Every year, millions of American college and graduate students rely on aid from the federal government and private companies to finance their educations. While only a bankruptcy attorney is qualified to analyze your specific legal situation, if you have outstanding student loan debt, you most likely cannot discharge your balance by declaring bankruptcy. Read on to learn why.
Legal History Until 1976, all educational loans were dischargeable in bankruptcy. But during that year, the federal bankruptcy code changed, and loans made by a government agency could no longer be discharged during the first five years of repayment. In 1984, bankruptcy laws changed again to make all private loans exempt from discharge, and the 2005 Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act finally made it so that no student loan could be discharged unless undue hardship could be demonstrated.
Repayment Options Although the majority of bankruptcy attorneys find the current restrictions on discharging student loan debt to be unfair since this debt is comparable to any other loans that meet the terms for bankruptcy relief, the federal government counters that its repayment options are fair. Students who are struggling with federal loan debt can qualify for Income Based Repayment and other loan forgiveness problems. Unfortunately, private loans are a different story.
Private Lenders Private lenders can currently collect on student loan debts according to their pre-determined payment schedules, and few are willing to offer affordable or income-based repayment plans. Students are generally required to begin repayment immediately after graduation and may be burdened by astronomical interest rates and other fees. When a borrower becomes distressed, private lenders have little incentive to make accommodations that are simply not in their company’s best financial interests.
The Golden State Law Group’s bankruptcy, foreclosure, lien stripping, and debt relief attorneys provide a wide range of services to our greater San Diego area clients. Whether you live in Escondido or Mira Mesa, call us today at (858) 240-2480 to find out how our convenient payment plans can make declaring bankruptcy easy and affordable.
Did your spouse accumulate tax debt without your knowledge? Most married taxpayers elect to file a joint tax return, which usually means that both partners are responsible for the entire liability. But if you were unaware that your spouse claimed improper deductions or credit, you may qualify for what bankruptcy attorneys refer to as innocent spouse relief. Review these key legal terms to find out if you may be a good candidate.
Joint Several Liability Both taxpayers are generally “jointly and severally” liable for the tax, plus any additional interest or penalties that arise from the joint tax return. This usually holds true even if you dissolve your marriage with the terms that your spouse is solely liable for that debt. But if your spouse failed to report income, reported income improperly, or claimed improper deductions or credits, you may qualify for innocent spouse relief of joint several liability.
Misrepresented Deficiency In order to qualify for innocent spouse relief, you must meet three conditions. First, you and your spouse filed a joint return that indicated a deficiency that is solely attributable to your spouse’s erroneous item. Next, you must legally establish that you did not know and had no reason to know of this false understatement of tax. Finally, you and your attorney must prove that it would be unfair to hold you accountable for the understatement of tax.
Timely Filing If you plan to request innocent spouse relief, you must file your request with the court no later than two years after the date the IRS first attempted to collect the tax from you. These time requirements are stringent, and your best bet is to contact an attorney immediately to discuss the specific facts of your case and determine your next legal step.
Only an experienced bankruptcy attorney can help you deal with unpaid tax debt and avoid serious consequences such as wage garnishment and repossession of your property. Call the Golden State Law Group at (858) 240-2480 to find out why our bankruptcy law office is consistently praised for our bankruptcy attorneys’ honest, affordable services and hard-hitting representation.
Bankruptcy is the legal term that means that you are currently unable and will continue to be unable to pay off your debts. As you will learn in this video, a bankruptcy attorney can help you discharge your debt through bankruptcy.
After a successful legal filing, debtors are relieved of all debts except for certain taxes, student loans, child support, and alimony. Personal bankruptcy falls under Chapter 7, Chapter 11, or Chapter 13 of the bankruptcy code. For example, in Chapter 11 bankruptcy, a debtor must work with creditors on a payment plan to reorganize her assets.
The Golden State Law Group is proud to be the largest bankruptcy law office in San Diego, and our attorneys are convenient to Chula Vista, Mission Valley, Escondido, and Mira Mesa. For affordable, efficient bankruptcy representation, call us today at (858) 240-2480.
Have you filed bankruptcy in the past? If you have found yourself in a position where you are considering filing again, you probably have a number of questions. One common initial question is whether an individual can file for bankruptcy more than once. This video explores the topic of how long you have to wait between bankruptcy filings.
The short answer is that the time frame will vary depending on whether you are filing for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy and which chapter you used before. For example, if you previously received a discharge under Chapter 7, you cannot receive a second discharge in Chapter 7 within eight years from the date that you filed your first case.
To speak with a bankruptcy attorney about whether or not filing again will benefit you, contact the Golden State Law Group. Our bankruptcy attorneys have unblemished records and are here to help, so call our San Diego office at (858) 240-2480 to discuss your legal options.