Homeowners facing foreclosure often believe that the public auction is the end of the process. After all, by the time the auction comes around, the bank has taken possession of the home, and the redemption periods have passed. When the bank sells the home, the borrower is off the hook and can put the whole thing behind him, right?
The Illinois Attorney General announced recently that the state is suing two companies that have been running student loan repayment scams. The companies have taken advantage of distressed borrowers in this state and across the county by using high-pressure sales techniques to sell services that they cannot deliver.
If you have student loans, you may be looking for any help you can get to pay them off. As bad as the situation is, you need to be careful of offers for help that call for money upfront or monthly fees. This is the modus operandi of companies that scam borrowers by promising debt relief that they cannot -- and will not -- deliver.
We are continuing our discussion about a criminal case involving a refinancing scheme. The defendant is not from Illinois, but his victims -- this time around -- were from all over the country. A court recently sentenced him to 33 months in prison for three counts of wire fraud; he must also make restitution to his nine victims. In all, he took more than $300,000 from them and essentially pocketed the money.
For some of us, budgeting is not as easy as it sounds. We have tried putting money into envelopes to make sure we meet our monthly obligations, but when life gets hectic, the envelope system falls by the wayside. We just try to make ends meet as best as we can, and when funds are short, we find a way to cope.
A bill is making its way through the Illinois General Assembly that could change the way student loans work in the state. The current system is not working, lawmakers say, because students walk out of college with unwieldy debt burdens and uncertain job prospects. Cumulatively, Americans owe more in student loans than they do in credit card debt. Forbes magazine reported in August 2013 that outstanding student loans had passed the $1 trillion mark, crossing into crisis territory.
In our May 8 post, we talked about the cost of a college education and the country's student loan debt crisis. Going into debt for an education has always been a gamble against future earnings. The problem now is that wages are stagnant, but tuition is not.
Growing up many American teens knew they would attend college after graduating high school. Media reports touting the monetary benefits of a college degree lead parents to push teens to study hard and gain admittance into college where a degree was considered a ticket to landing a first job and building a lucrative career. As a result, attendance rates at higher educational institutions around the country skyrocketed, as millions bought in to the idea that obtaining a college degree was essential to securing a better future.
If you are one of the many Americans struggling to pay off student loans, you may know how frustrating it can be to find a solution. Very few resources are available to borrowers, because student loans are not treated the same way other unsecured debts are. You can negotiate with your credit card company or medical provider, or you can discharge the debt in bankruptcy. Not so with student loans.
We are discussing how the Bankruptcy Code deals with individual retirement accounts. The parties are not from Illinois, but it has gone to the U.S. Supreme Court. The decision could change the law for everyone.