#1 Student Loan Lawyer
Updated on July 19, 2022
Finding a lawyer in California that can confidently work with student loan borrowers is challenging. Here’s what usually comes up:
Many attorneys advertise student loan help, but often they’re bankruptcy lawyers whose practice area focuses on filing Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy cases.
They can help defend lawsuits from private student loan lenders but have limited experience negotiating settlements with lenders like Navient, National Collegiate Student Loan Trust, Citizens Bank, and so on.
The reality is that although student debt is a massive problem in the United States, there are few lawyers in California and across the nation with experience solving complex student loan issues. Even fewer keep pace with the rapid changes that are happening with student debt relief coming from the White House.
Need help with your student loans? If you’d like help figuring out your options, schedule a call to speak with me. In about ten minutes, you’ll better understand the paths you can take to resolve your situation.
5 Best student loan debt lawyers in California
There are a handful of attorneys I recommend based on my knowledge of their experience specific to student loan problems.
Full disclosure, I recommend myself first. Why? I’ve dedicated my entire career to battling student loan servicers. I can confidently navigate the various relief programs offered by the Education Department, negotiate settlements with private lenders and collectors, and file adversary proceedings in bankruptcy to discharge student loans due to undue hardship.
If you’re set on working with an attorney or law firm close by, then the other four attorneys listed below may be able to help:
Stanley Tate – I don’t have a law office in California, but I help borrowers throughout the state with federal loans and some private student loan issues.
Jay Fleischman – office in Los Angeles.
Christine Kingston – office in Southern California.
Fitzgerald & Campbell – office in Santa Ana.
Pauldeep Baines – office in Sacramento.
If you can’t score a free consultation with an attorney, try contacting the Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles. LAFLA helps borrowers with defaulted federal loans stop wage garnishment, tax refund seizure, and Social Security benefits offset.
Another option is to contact The Institute of Student Loan Advisors. TISLA offers student loan borrowers free, neutral, and accurate resources and mentoring to ensure they can successfully manage their debt.
You can also contact the state bar association or a local law school to see if they offer free or low-cost legal assistance.
What student loan lawyers do
A student loan lawyer evaluates your federal and private loans and then provides legal advice to help resolve the issue you’re facing. They can help you:
Qualify for forgiveness. Since President Biden took office, the Department of Education has eliminated over $25 billion in student loan debt by improving existing student loan forgiveness programs. For example, it erased the debt of thousands of full-time government and nonprofit employees locked out of the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program because they had the wrong type of loan. The department also recently promised to give millions of borrowers credit towards income-driven repayment plan forgiveness, regardless of whether they were ever enrolled in an IDR plan. Read more about how to apply for student loan forgiveness and the PSLF Program.
Get out of default. Federal student loan borrowers can use consolidation or loan rehabilitation to return their loans to good standing. The right choice for you depends on your financial goals, whether you have an active wage garnishment or are trying to buy a home and need to clear CAIVRS to get a federally-backed mortgage. Read more about what happens if you default on student loans.
Negotiate a settlement. It’s possible to settle federal and private student loans once you fall behind on payments and default. A lawyer experienced in working with student loan servicers and debt collectors can help you negotiate a lump-sum settlement that saves you thousands of dollars and avoid paying taxes on settled debt. Read more about how a lawyer can negotiate student loan debt.
Lower monthly payments. The Education Department offers several student loan repayment plans that help give borrowers affordable monthly payments. But the eligibility requirements for the plans can be confusing, especially if you’re married, retired, self-employed, or are worried about qualifying for loan forgiveness. Read more income-driven repayment plans and the IDR account adjustment.
Defending a student loan lawsuit. Private student loan lenders regularly sue the borrower and cosigner in state court to recover money owed for defaulted student loans.
Besides those things, some student loan attorneys can even help you get rid of your loans in bankruptcy by proving undue hardship. Read more about bankruptcy and student loans.
Learn More: How to Get Rid of Student Loan Debt
Looking to hire an attorney to help with your student loans? Let’s talk
If you’re looking for help with your loans or managing your student loan payments, consider contacting one of the California student loan attorneys above — or schedule a call with me.
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