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Bankruptcy attorney never filed papers for student loan hardship and never returned my calls

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ineedhelp23

New member
What is the name of your state? California

I filed chapter 13 in 2012 because my attorney said that was my best option to stop a lawsuit for a student loan debt. She said that I couldn't get my student loans discharged, but if I filed chapter 13 I wouldn't have to make the payments for at least 5 years and that by then, there may be something I could do to get them discharged. I had both private student loans and federal student loans. My income was way below the median, but my repayment term was for 5 years. I did get a discharge, but as soon as it was discharged I had 2 accounts with Navient jump back on my credit report with a total amount due of $60,000 and a collections account for $35,000 for another student loan. My credit score went from 680 down to 550 within 2 months. I was on unemployment and couldn't make the payments at all. I was scouring all of the paperwork and researching online what my options were and I came across how to possibly have my student loan discharged through bankruptcy. However, for the courts to even consider that option,, my attorney was supposed to file a form stating that repayment would cause an undue hardship on me. I tried to contact my attorney several times to find out what was discharged and what wasn't when I got my paperwork stating the discharge, but only her legal secretary would call me. And all she did was state that no student loan could be discharged. So here I am now less than 2 years later, right back in my same predicament. I lost my job about 4 months before the end of my payment term. My unemployment ran out and I was trying to get a personal loan just to survive until I found another job. My father cosigned for a business loan, or so we thought, but it ended up being 30k credit line between 3 credit cards. I lived on these credit cards for almost a year. My plan was to get a low interest personal loan as soon as my chpt 13 was discharged because that was the only thing keeping me from being approved. I had a job and my credit score was 680. But the same month I received my discharge, I also had a $35,000 collections show up on my credit report along with the other 2 student loans. My utilization was only 11%, but my total debt went from 1k to 98k all in the same month as my discharge. I could no longer qualify for a personal loan high enough to pay off the credit cards in my fathers name. I hoped I could fix it while I still had no interest on the cards, but everything just spiralled out of control and now I am going to file bankruptcy again just so I can manage the payments on the credit cards, because I made a promise to my father that I would make the payments and not screw up his credit.

So the question is, did my attorney fail to do her legal obligation with regard to my case or did she just get her money and forget about the circumstances. Just to be clear, I have not spoken with my attorney since my case was filed in court. If she did indeed failed to meet her legal obligation to me, could I sue and receive damages? I assume that it would cost me an arm and a leg to even go that route.
 


quincy

Senior Member
Was your former attorney a bankruptcy attorney?

I am not seeing that there was a clear failure on your attorney's part - but is appears your situation is no better than it was before and now requires the services of another attorney.

Your thread probably would have been better placed in the bankruptcy section of the forum.
 
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ineedhelp23

New member
Was your former attorney a bankruptcy attorney?

I am not seeing that there was a clear failure on your attorney's part - but is appears your situation is no better than it was before and now requires the services of another attorney.

Your thread probably would have been better placed in the bankruptcy section of the forum.
Yes, she was a bankruptcy attorney. Well from what I have read there are a few things that think she was negligent. Because my income was under the median income, my chapter 13 should have only been for 3 years. But the big issue was that I couldn't afford my student loan payments. I was making under 30k a year. She told me that my student loans could not be discharged, but there was a good possibility that there may be changes in the law at the end of 5 years that could assist me in getting them discharged. She said that after my wage earner plan was finished we could revisit my options regarding the student loans. Once it was over and these student loans came back on my credit report, I started looking to see how to get them discharged, because some of them had. The $35K collection account came off my report after a few months. That is when I came across that certain student loans could get discharged through bankruptcy, but my attorney would have had to make that plea to the court at the end of my payments. But the attorney never returned my calls or emails and the staff only ran around in circles. They actually didn't even file my closing papers in time, but some how they got it filed even though it was late and I was still granted a discharge. Because the discharge papers did not specify exactly what debts were discharged, I asked them if they could tell me what debt wasn't discharged, but they kept telling me they didn't know. I just want to know if my bankruptcy attorney's obligation was fulfilled within standards or not. Why didn't she know I could get my loans discharged if all we had to prove was that it would be a financial hardship, because that would have been easy. I only survived for those five years because my payments were only $200 a month. My income after 5 years was not significantly higher enough to cover the payments they were seeking.
 

paddywakk

Member
Unless things have changed, getting your student loans discharged is an adversarial proceeding and not part of a normal bankruptcy. This would require a special hearing just on these loans, and you'd be paying your attorney by the hour for this work, not a flat fee that most charge for bankruptcy.

The time to think about whether or not you could pay these loans back was when you applied for them.
 

quincy

Senior Member
Your attorney told you that the student loans might be dischargeable in a couple of years.

Not all students are eligible for a hardship discharge.

You should find another attorney to assist you.

Here is a link to information on loan forgiveness (federal student loans):

 
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