Student Loan Problems?

For student loan problems, be careful whom you pay.

Student Debt Relief
Student Debt Relief – rips off YOUR dollars

Like many attorneys, I give free consultations.

And have a written retainer agreement before I take

any money from clients.

Game of Loans

Full marks to whoever came up with the name for the crackdown on crooked student debt relief providers.

Federal and state authorities are cracking down on multiple purveyors of so-called “student loan debt relief,” alleging that the companies took in more than $95 million in illegal up-front fees from American consumers in exchange for little or no help.

Con men everywhere.

If it sounds too good to be true, it is.

They know folks weighed down with student loan debt are desperate.

They tell you what you want to here, whatever makes you feel good enough to send them your money.

Officials say the debt relief businesses employed a variety of deceptions, including pretending to be affiliated with a federal debt relief program or a loan servicer, falsely promising to reduce or forgive debt and charging illegal upfront fees. Some of the businesses would invoke real federal debt relief programs – but fail to mention that these programs are free to apply for, narrowly designed and most consumers do not qualify.

Of course, the government does not make it easy to figure out what repayment plans are available for the different student loan programs that it has.

You can find information on the government website, linked to in the quote below.

The FTC says borrowers should be wary of anyone who promises they can reduce or wipe out federal student debt. For accurate information, including repayment plans and a calculator, the government advises consumers to start here.

 Bad Guys

As listed in the story, but, by no means a complete list of student debt relief scumbags:

The companies include: A1 DocPrep. Inc., based in Los Angeles; American Student Loan Consolidators, based in Deerfield Beach, Fla.; Alliance Document Preparation, based in Los Angeles; Student Debt Doctor, based in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; and Student Debt Relief Group, based in Los Angeles. Some of the companies did businesses under multiple different names.

In addition to the five new cases announced Friday, the FTC was granted summary judgment in a case against Student Aid Center, based in Doral, Fla., and won a stipulated preliminary injunction in its case against Strategic Student Solutions, based in Boca Raton, Fla.

Unfortunately, lots of these bad actors are like whack-a-mole, they get shut down one place, and open up across town, or across the web, under a different name.

Beware!

Student Loan Discharge Cases

Let’s look at a recent student loan discharge case result in bankruptcy court. Disbarred Lawyer? Not the most sympathetic plaintiff, right? First, in order to discharge, get out of, a student loan in bankruptcy court, you have to file a lawsuit against the student loan lender(s).  So, you are the plaintiff. Thanks to friend Bobby… Continue Reading

Student Loan Mess – PSLF

PLSF (Public Service Loan Forgiveness)  started ten years ago, providing forgiveness of the balance of student loans after ten years of payments IF you worked in qualified jobs during those ten years. Who Will Qualify for PSLF? Unfortunately, lots of folks who think they are getting student loans forgiven – will not. From the Jillian… Continue Reading

Is The Government About To Nail NCT?

NCT (National Collegiate Trusts) is a frequent subject of my student loan blog posts. What Is NCT again? NCT is a company, well, 15 separate trusts, that buy (allegedly) private student loans from banks, packages them into trusts that, well, let me quote from the Bloomberg news site article by Shahien Nasiripour: The trusts, created more… Continue Reading

PSLF and More Student Loan News

First, another view of the student loan   debt crisis, then, PSLF.   Donald L. Swanson frames the issue nicely, especially for high endowment schools. He goes through the high, no, astronomical, cost of attending Northwestern, even though its endowment is just shy of ten billion dollars, and will exceed that by 20% if its current… Continue Reading

Student Loan Servicer Abuses

Student Loan Servicer Abuses, another recurring topic. Jillian Bergman on the MarketWatch site: student loan servicers — the companies hired by the federal government to help borrowers manage their debt — create confusion and make paperwork errors that keep borrowers from reaping the program’s benefits.  Well, the incentive is for the servicer to get lenders… Continue Reading

Student Loan News Update

Student Loan servicers will become   student loan servicer under the new proposal by Education Secretary Betsy Devos.  Article in Forbes: In May, DeVos announced that the Education Department would select one servicer to service all federal student loans, which represented a change from the current multiple-servicer system. DeVos outlined four primary reasons: Ensure superior customer… Continue Reading

NCT And Me

Shout out to Susan Tompor of the Detroit Free Press                (click here) for an excellent article on NCT private student loan trusts. With quotes from yours truly. Anyway, the New York Times story I linked to last week is helping publicize the story, that NCT (National Collegiate Trust)… Continue Reading

National Collegiate Trust (NCT) Student Loans

New York Attorney General Schneiderman has set his sights on the NCT (National Collegiate Trust) vulture.  Can you find it in the picture? Stacy Cowley in the New York TImes: National Collegiate’s trusts have aggressively pursued in court borrowers who fall behind on their student loan payments. An article this week in The New York… Continue Reading