• Durbin Looking to Help Students Who ‘Have No Idea What They’re Getting Into’

    As US Senator for Illinois Dick Durbin says in this video of a speech he gave on the floor of the Senate this past April, student loan debt has surpassed credit card debt in America and “it is growing by leaps and bounds.” Not surprisingly, student loans are one of the overwhelming forms of debt that drives many clients into our office. Unfortunately, student loan debt can only be discharged in bankruptcy by proving an undue hardship-and the circumstances in which this happens are extremely rare.

    Durbin has been pushing for quite some time to enact some sort of legislative remedy to the problems that student loan debt is causing for millions of Americans, focusing largely on for-profit colleges. On August 20, 2012, Crain’s Chicago Business reported that Durbin spoke at Loyola University Chicago about his pending bill to effectively require students to get counseling before they sign on the bottom line. At the event, Durbin was accompanied by Sheila Uribe, an Elmhurst College graduate who has seen the $35,000 of student loan debt she graduated with balloon to roughly $60,000 because of high variable interest rates.

    “Most students just sign. They have no idea what they’re getting into,” Durbin said, according to Crain’s. “They lack life experience. This is not an arms-length transaction between two parties who each understand the terms.”

    Under Durbin’s pending bill, co-sponsored by Iowa US Senator Tom Harkin, colleges and universities “would be required to inform students about any federal aid that might be available before they sign a private deal, and their legal rights to reject or cancel a loan,” Crain’s said.

    While you may not be able to discharge student loan debt by filing Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you may still be able to rid yourself of other unsecured debt like credit cards. If you would like to understand what options are available to you, contact our firm at (866) 930-7482 or use the form on this page to let our Chicago bankruptcy lawyers review your situation and set up a free consultation.

    Benjamin Brand Services – Chicago bankruptcy attorneys

  • Homeowners in Foreclosure Demand Moratorium on Evictions

    More than 100 residents called on Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle and Cook County Sheriff Thomas Dart to place a one-year moratorium on foreclosure evictions during a community meeting held on the Chicago’s West Side on August 9, 2012. As we noted last week, more homeowners in the Chicago area are in need of foreclosure help after the number of notices in July was 37 percent higher than it was in 2011. As lenders continue to clear out a backlog, the number is expected to increase.

    The investigative reporting magazine In These Times reported that Mary Bonelli was one of the residents in attendance at the community meeting. Her family has lived in the same home in Chicago’s Belmont-Cragin neighborhood for three generations, but could now be thrown out by the bank servicing her mortgage.  “I am 76 years old and I’m dying of cancer,” Bonelli said, according to In These Times. “But that’s not the reason I’m here today. It’s because Fifth Third bank is trying to take my house away from me. We moved here in 1958. The bank never told me the house was in foreclosure. … I want to stay in my home. That is why we need a one-year moratorium.”

    Preckwinkle and Dart were both sympathetic, but neither committed to placing a stay on evictions. If you have received a foreclosure notice, filing Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy will trigger an automatic stay that stops most actions against your property. If you are facing foreclosure and want to understand all of the options available to you, contact our firm at (866) 930-7482 or complete the form on this page to set up a free consultation with our Chicago bankruptcy lawyers.

    Benjamin Brand Services – Chicago bankruptcy attorneys