Frequently Asked Questions



Are you licensed?

Yes. All our attorneys are licensed to practice in the state or states they represent.

Is your law firm accredited with the Better Business Bureau?

Yes we are fully accredited and have earned the BBB’s highest rating.

My student loans are close to being in default and I can’t afford the monthly payment that they are requesting. Are there any options available to me?

Yes, depending on your circumstances, there may be some options available to you. There are many factors to consider including the type of loans you have, your income, and how you have handled your student loans previously. As part of our consultation, we review all of these issues and help you develop a strategy to deal with your student loans, to the extent possible.

Can the government garnish my wages, Social Security or my income tax refund?

Yes. The government can initiate an Administrative Garnishment. Unlike other creditors, who must first go to court, the government simply fills out the paperwork and sends it to your employer, Social Secuirty Administration and Internal Revenue Service. We don’t have to tell you this can be a very embarrassing situation with your employer.

Can I be sued for not paying my student loans?

Yes. If you neglect your student loans and fail to make payments, the Department of Justice (DOJ) may file a lawsuit against you.

Can they go after my husband or wife for my unpaid student loans?

Possibly. If the student loan debt was acquired during your marriage and you live in a community property state Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington and Wisconsin.

Can you defend me against a DOJ lawsuit?

While we can represent you against the DOJ, please understand a DOJ lawsuit is almost impossible defend and nearly always results in a judgment against you..

The Collection Agency added 25% to the balance of my defaulted student loans, can they do this?

Yes. The law allows collectors to add a “collection fee”. However, during our review if we find the collector engaged in illegal behavior or failed to follow specific guidelines, you may be entitled to damages which may include forgiveness of this fee.

Can I be arrested for not paying a debt?

No. This is an illegal tactic used by unscrupulous debt collectors.

In what states do you accept clients?

We have offices located in California, Georgia, and Texas. Our attorneys are also licensed in New York, and New Jersey. We also maintain relationships with attorneys in other states. Since there are many factors that determine what is the appropriate forum regarding student loans, including where the loans were incurred, the location of the servicers, etc. Please call us for a Free Case Review.

How can you help me?

By reviewing all of your options. Most collectors only review one or two with options with student loan borrowers. The reality is there may be several different options available to you. The first step is a Free Case Review (described below) and consultation if necessary.

What is a Free Case Review?

We offer all clients a Free Case Review. During the review, one of our Case Analysts will ask you questions related to your student loans. They will also ask you for some documents (statements etc.). Once we have the specifics, one of our attorneys will review your case to determine if we are able to help you or not. If so, we will schedule a consultation. If not, we will let you know as well.

What information do you need from me for the Free Case Review?

Generally speaking we need the names of your creditors and balances owed along with your monthly income and expenses. We will also ask you questions regarding your current employment status.

What is a Consultation and what happens during the Consultation?

One we determine we can help you, we will schedule a consultation between you and one of our attorneys. Most consultations take between one and two hours (depending on the complexity of your case). During the consultation, the attorney will review your case in detail with you. Most importantly he or she will review all of your options. Most clients are very surprised by the amount of information gained through the consultation. Additionally, we will provide you a letter and outlining all of your options in writing.

How much does it cost?

We charge a flat fee starting at $399 (no hourly rates) to resolve your case. The exact fee to resolve your case is based on the total debt amount and the complexity of your case. Keep in mind; we will only take your case if during the case review we determine we are able to help you. If we are not able to help you, we will let you know and there is no charge. If your case requires litigation against a debt collector; you may be able to recover the cost of the consultation. Most of our student loan clients agree it is the best money they ever spent.

Do you take credit cards?

Yes, We accept all major credit cards as well as personal checks, check by phone, cash and money orders.

Can I make an appointment to come into your office? What are your hours?

Yes. In addition to our regular business hours 7:00 AM to 6:00 PM Monday-Friday including most holidays, we are also available evenings and weekends by appointment. Most Student Loan consultations are conducted over the telephone.

Are there any repayment options with respect to my private student loans?

While there are various repayment and cure options with respect to government student loans, currently, the same options do not exist with private student loans. That doesn’t mean that there is no hope. Private student loan creditors and debt collectors have the same burden of proof and obligations as all other creditors. We will review the actions of your private student loan servicers to determine if there are possible defenses to any private student loan lawsuit brought by your lender.

Is bankruptcy an option?

Generally speaking, you will not be able to discharge your student loan obligations in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy as the standard required for a student loan bankruptcy discharge, in most jurisdictions, is very difficult for most people to meet. However, there are times where a Chapter 13 bankruptcy will be appropriate for repayment of your student loans. Click here for more detailed information concerning student loans and bankruptcy.

When would litigation be required? How will it help me?

Sadly, all too often, debt collectors provide bad information to student loan borrowers and deny them their legal right to cure their student loan. Even though they may be collecting on government student loans, they are still required to follow the federal and applicable state collection laws and if they fail to do so, they may be held civilly liable for their conduct.

Student Loans and Bankruptcy

Often, we are asked if filing for bankruptcy protection will help discharge student loans. Sadly, for most people, filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection will not provide the relief that they need.
Student loans are difficult, but not impossible, to discharge in bankruptcy. To do so, you must show that payment of the debt “will impose an undue hardship on you and your dependents.”

Courts use different tests to evaluate whether a particular borrower has shown an undue hardship. A common test is the Brunner test which requires a showing that 1) the debtor cannot maintain, based on current income and expenses, a “minimal” standard of living for the debtor and the debtor’s dependents if forced to repay the student loans; 2) additional circumstances exist indicating that this state of affairs is likely to persist for a significant portion of the repayment period of the student loans; and 3) the debtor has made good faith efforts to repay the loans. (Brunner v.New York State Higher Educ. Servs.Corp., 831 F. 2d 395 (2d Cir. 1987). Not all courts use this test. Some courts will be more flexible, some less.

Although this does not appear to be a difficult standard to meet, for the most part, most debtors are unable to get their student loans discharged. The same standards apply to both private and federal or state student loans. Additionally, in order to obtain a bankruptcy discharge of student loans, the bankrupt debtor has to file an adversary proceeding (or a lawsuit)against the student loan creditor and have a court determine if the student loan debtor/borrower meets the criteria for discharge. Since the adversarial process is usually an expensive and time consuming process, debtors who may meet the criteria can find themselves barred from exercising their rights due to financial limitations.

Some student loan borrowers find that Chapter 13 reorganization is useful as it may stop future interest and penalties from accruing so long as the student loan is paid in full through the Chapter 13 plan of reorganization. To do this, debtors must have sufficient income to meet their regular monthly obligations plus have sufficient additional income to make their Chapter 13 plan payment. Each case is different and if you are interested in exploring if a Chapter 13 bankruptcy is right for your situation, please contact our office for a free bankruptcy consultation.

Student loans, Enforced Collection Actions

To understand how Enforced Collection Efforts begin and the potential result, it is important to understand the various “players” (parties) who may be involved.

The Players

Private Banks – Make loans directly to students or parents.

Department of Education – Makes and guarantees Federal student loans.

Guarantors – For loans made before June 30, 2010, Guarantors insured Federal Student Loans made by private banks.

Servicers – Collect payments and send statements to student loan borrowers.

Third Party Debt Collectors – Collect back payments from borrowers.

Department of Justice – Files lawsuits, sues and obtains judgments against delinquent borrowers for unpaid student loans.

If you fail to pay your student loan(s) your student loan will be considered delinquent. Once you are 270 days (9 months) behind, your student loan is considered in default. Once this occurs, Collection Efforts will begin which may include any or all of the following:

Collection Calls – may be made by either the Servicer or Third Party Debt Collector. Collectors may call your home or place of business. The purpose of these calls are to get you make a payment.

Tax Refund Offset – The Department of Education files documents with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in order to intercept (offset) your tax refund. The IRS will remit an amount equal to the defaulted amount up to and including the entire amount of your refund. Many of our clients find out they are delinquent when they do not receive their tax refund and instead receive a letter from the IRS explaining their refund was applied to the client’s defaulted student loan.

Social Security Offset (Garnishment) – The Department of Education files documents with the Social Security Administration. The Social Security Administration will withhold an amount up to 15% of your Social Security (including Social Security Disability Income) check.

Wage Garnishment – The Department of Education serves your employer with an “Administrative” Wage Garnishment for up to 15% on your income. An Administrative Wage Garnishment is different from a standard garnishment. The primary difference is there are no court proceedings. The DOE simply fills out the necessary documents and serves them on your employer.

Department of Justice Lawsuit – This is the most serious Collection Effort. If the actions above fail to resolve the issue or they are unsuccessful, the Department of Justice (DOJ) will file a lawsuit against you. A DOJ lawsuit is almost impossible defend and nearly always results in a judgment against you. Once the DOJ obtains a judgment, they may enforce the judgment by seizing your personal or business bank accounts, retirement accounts and other assets like your home, automobile or other valuables like jewelry. Many self employed individuals (doctors, lawyers etc.) make the mistake of thinking because they can’t be garnished, nothing can happen. The reality could be far worse than a garnishment.

Don’t make the mistake of ignoring your student loans and thinking they will go away. They won’t! The best thing to do is proactively engage the problem. Call us today and ask about our Free Case Review.

How We Can Help

Legally resolving your student loan debt can be very complicated. The primary reason is because every case along with the potential and desired outcomes are different for each client. The other reason is the information is fragmented. While the government has many programs available to assist student loan borrowers, selecting the correct one can be difficult. Through our representation of student loan borrowers, we’ve found in many cases, the servicer and/or collection agency fails (in violation of Federal Law) to discuss all potential with student loan borrowers. The result is student loan borrowers often end up in payment plans they cannot afford and end up back in default and obligated to pay up to 25% in collection fees.
To properly access your situation it’s important to understand where you are in collection process:

• Pre-Delinquency

At this stage, you are current on your loan but due to your circumstances; you realize that while you are not late, you will not be able to make your next payment.

• Delinquent

You are considered delinquent on your student loan when you have missed one payment and are 30 days late on that payment.

• Default

You are considered delinquent on your student loan when you have missed nine or more payments. The consequences of being Delinquent could result in your account being turned over to collection agency.

As stated above, servicers and debt collectors frequently do not review all of your options. Depending on your specific circumstance and after careful evaluation of your case and circumstances, we will review all of your available options with you so can make informed decision as to what is the best course of action for you.
We are familiar with all government programs and offer a variety of services to assist you in resolving your student loan debt. Below are some of the possible outcomes:

Deferment/Forbearance – Temporarily relieve you of the responsibility of making payments until your situation improves.
Consolidation – Consolidate multiple loans into a single manageable repayment plan.

Discharge – A discharge completely relieves you of the responsibility for any repayment. Essentially your student loan debt is completely forgiven.
Rehabilitation – Eliminates all negative information on your credit report which is related to your student loans.
Affordable Repayment Plan – There are alternative repayment plans available based specifically on your circumstance. Due to the complexity of these programs and the calculations involved, many collectors will just put you a “standard” 10 year repayment plan.
Sue The Collector/Servicer – If during our Case Review, we believe the servicer/collector has engaged in illegal behavior, you may be entitled to monetary damages (money) via a lawsuit against the debt collector or servicer .
Loan Forgiveness – In certain circumstances (if you meet the requirements) the entire balance of your student loan may be forgiven.
Settlement – In certain rare circumstances, you may be able to settle the balance of your student loan for something less than the full balance.

If we can help, we will ask you to fill out a questionnaire and return it uu so we complete the work on your case. Most case reviews are completed over the telephone or if you prefer, you’re welcome to come inot one our offices. The cost to resolve your case is based on the total amount of your debt and complexity of your case. We charge a flat rate fee to resolve your case (no hourly charges). Most of our clients tell us it’s the best money they ever spent as they were not aware of all their possible options. In addition to reviewing all of your options we will provide you written instructions as to next steps. For your Free Case Review click here and follow the instructions.

Get a Free Case Review

We understand our student loan clients are on a tight a budget which is why we offer a free, no obligation Case Review. We will ask you questions about your specific situation related to your student loan debt. The purpose of the Free Case Review is to determine if we are able to help you. Upon completion of our review, if we determine we are able to help you, we will schedule a consultation between you and one of our attorneys. If we are not able to help you, we will let you know and of course there is no charge.

Click here to review our attorney biographies, Better Business Bureau rating and our credentials.

Contact Us for a Confidential ,Cost & Risk Free Case Review






Call Us

Please call us at 1-800-987-4165 to speak with one of our Case Managers and complete your Free Case Review. When you call, it is helpful to have the following items and information available:

Copies of your student loan documents.
Copies of your statements.
Total amount of student loan debt.
Total minimum monthly payments.
Household income.
Collection Efforts – Information related the servicer or collection agency (i.e. who is calling, what they are saying, what they are requesting etc.).
Current Collection Efforts – Calls, letters, wage garnishments, Department of Justice Lawsuit.
For Federal Student Loans. Click here and login to the NSLDS Database. This government website provides information about the details of your Federal Student Loans. Note: If you don’t have a login, you will need to register.

We look forward to helping you resolve your student loan debt.


If you’re struggling under mounting student loan debt, you’re not alone.

Right now there are approximately 40 million student loans totaling over $1 Trillion[1]. Today the average student loan borrower leaves college with $25,000 in student loan debt; it is not uncommon for some new graduates to have over $100,000 in student loan debt[2]. This year, for the first time in history, total outstanding student loan debt is now higher than total credit card debt[3]. According to industry estimates 11.2% of student loans are in default[4]. With the economy in the tank and jobs scarce, it’s no wonder student loan borrowers are frustrated.

Because most student loans do not require payment while the student is in school, it’s easy to accumulate debt and not understand the impact of a mounting debt. This combined with a lack of financial literacy, compound interest and dismal job prospects can devastate a student’s financial outlook. For these reasons we’ve dedicated a significant resources to assist students and prospective clients in resolving their outstanding student loan debt.

There are basically two types of student loans; Federal and Private. Both types of loans may only be used for educational related expenses. These expenses include tuition, housing, food and books. Generally speaking, to qualify for student loans you must be enrolled full time at an accredited or approved university, college or trade school.

The primary differences between Federal and Private student loans are Federal Student Loans are made directly by and guaranteed by the Federal Government, Private Student Loans are made directly from private lenders such as banks and credit unions and may or may not be guaranteed by the government.

The other difference between the two is Federal Student Loans are granted (to some degree) based on need. Private Student Loans are based solely on your creditworthiness and ability to pay.

Below are more details related to the most common types of Federal Student Loans:
Federal Student Loans

Perkins Loan-
A Federal Perkins loan is a low interest (generally around 5%) loan for undergraduate and graduate students with “exceptional” financial need. Perkins Loans are awarded by the individual schools and are guaranteed by the Federal Government. Perkins Loans have limits as to how much can be borrowed and are granted primarily to freshman and sophomore students. To qualify for a Perkins student loan, you must be a U.S. citizen, permanent resident or eligible non-citizenenrolled in an eligible school at least half time. You must have satisfactory academic progress, no unresolved default on educational loans and satisfy all Selective Service requirements.

Stafford Loan –
A Stafford loan is presently the most common type of student loan. Stafford Loans are awarded based on financial need. To qualify for a Perkins student loan, you must be a U.S. citizen, permanent resident or eligible non-citizenenrolled in an eligible school at least half time. You must have satisfactory academic progress, no unresolved default on educational loans and satisfy all Selective Service requirements. Stafford Loans have limits. There are two basic types of Stafford Loans; subsidized and unsubsidized. The primary difference between the two loans is; a subsidized loan, interest does not begin to accrue until after graduation. For unsubsidized loans, interest begins at the time of distribution.

PLUS Loan – Are federally insured and obtained by parents of students as well as being made directly to graduate students. PLUS Loans essentially have no limits and allow borrowers to borrow the total amount of educational expenses, including college including tuition, housing, food and books. PLUS Loans are granted based on creditworthiness and ability to pay. You must have good credit and demonstrate an ability to repay the loan.