Los Angeles Student Loan Debt Lawyers
The cost of attending college continues to grow, and many people seek student loans as a way to afford their dream of higher education. Over half of the college students today leave school carrying student loan debt of more than $35,000 on average, whether they obtained a degree or not. Bearing this huge amount of debt at a time when young people are trying to establish themselves in a career, buy a home or start a family can be crippling to their finances. If this situation applies to you, know that help is available right now to deal with that debt, including reducing the amount you owe or getting rid of the debt entirely. The bankruptcy and debt settlement lawyers at Wadhwani & Shanfeld can help you get there. Call our Los Angeles student loan debt lawyers now for a complimentary consultation to get the information you need and get started today breaking free from the overly burdensome debt load you’ve been carrying.
Eliminating Student Loan Debt in Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
In the past, it has been next to impossible to deal with student loan debt in bankruptcy, but that trend is changing. Student loan debt has always theoretically been dischargeable in Chapter 7 bankruptcy, but the law requires the borrower to show that repaying the loan is an “undue hardship.” That term isn’t defined in the law, and courts have traditionally interpreted it very strictly. However, there is new guidance in place that allows for a more liberal interpretation of the laws governing the discharge of student loan debt. Today, a significant percentage of the people who seek student loan debt relief in Chapter 7 find at least some amount of success.
Most bankruptcy courts continue to apply the federal court’s Brunner test to student loans. To get some or all of your student loan debt eliminated under the Brunner test, you have to prove the following:
- You can’t pay off your loans and still maintain a minimal standard of living for yourself and your family
- You expect your current income/financial condition to stay the same throughout your student loan repayment period
- You’ve been trying in good faith to pay off your loans but simply have not been able to do so
But it is important to note again that the Courts are now encouraged to apply this test more liberally in favor of the student loan borrowers.
Dealing With Student Loans Through a Chapter 13 Debt Adjustment
In Chapter 13 terms, a student loan is an unsecured, nonpriority debt. This puts it on the same footing as credit card debt, medical bills, and personal loans. Student loan payments can get rolled into your Chapter 13 repayment plan, which you have either three or five years to complete. Debts like student loans can be adjusted as part of this process, reducing the amount you owe or allowing you to delay repayment while you are working on your payment plan.
Handling Student Loan Debt Through Deferments and Loan Modification
Federal student loan lenders are mandated by federal law to offer deferments to borrowers based on a demonstration of hardship. A federal loan deferment can let you go several months without having to make student loan payments while you pursue other options to take control of your finances.
Lenders who issue federal student loans must also provide borrowers with the opportunity to renegotiate their payment plans at least once annually. A student loan modification could lower your monthly payments by extending the repayment period or making adjustments according to your current income to better meet your needs. Our team at Wadhwani & Shanfeld can help clients throughout Los Angeles navigate their options, including loan modifications.
Student Loan Forgiveness
Federal student loans can be forgiven in a few circumstances. If any of the following apply, you might be eligible for loan forgiveness:
- You are a teacher
- You are a public service employee
- The school you attended closed while you were attending or shortly after you attended
- You are disabled
The government applies strict criteria to its loan forgiveness programs. For example, over 95% of people who apply for loan forgiveness through the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program are denied. Contact Wadhwani & Shanfeld if you think you might be a candidate for loan forgiveness or to explore other options to help you deal with this major source of crippling debt.
Contact Our Los Angeles Student Loan Debt Attorneys Today
If you are struggling to pay back student loans, you might never get on top of your finances so long as that debt is hanging over your head. Solutions are available, whether through bankruptcy, loan modification, or other means to deal with student loans directly or rid yourself of other debt so you can afford your student loan payments. Get real help now by contacting the Los Angeles student loan debt attorneys at Wadhwani & Shanfeld for a complimentary consultation regarding your financial situation. Call now to speak to a lawyer now and get started today getting the help you need.