After a Long Pause, 30 Million Student Borrowers Will Begin Defaulting

Last year, in response to the COVID pandemic, the Department of Education pressed the pause button on the federal student-loan program. In March 2020, DOE allowed 30 million student borrowers to stop making payments on their student loans with no penalty and no accumulation of interest. DOE also stopped collection actions during this moratorium and … Read more

Will Parking Fines or Speeding Tickets Affect My Credit Score?

It’s no fun to be fined for parking in the wrong place at the wrong time or getting a speeding ticket. Driving safely is important, which means that these infractions can even affect other things like your car insurance or life insurance rates. Will parking fines or speeding tickets affect my credit score as well? … Read more

Rapid Reader Questions, Debt Consolidation, Navient, Credit Score, Fraud, and More

Q: Is it legal for a mortgage company to all of a sudden demand a deferment balance from 10 years ago now, or will they foreclose on the home I am one month behind on the monthly payment? A: That sounds a lot like a balloon mortgage (a mortgage in which a large portion of … Read more

Marchus v. Student Loans of North Dakota: Another Victory for Student-Loan Debtors in the Eighth Circuit

In 2020, Debra Jean Marchus filed an adversary proceeding in a North Dakota bankruptcy court, seeking to discharge about $38,000 in student-loan debt. After a trial, Bankruptcy Judge Shon Hastings wiped out the debt. As summarized in Judge Hastings’s decision, Ms. Marchus began her journey through higher education in 1975, forty-five years before she filed … Read more

Rapid Fire Reader Questions – Levy, Attorney, Collection, Bankruptcy

Sometimes I get reader questions that don’t have enough information for a big answer. So here are some rapid-fire questions and answers. Q: Can a collection agency take money out of an account that is not the debtors? A: If the debtor is not a signer on the account and the account is in the … Read more

Bankruptcy Judge Discharges $220K in Federal Student Loans

Diane Ashline, a 47-year old single mother, worked for 20 years as a dental assistant. Hoping to increase her income, she took out student loans to get an undergraduate degree and a master’s degree from Kaplan University, a for-profit school. Unfortunately, these degrees did not help her financially. Ashline never defaulted on her student loans. … Read more

Update on Case Against Premier Student Loan Center

It appears the case against Consumer Advocacy Center and Premier Student Loan Center is still under management by the Court Appointed Receiver. What follows is the Receiver’s update for activities between May 1, 2021 to October 31, 2021. Premier Student Loan Center Case Summary I. RECEIVERSHIP ACTIVITIES During this period, the Receiver and his team … Read more

The Slumification of American College Towns

The Slumification of American College Towns

In the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, cotton production was a staple of America’s Southern economy. Even today, the United States is one of the world’s largest exporters of cotton. But cotton has some problems. Grown year after year, cotton depletes the soil. Before commercial fertilizers became available, cotton growers simply grew cotton on a … Read more

Private Student Loan Debt at All-Time High – Until Tomorrow

According to a recent report by the Institute for College Access and Success (TICAS), the 2020 class of college graduates has amassed $136 billion in private student debt. When this amount is added to the total student debt from federal student loans–about $1.8 trillion, Americans are on the hook for almost $2 trillion in student … Read more

Gambling Has Ruined My Life. I Don’t Know What to Do With My Debt?

Question: Dear Steve, I just got separated from active duty, but I gambled through the funds I earned through that time (April 2021-August 2021), so I basically have nothing $8,000 in owed on Credit Card Nearly $8,000 for an auto loan Can’t afford car insurance Personal loans ( 2) both in the amount of $2,000 … Read more

What Are Personal Loans Used For?

Even the savviest budgeter occasionally runs into a circumstance they’re simply unprepared for, which is where a personal loan may come in handy. Common personal loan uses include covering an unexpected medical expense or home repair or even managing existing debt. Borrowing money vs. paying cash isn’t ideal, but if you need cash ASAP and … Read more