At Golden & Cardona-Loya, LLP we have significant experience in helping students and former students with their student loans. As attorneys, we have been practicing in this area for years and know many of the important laws and regulations that benefit students. We have represented members of the military, lawyers, doctors, a former NFL player, counselors, chefs, and many other former students who have had issues related to student loans. As former students ourselves we know how confusing it can be to navigate the student loan system. Let us help. Just take a look below for an idea of the services we can offer.
There are a number of different repayment plans available to students that are designed to enable them to repay their student loans. One of the most beneficial programs is the Income-Based Repayment Plan (“IBR”). This applies to most major types of federal student loans. Under an IBR, your monthly payment is capped at an amount that is designed to be affordable based on your income and family size. If you repay under the IBR for 25 years and meet certain other requirements, any remaining balance will be canceled.
If you do not qualify for the IBR plan you may qualify for the Income-Contingent Repayment (“ICR”) Plan. The ICR plan is more limited in that it is only available under the Federal Direct Loan Program. We can also assist you in negotiating a discharge based on other facts like disability. Even if there is a judgment against you or wage garnishment, it might not be too late. Give us a call for a free consultation.
Please note that everyone’s case is different and past results are not guarantees or predictions of future success.
We represented a disabled borrower in negotiations with student loan servicer Sallie Mae, now known as Navient. We were able to obtain a complete reduction in the loan balance of $88,434.62.
Similarly, we obtained complete loan forgiveness for a disabled military veteran for his student loans which were served by Navient. The total amount forgiven was $277,000. We assisted in compiling the necessary documents and help in completing the discharge application. We also assisted in further follow-up.
In a confidential settlement with another student loan servicer, we assisted in filing a claim based on harassment under the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act. We were able to obtain a reduction in the loan balance and placement of the borrower in an IBR plan.
If you have been sued by a lender or a service for a defaulted student loan we can assist. We can respond to the lawsuit and attempt to settle it or get the case dismissed.
We assisted a borrower sued by Sallie Mae for a collection on a student loan in Los Angeles. We were able to obtain a complete dismissal of the case on the day of the trial.
In another collection case filed by National Collegiate Student Loan Trust, we represented a borrower sued on student loans. We were able to obtain a dismissal.
Student loan servicers are subject to debt collection laws like the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, 47 U.S.C. §227. We were successful in arbitration against Navient for violating the TCPA when it placed excessive unwanted calls to our client to collect past due payments.
The Fair Debt Collections Practices and the California Rosenthal Act also prohibit student loan servicers from harassing borrowers to collect payments. If student loan servicers or their debt collectors call borrowers excessively we can bring suit for violations.
Some of the most common violations by student loan collectors and servicers are frequent calls. It can be considered harassment if you are being called multiple times a day or a week for collection on a student loan debt. In most instances, it is also illegal for a collector to call your friends and family and disclose details regarding the debt.
We have also assisted a number of individuals who had their identity stolen and used to take out student loans. We can assist in filling out the proper forms, filing a police report, and disputing the loans with the credit bureaus.
In other situations sometimes it is the school the borrower attended that is at fault. Our firm can assist if the school closed while the borrower was in attendance. We can also assist if the school committed fraud. In certain circumstances, a borrower may be entitled to complete loan forgiveness. We had a client who attended a trade school that ended up closing its doors and taking the students’ money without providing them a degree.
The attorneys at Golden & Cardona-Loya, LLP have been assisting student loan borrowers for over a decade. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the federal government passed one of the most borrower-friendly pieces of legislation in recent memory.
As part of the CARES Act, the US Government is automatically suspending payments and waiving federal student loans for six months. The relief does not extend to private loans so it is imperative for borrowers to check and see if their loans are federal or private. The most efficient way to check the status of your student loan is at the National Student Loan Database website: https://studentaid.gov/
If you have federal student loans your interest rate will be 0% from March 13, 2020, through September 30, 2020, on the following types of loans: defaulted and non-defaulted Direct Loans; defaulted and non-defaulted FFEL Program loans, and Federal Perkins Loans.
The loan servicers are required to apply the changes by April 10, 2020. However, loan servicers are often slow to implement change. If your loan servicer has not followed the requirements of the CARES Act you should contact them and request the forbearance and interest rate reduction. If they still have not complied with the CARES Act requirements please contact us for assistance.
A number of other benefits apply to federal loans. For example, if you are in income-driven repayment (IDR) plan the suspended payments will count. If you had your taxes offset for being in default it should be refunded if it occurred after March 13, 2020. If you choose, you are also free to continue to make your student loan payments.
Private student loan servicers are also offering borrowers debt relief and repayment options. If you need these benefits you should contact your student loan servicer.
We have assisted borrowers in obtaining disability discharges, school closure discharges, and putting an end to student loan servicer harassment. The attorneys at our Chula Vista & San Diego, CA Consumer Right Protection Attorney law firm are willing to discuss what options may be available to you with regard to your student loans. Please call for a free consultation at 619-476-0030.