If you have found your way to my webpage chances are that you have defaulted or are about to default on your federal student loans. First, take a deep breath. Even if you have defaulted and e.g., are having your wages garnished, there are manageable solutions. But please don’t stop with the deep breath, because there are also serious consequences that come from ignoring your student loan debt.
Absent some unusual circumstances, you probably can’t discharge your federal student loans through bankruptcy. If you don’t like the federal government garnishing your paycheck without your consent, intercepting your tax refund, disqualifying you from certain jobs, sending collection agencies after you (that tack on huge collection charges), or the department of justice suing you, then default on federal student loans or ignoring a default is probably not the best option.
While the government has powerful tools to use to force you to pay your federal student loan debt, the good news is this:
When you have straightforward ways to get out of default and have income based repayment options, suffering through wage garnishment, harassment from collection agents, and ruined credit just doesn't make sense.
With respect to federal student loans, the government offers you two ways to get out of default. You can participate in loan rehabilitation or loan consolidation. If your wages are already subject to a garnishment order, the only way out is through rehabilitation, unless the garnishment order is lifted.
If your situation is straightforward, there are no pending garnishments or seizures, and all you want to do is, e.g., consolidate your loan, then you should go ahead and call the Department of Education. The Department of Education will help you with the application process and will help you understand your income based repayment options. Information about repayment plans and options is also available for free on the Department of Education website.
Direct Consolidation is free. Never pay anyone to apply for a Direct Consolidation for you. Also, if you have not yet defaulted, I encourage you to call the Department of Education/your servicer for help, before you go into default. Remember huge collection charges are added to defaulted loans. So do something before the loans go into default.
A skilled student loan attorney can sometimes save you thousands of dollars
So where do I come in? Well, when a skilled lawyer usually comes in handy, when you are treated unfairly. Say, for instance, an illegal garnishment order is issued, or maybe, you have some defense but don't know how to get garnishment lifted. Or, maybe there is a heavyweight on the other side and you need help negotiating. Obviously, the Department of Education is not going to help you negotiate against itself in a settlement negotiation.
The Department of Education, like the Internal Revenue Service, is a federal agency. While the Department of Education is generally trying to help students, there are some situations where the Department is not trying to help you but is instead trying to squeeze as much money out of you as possible.
If you have been notified of pending garnishments or seizures, then, yes, contact a skilled student loan attorney as soon as possible. (904) 419-9858 If you already are in default and want to negotiate a compromise with the Department of Education, yes, contacting a skilled student loan attorney can potentially save you tens of thousands of dollars. If you are the victim of fraud, or have a defense that entitles you to discharge your loans, yes call a skilled student loan attorney.
If you are not certain whether or not you need my help, give me a call. I will give you a straightforward answer. I am in the business of helping people and if I don’t think you need my assistance, I will tell you so.