It astounds me that a number of people with student loans are still facing student loan litigation because of their Navient or Sallie Mae student loans. You may have heard about the recent government lawsuit alleging that the largest servicer of student loans routinely cheated their customers out of millions upon millions of dollars. Navient is facing lawsuits from several state attorneys general and a federal regulator alleging that the company handling 300 billion in private and federal loans for over 12 million people that echo the recent mortgage crisis. It is alleged among other misdeeds that Navient failed to steer clients into income-based repayment plans, deliberately misinformed clients, and even refused to release cosigners when qualified.
Topics: Student Loans
Anyone who has ever done a Google search for “how to file for bankruptcy with no money” has no doubt seen the ads offering so-called free bankruptcy filings. As with most things, these are too good to be true. I have often said that when you are facing the federal courts, as you are when filing for bankruptcy, you need an attorney on your side. Very often these “free” bankruptcy filings are anything but, and they often do not even have an attorney on hand to advise you. You will end up dealing with bankruptcy preparers - who simply fill out forms and cannot offer legal advice – or paralegals who despite the title are not allowed by law to offer legal advice. Think about it – paramedics are medical professionals, but you won’t see them performing surgery or diagnosing an illness – right?
A few things have changed since my last article on being sued for student loans. As many of you know – or should – the federal government is suing Navient over its mishandling of student loans. The company handles in excess of $300 billion in private and federal loans and handles one in four student loan borrowers. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau alleges widespread misdeeds and systematic failure that echoes the mortgage crisis of the last recession. The company is accused of enriching itself at the expense of customers who were often burdened by their student debt. Indeed, the company did not place borrowers in income-based repayment plans for federal loans that could have substantially lowered their payments, and urged their agents to enroll borrowers in more profitable repayment plans.
Topics: Student Loans
You can see the ads all over the internet, and late at night when you’re thinking about your debt and how to get out from under, these ads can start to look like a way out from under. The problem is that the vast majority of these ads are debt relief scams. One former California lawyer was ordered by the FTC to pay more than $18 million in fines and was barred from debt relief practice for inducing homeowners to sign on to mass joinder lawsuits alleging fraud by mortgage lenders. Instead he and others stole millions of dollars from desperate clients who only wanted to save their home. That he was disbarred in California does not prevent him from moving to another state and starting the same scam over again.
Topics: Debt Scams
Bankruptcy is a complex legal procedure and there are a number of different aspects to each different case. One of those aspects can be the so-called “stalking horse bid.” This type of strategy is an initial bid from an interested company on a bankrupt company’s assets. The bidder is chosen from a pool of candidates, and must perform their due diligence in placing their bid. There are a number of advantages and risks associated with this type of strategy. These types of bids typically occur during a Chapter 11 and can significantly reduce the amount of time that the bankrupt company will spend in court.
Did you know that medical bills are one of the primary causes of bankruptcy? It was true before the ACA, and even with the ACA in place American still struggle to pay for medical care in a system that is opaque and increasingly stacked against the patient. Medical costs depend on the deal that’s been negotiated with your insurance company or your ability to pay in cash. Even insured people find out that sometimes that policy doesn’t cover certain drugs, treatments, or procedures and the bills just keep coming. Even a trip to the ER of your in-network hospital can land you with an uncovered bill for an out-of-network ER contracting firm.
It has been some decades since a high school diploma was enough to get a job that would support yourself and a family. However, tuition costs even at the community college level have increased steadily over as budgets are balanced without little regard to the effects that it has on postsecondary education. Community colleges serve as an essential access point to higher education, where students can learn a trade/certification, an Associates degree, or build up credits for transfer to a traditional four-year college. However, the lower cost of community college does not translate into cheap.
Topics: Student Loans
There’s an old saying that figures don’t lie, but liars figure. In this case, the Department of Education was the liar and the figure was a 99.8 percent mistake in the repayment rates for all colleges and post secondary trade schools in the country. In other words, they were completely wrong – but were just two points short of it. This means that the student loan debt crisis is far worse than previously thought, more extensive that estimated, and that at a quarter of the total schools serviced by the federal student loan program half of the students had defaulted on their debt. This means that half of the students at 1000 colleges and trade schools have either defaulted or failed to pay down their debt by one dollar within seven years.
Topics: Student Loans
You can blame fame and fortune at an early age, you can blame not knowing how to handle money, and you can blame the celebrity bubble, but in the end a celebrity bankruptcy comes down to the money not lasting forever. Health can also play a factor, and when Cassidy made the recent announcement of his retirement from touring, his health was a factor in the decision. He also notes that the royalties which once supported a lifestyle that boasted $27,000 a month in expenses dropped to income of around $12,000. The drop in income, a run of bad investments, and a lavish mansion’s expenses, taxes, and upkeep made bankruptcy the only option.
About Chad Van Horn
Chad T. Van Horn, Esq. is a South Florida business leader and founding partner attorney of Van Horn Law Group, P.A. Through a combination of dedicated philanthropy, spirited entrepreneurship and legal expertise, he applies his resources and network to helping people. Learn more about Chad Van Horn.