Here are the issues that are typically discussed in a student loan consultation:
- If you have federal loans (Direct, Stafford, Perkins, Plus) but don’t have your original paperwork, how to determine the type and status of each loan
- Income-based repayment options available based on the type of loan, the date when the loan was disbursed, and the status of the loan
- Whether cancellation or discharge of the debt is available under a federal program (such as: total and permanent disability, closed school, false certification); how to apply for a discharge under one of these programs
- If you have defaulted on federal loans: how to get out of default
- If you have private student loans: analysis of the terms of the loan; the possibility of resolution through refinancing or settlement; contractual defenses to a collection lawsuit
- If you have defaulted on either federal or private loans and are being contacted by debt collectors (not the government or the original loan servicer): your rights under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act; possible claims against debt collectors who have committed violations of the Act
- The likelihood of discharging all or a portion of your student loan debt in bankruptcy; the process of filing bankruptcy and an adversary action; the estimated cost to attempt to obtain a bankruptcy discharge through an adversary action
- Correcting errors regarding student loan debts that appear on your credit reports
Not all questions can be fully answered within the context of a single consultation. However, if a client has a unique problem, and research is needed to provide useful information to the client, I will schedule a free follow-up phone call or office visit to be completed after the client’s issue can be researched.
Most consultations can be done in 45 minutes. 60 minutes is recommended for clients who want to focus on the bankruptcy discharge option.
The following are special fees that apply to student loan consultations. They reflect a discount of at least 20 percent off my usual hourly rate:
- Telephone consultations: 45 minutes: $150.00; 60 minutes: $200.00
- In-office consultations (with review of promissory notes and other documents): $240.00 per hour, 1-hour minimum
- The consultation fee is payable in advance by cash, personal check or PayPal