The Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program Waiver, Explained

December 1, 2021 in Announcements

On October 6, 2021, Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona announced temporary changes to the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program which, if successful, will substantially address the failings of the beleaguered federal student loan forgiveness program. Launched in 2007, PSLF promised complete tax-free forgiveness of federal student loans for those who make 120 qualifying payments. The execution of the program has been troubled, however, with reports of near-universal denial of applications for forgiveness. This article will detail the one-year limited waiver program, and provide guidance to those who stand to benefit from it.

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Washington Homestead Exemption Law Benefits Homeowners

September 1, 2021 in Bankruptcy

A recent change in the law made filing bankruptcy a possibility for homeowners struggling with debt problems. In the past, Washington residents who had more than $125,000.00 in equity in their homes faced the likelihood of losing their homes if they filed a personal bankruptcy. In May, 2021, the Washington state legislature passed a change in the law that dramatically increases the amount of home equity that is protected, and closed certain other loopholes that put homes at risk.

The new law sets the “homestead exemption,” – the amount of value that a person can keep in bankruptcy– based on the previous year’s data on the median home value in the county where someone lives. Current exemptions include:

Homestead exemption (2021)
King County            $729,600.00
Snohomish County $549,400.00
Pierce County         $424,300.00
Skagit County          $421,800.00

In addition, the new law ensures that a homeowner who files a bankruptcy with a fully exempt homestead does not need to fear losing the property if it increases in value after the bankruptcy is filed.

Asset value is one important piece of the puzzle when determining whether a bankruptcy is the best option to deal with overwhelming debt problems. Income, type of debt, and personal objectives are also important considerations. There’s no doubt that the new homestead law is a game-changer for Washington State homeowners struggling with debt.

Pandemic-Related Accommodations for Student Borrowers

September 1, 2021 in Education

Policymakers are waking up to the fact that the Student Loan Crisis is not a fever dream of selfish millennials. As a result, policy conversations around “student loan relief” are happening for the first time ever. This article is intended to provide a summary of how the CARES Act and related laws have impacted student loan borrowers, and to discuss briefly some of the proposals intended to provide relief for struggling borrowers.

In March 2020, within weeks of the financial collapse, the former administration issued guidance that government-held student loans would be set to a 0% interest rate for the duration of the crisis….

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