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https://www.tampabankruptcylawyerblog.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/10/2015/07/christie_d._arkovich_p.a_1_small.jpgYes, it’s a holiday weekend and I’m not quite sure why a local consumer group JEDTI is doing their 2nd Annual Convention today, but it is about a 100 degrees out and I think I’d melt outdoors anyway so why not?

JEDTI was originally made up of mostly foreclosure defense attorneys, and this is how I came to be a part of the group several years back.  It was amazing the knowledge this group imparted and I am forever grateful to be a member.

Now that the foreclosure crisis is for the most part behind us, JEDTI has morphed into other consumer protection areas including robocalls under the TCPA, fair debt collection violations, credit repair and reporting violations under the FCRA  — and now perhaps student loans if they like what I have to say.

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CBS interviewed us and our class action co-counsel, Gus Centrone of Centrone & Shrader, P.A., as background for their recent three part Eye on America story focusing on the student debt crisis.  Per Seth Frotman, formerly with the CFPB, there is zero plan to tackle this at the federal level and that the student debt crisis is here with no end or change in sight.  Very true.

Parts I, II and III:

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/student-loan-debt-i-had-a-panic-attack-millennials-struggle-under-the-burden-of-student-loan-debt/

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https://www.tampabankruptcylawyerblog.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/10/2015/07/christie_d._arkovich_p.a_1_small.jpgToday, we appeared on ParentPumpRadio as a guest discussing Breaking the Stigma of High Student Debt.

Different topics were discussed such as the old view vs the new view on picking colleges, paying for school, choosing loans etc.  If you are a parent or student thinking about college, be sure to listen before making key decisions that could affect you for the rest of your lives.

  • How to avoid high student loan debt when attending school
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How it began (B.C. Before Chloe became our office kitty -not really, but close enough):


Ragged-cat

View video – the story of Chloe, best viewed with audio to hear the upbeat and impressive music with Barbara’s photo and editing skills — don’t worry, she makes a better lawyer…

Chloe

Thank you for watching…. pawprint

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Harper

Calling all dog lovers!  Since greyhound racing will cease to exist in the next two years, all the greyhounds will need to be re-homed.  Our friend Hope just adopted this lovable greyhound named Harper and she is so sweet and loving!  Contrary to popular belief, they don’t need to be run around – she’s basically a big lazy cat with lots of elbows.  It’s also really neat to have both an adult dog (already potty trained and calm), who views the world through the eyes of a puppy as many things are brand new to her!

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Faced with a nearly impossible standard to discharge federal student loan debt in bankruptcy due to undue hardship, creative debtors’ attorneys and the bankruptcy courts are continuing to create pockets of relief wherever possible.

Finding that “non-dischargeability does not immunize the student loan claim from modification,”a bankruptcy court confirmed the debtors’ plan under which their payments would go to the principal on their student loan debt with accumulated post-petition interest to be paid post-discharge. In re Duensing, No. 18-10201 (Bankr. D. Kans. Feb. 22, 2019).

The guarantor of the loans, ECMC, objected to the debtors’ proposed treatment of the student loan debt arguing that, because the reduction of principal would result in declining post-petition interest, the proposed plan effectively discharged her student loan without a finding of undue hardship.

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https://www.tampabankruptcylawyerblog.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/10/2015/07/christie_d._arkovich_p.a_1_small.jpgAnyone with a federal HEAL student loan, should be aware that additional consequences can occur in the event of default.  One of these consequences is exclusion from Medicare, Medicaid and all Federal health care programs pursuant to 42 U.S.C. Sec. 1320a-7(b)(14) for failure to pay your Health Education Assistance Loan(s) (“HEAL”).

It is possible to enter into consolidation or rehabilitation to cure a default.  Then a payment plan can be set up based upon your income.  If the matter has been referred to the Department of Justice, and a judgment has already been entered, then a Repayment Agreement is possible to avoid such an outcome.

In Florida, a default on federal HEAL loans may also cause the suspension of the practitioner’s license.  Kinda hard to repay that student loan while unemployed.  If you own your own practice, can you imagine the harm if your entire practice was shut down without warning?

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https://www.tampabankruptcylawyerblog.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/10/2015/07/christie_d._arkovich_p.a_1_small.jpgOn January 31, 2019, Judge Stong of the Eastern District of New York denied the Motion to Dismiss filed by SLM Corporation, Sallie Mae, Inc., Navient Solutions, LLC and Navient Credit Finance Corp.  In this Memorandum Decision, the Court dealt a blow to the private student loan defendants when it permitted Plaintiff to proceed with its case (note a Motion to Dismiss is a preliminary motion and the case is far from over).  In re Homaidan, Adv. Pro. No. 17-01085 (E.D. N.Y. 2019).

A nearly identical ruling was made the same day in In re Tashanna Golden, Adv. Pro. No. 17-01995 by the same Judge.

These cases dealt with Tuition Answer loans which the Plaintiff alleges are not “qualified education loan[s]” under the Bankruptcy Code Section 523(a)(8)(B), and for that reason, they were discharged in his Chapter 7 bankruptcy case.  The Plaintiff argues that loans of this nature are excluded from the scope of his bankruptcy discharge and therefore any attempt to collect the debt after the bankruptcy discharge amount were impermissible and a violation of the discharge order.

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triviaMark L.  Due to client confidentially rules, I won’t post your full name.

Amazingly, Mark answered our 1:48 pm. email within a record 7 minutes.  Closely followed by another client Kari N., only two minutes later.  Feels a bit like a horse race!

The answer is:  String theory for all our fellow Big Bang followers!

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https://www.tampabankruptcylawyerblog.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/10/2015/07/christie_d._arkovich_p.a_1_small.jpgIn what reads like a Student’s Bill of Rights, a 76 page Assurance of Voluntary Compliance, CEC must clearly and conspicuously disclose to prospective students a “Single-Page Disclosure Sheet” that contains the following information:

  • the anticipated total direct cost for the program of study at the prospective campus; provided, however, that this provision shall not be interpreted to restrict CEC’s ability to change tuition, fees, or expenses;
  • the median debt for completers for the program of study for the most recent reporting period, if available;
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