Forum Rules (Everyone Must Read!!!) (updated: 04/28/2015)

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My life is over

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  • My life is over

    I have a private student loan with a balance of $42,000. It was originally $50,000 and I've made $31,000 in payments but the balance has only been reduced by $7,000 and I've paid $24,000 in interest. You know what that is? That's BULL CRAP! I've filed chapter 7 but there's NOTHING I can do to reduce my payments toward these loans. Currently I'm paying $315 a month on a 30 year repayment plan. That's the only way it has been affordable on my budget. Here's the problem: THEY AUTOMATICALLY PUT MY LOAN INTO DEFAULT STATUS AND ARE DEMANDING A FULL REPAYMENT (at the conclusion of my case). Which means they will sue me and get a judgment because I can't afford to pay a settlement, I don't have any money. Problem is if they garnish 25% of my wages I won't be able to make my mortgage payment I will be so royally SCREWED it's not even funny. I'll lose my house, I'll lose my cars, I will barely be able to feed my family. I don't have $1,250 left over every month to hand over in a judgment for the next three to four years. It will absolutely devastate my family and I could lose my job if I'm garnished. I'm in hell right now.

  • #2
    Typically, upon filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, a private student loan lender will "sell back" the debt to a guarantor agency for face value. The guarantor agency will then hire a servicer to send billing statements, process payments, etc. Once the account is "sold back" to the guarantor, it is often considered "in default" and will be reported as such to the credit bureaus for the life of the loan. The guarantor might send a demand letter requesting payment in full, but they know you can't pay, and will often consider a reasonable repayment plan.

    If the creditor won't accept reasonable payments, and instead files a lawsuit, don't panic. Having the debt reduced to a judgment means that there is now a judgment statute of limitations (which is typically 10 to 20 years depending on state law) and whatever they don't collect by then will become uncollectible.

    You could file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, which would prevent the judgment creditor from garnishing your wages and bank accounts, and then the bankruptcy court would decide what is a reasonable monthly payment for this debt--not the creditor or its collection attorney. You would pay your other debts (mortgage, car loans, etc.) through the plan, which would reduce the funds available to pay toward the student loan. At the end of your plan, the remaining student loan debt won't be discharged, but then you'd just file again. Eventually, you could run out the judgment statute of limitations on this debt.


    • #3
      Seems pretty simple to me: I default because I can’t afford their payment plan, they sue and garnish 25% of wages which is about $1,250 a month. It will take about 36 months for them to recover payment and during that time I’ll be in the poor house. If they can garnish me at 25% for 10 years that is more than three times longer than they will need to bleed me dry.


      • #4
        Then get mad and if bankruptcy still open, file an adversarial action to determine the student loan as dischargable or settled for tiny payments. There's a good book, "Bankrupt Your Student Loans" on Amazon etc that gives you a detailed how to, even if you have to educate your lawyer (maybe negotiate for reduced fees for the lawyer to expand their bk offerings?). If your bankruptcy is closed, petition to re-open, then file on it. Don't believe the BS online about how you "can't" discharge. Put some time into it and meet the Brunner test. Brush up your negotiating skills and demand a $100 a month payment for 90 months then full discharge of the loan. Research the matter more and find out if the recent for-profit college news could help. Write your Congressman and ask for assistance, if all else fails.

        But, no, your life is not over. Some folks let the BS of the financial world drive them to suicide, leaving behind many more people devastated at the loss of you. If you're pulling in $4500 per month, which is a 25% wage garnishment of 1125, you're obviously a highly skilled worker and do contribute a lot to those around you. Use your skills to educate yourself on the money game. Suze Orman works for some, Ramsey for others especially his emotions chapter, Brian Tracy does it for others. It doesn't matter who you use, but you're going to need to up your financial education to win this game, and the first step is deciding you want to improvise, adapt, and overcome the current challenge.

        and if your wage drops too much, there's plenty of help, food stamps, downsizing homes, selling luxury cars for running clunkers, living in a Yurt in the Gobi using wireless internet to telecommute. Get angry, then creative, and beat back the bloodsuckers.


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