The National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys (NACBA) has learned from a number of its members that the Department of Education (DOE) and its student loan servicers are kicking out bankruptcy debtors from their income-driven repayment plans. This is happening when debtors file Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 — even if they are current on their student loan repayments.
Improving consumer protections for federal and private student loans to help ease student loan debt is the aim of an amendment to the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act introduced March 8 by Illinois Senator Dick Durbin. It includes a Student Loan Borrower Bill of Rights as well as some bankruptcy protections.
If you have defaulted on your federal student loan — you are not alone. According to a September 2017 article in the Washington Post, “the share of people not making payments on their federal student loans within three years of leaving college has risen, reversing five years of reported declines in new defaults.”
The shift is subtle — up to 11.5 percent from 11.3 percent from 2015 to 2016 — but the raw numbers show what a significant issue this is. Of the more than 5 million people who began repaying their student loans in October 2013, 580,671 defaulted.
Student loan Debt has become a crisis in the United States, with many young professionals turning to bankruptcy lawyers seeking relief for crushing Student Loan Obligations. The total outstanding Student Loan Debt has ballooned to over $1.3 trillion, and is only going to get worse. Attorney D.J. Rausa, an experienced Student Loan Lawyer, has prepared a detailed and comprehensive presentation that is extremely helpful to anyone assisting debtors with student loan debt. For more information about this Webinare, visit the National Association of Consumer Advocates website. You can also view attorney Rausa's Managing Student Loans in Bankruptcy slides in PDF format.
Last week the U.S. Department of Education announced their latest move to assist some individuals with financially debilitating student loan debt. This part of the Obama Student Aid Bill of Rights, is directed at hundreds of thousands of borrowers who are permanently disabled and cannot work. The Department of Education started sending out letters this week to student loan borrowers that have been identified, with the help of the Social Security Administration, as receiving disability payments and are eligible to have their student loans discharged. This type of student loan relief is known as a “Total and Permanent Disability” loan discharge. There were 387,000 permanently disabled individuals identified, with nearly half of these currently in student loan default, as qualifying with an estimated $7.7 billion in student loans.