You have spent years in college getting your education and making plans for your future only to find yourself face-to-face with a student loan lawsuit.
There is no guarantee you will get a job after college. And, even if you do, you still may not be able to afford the hefty monthly fee you owe your student loan lender. Or maybe you have been doing well and paying your loan on time, but have recently faced a tough financial situation.
Regardless of the reason, if your student loans are currently in default or a student loan lawsuit has been filed against you, here are 6 things you need to know.
- Federal Lawsuits are Rare
If the federal government is your lender, you likely will not encounter an actual lawsuit. Why? Well, the federal government has more options to receive payments from you by force than private lenders do.
Garnishing wages or withholding tax refunds are two main methods used to receive money from defaulted borrowers – without ever going through the court system.
If you find yourself unable to make your federal student loan payments, you should talk to the lender to determine your options. Otherwise, it will default after 270 days and they may move forward with one of these other methods to get their money.
- Most Student Loan Lawsuits Come From Private Lenders
Unlike federal student loans, those with private lenders can move into default after one missed payment. This is all it takes to put you at risk of being sued.
Sometimes, before a lawsuit is filed, you could begin receiving calls and notices via U.S. mail from collection agencies. If you are not in a position to pay, this may bring a lot of additional and unwanted stress into your life.
Be proactive and seek legal counsel. You may find that this decision could halt a lawsuit from ever being filed in the first place.
- If You Are Served, Document Everything
If a lawsuit does get filed and you are served with a summons and complaint, document everything. You will want to gather all records concerning your loan and maintain a detailed log of any communication you have had with the lender, the lender’s attorney, or collection agencies. Carefully read through the complaint and make sure everything matches your account while notating anything that doesn’t sound right to you.
Should you decide to fight the case, this information could prove pertinent.
- Settlement is a Possibility
If you are up for negotiating, settlement is always a possibility. With a pending court date, reaching out to the lender before the case goes any further could have some benefits. Depending on how much you owe or how much the lender is willing to settle for, you may be able to get them to agree to a lump sum settlement to wipe out the debt – or agree to a monthly payment arrangement.
It is important to discuss the terms of the settlement with a lawyer – or have a lawyer handle the negotiation for you. This is the best way to ensure that your rights are protected every step of the way.
- Watch Out for Scammers
There are a lot of people carrying student loan debt that are just looking for relief and this has caught the eye of many scammers. Be careful with who you seek guidance from during this time as it could potentially worsen the situation with your lawsuit.
If a relief program sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
- Hiring a Lawyer Can Be Your Best Defense
When you are faced with a student loan lawsuit and you aren’t sure how to proceed, hiring a lawyer can be your best defense.
An attorney is there to protect your rights. Those who have experience in the field of student loan debt and student loan lawsuits know the tactics used by the lenders, the best defenses available, things to look for in the complaint and exhibits, and the precedents that have been set. And, if you decide that you want to offer a settlement, having a student loan debt lawyer handle the negotiations will ensure the best possible outcome.
If you find yourself being sued over defaulted student loans, remember that time is of the essence. Contact Debt Legal Defense today to see how we can help.