Student Loan Law

Student Loans are challenging to deal with.  First, they are difficult to discharge in bankruptcy and require that a student pass a hardship test.  Second, collection agencies that handle these accounts are exceedingly aggressive because they know you are unlikely to discharge these loans.  For federal student loans, there are more options and programs to help you repay.  For private student loans, there are fewer options.  Regardless of the types and amounts of student loans you have, we can help.

Forgiveness 

Attorney assistance is best for when you have exhausted your free options such as loan consolidation, income based repayment, etc.  We encourage everyone who may consider seeking an attorney’s assistance to first review your non judicial options.  Unfortunately, these programs only apply to federal loans.  Private loans are generally not covered.  Here are some helpful links:

http://studentaid.ed.gov/repay-loans

https://studentloans.gov/myDirectLoan/index.action

When Repayment is No Longer an Option

If you have tried repayment programs and they are not working, we are here to help.  We can screen you for a bankruptcy hardship discharge, bankruptcy options to discharge other debts to free up the money to pay your student loans, and defend the collection actions in either federal or state court.

Bankruptcy as a Solution for Out of Control Student Loans For Students and Cosigners

Bankruptcy offers three possibilities to deal with student loan debt.  First, with a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you can discharge other unsecured debts (credit cards, medical debt, etc) which will free up money to pay your student loans.  Second, with a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, we can file a plan that will allow low payments for a five year term while you deal with other debts at the same time.  Third, we can file for a hardship discharge of your student loans or student loans that you cosigned for.

Bankruptcy Hardship Discharge

It is possible to discharge some or all of your student loan debt through the bankruptcy process.  The Bankruptcy Courts follow the Brunner Test, which considers the following factors in deciding whether or not to discharge student loans:

  • If you cannot maintain a minimal standard of living for yourself and your family
  • If your current financial situation is likely to continue for the foreseeable future
  • If you have tried to repay your student loans in good faith

If these factors apply, you can file an adversary proceeding in your bankruptcy case (chapter 7 or chapter 13) to seek discharge of your student loans.

Collection Defense for Student Loans

While discharging your student loans can be effective, sometimes it is not possible.  In that case, you can attempt to defend the collection attempts directly against the collection agencies.

Collection agencies are required to follow the law when attempting to collect and often times have fatal mistakes in their pleadings, their facts, and in their service of process.  Further, if a collection agency pads the bill with false fees, unauthorized interest, or attorney fees that are not realistic, then they could be liable for damages.  We regularly deal with collection agencies and can defend any action against you.

Call Us Today for a Free Phone Consultation

We can help you deal with your student loan debts.  Give us a call today for a free phone consultation with an attorney skilled in resolving student loan debt.