Many folks who have filed applications for Borrower Defense to Repayment seeking to discharge their federal student loans due to fraud by the school, are running into problems with their servicers sending bills that payments are now due — even though the application is still pending and the loans should be in forbearance until the review is complete.
I believe this is due to the understaffing of the BDTR department by the Department of Education as they put the program on hold and are now in the process of re-writing it under Secretary DeVos. Regardless of how that all comes out, you can call the DOE BDTR hotline for help with your forbearance. They will call your servicer and push back the loan due to the forbearance. That hotline is (855) 279-6207.
For borrowers nearing retirement, that is 2-3 more years closer to retirement (where less income will allow for a much smaller Income Driven Payment).
No one should feel they must pay back what is essentially ridiculous amounts with huge interest accrual before they can retire. If you feel that way, reach out to a student loan attorney in your area who can help. Remember, advice like this won’t come from your servicer who works for the student loan company or government.