identify theft cases stem from a family member.  Depending upon the circumstances, you may want to file a police report, and send a copy of it to the creditor.
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Now that the real property market is at it’s high, we are seeing many more second mortgages seemingly coming out of the woodwork.  Despite years of inactivity, including no communications with a borrower, second mortgages are now threatening foreclosure if payments aren’t resumed to them.  What can you do if you hear from a second mortgage which you thought was charged off, included in a government settlement back during the foreclosure/financial crisis, discharged in bankruptcy or maybe included in a prior loan mod?

Besides filing a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau complaint, which we recommend, there are a number of defenses that we utilize to prevent a foreclosure.  The first involves raising federal statutory protections which require notice to the borrower of transfer of ownership, transfer of servicing and periodic statements.  Failure to comply with any of those requirements under the Truth in Lending Act (“TILA”), and the Real Estate Settlement Procedure Act (“RESPA”) can create statutory and actual damages.

Bankruptcy may present options to either pay off the second mortgage under terms you can afford, or even strip it off the property in the right circumstances.  You can challenge the amounts owed by objecting to any proofs of claim filed in a bankruptcy.  You can also surrender the house and discharge any remaining debt.

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I saw today that WeWork filed bankruptcy and is terminating many of its leases.  If you or anyone you know is in need of a new “home” we have new and professional office shares in South Tampa for attorneys or other professionals.  Our space is a little different from most in that all of our offices have doors, and we understand what legal professionals need.  For instance, there is someone at the office to greet clients – and we are owner occupied.SouthTampaWorkspace1More photos and information is available on our website  You can also email us at

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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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The new means test numbers came out:

It hasn’t changed much for Florida except – down 3k for family of 3 though.  Very odd, but whatever.

New as of Nov 1:

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In our efforts to help our former clients or new clients move ahead with their life, we offer tips to improve credit or benefit from new programs (with particular emphasis on those with prior financial burdens).

Today, I’d like to summarize some programs that may help to purchase a home even one day after a bankruptcy, short sale or foreclosure.  We can also help you secure a knowledgeable Realtor to help in these areas.


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