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February 20, 2015

Lawyers Representing Student Loan Borrowers

I am delighted to provide free general information for student loan borrowers and the people who love them, but as an attorney, I must be very careful not to inadvertently establish a client-lawyer relationship with folks I don't represent.  I am licensed to practice in the state of North Carolina only and lawyers are specifically prohibited from practicing in states in which we are not licensed.  Also, lawyers can establish a client-lawyer relationship even without agreeing to do so.  That's why I…

March 13, 2014

Congress Seeks to Increase Taxes on Student Loan Borrowers

Sigh.  According to the Joint Committee on Taxation, the feds can increase revenues by $13.0 billion over 2014-2023 by repealing the student loan interest deduction and shifting the full burden of student loan interest back to student loan borrowers.  And if Congress also required student loan borrowers who have committed their careers to public service to pay tax on loan forgiveness they earned, the Joint Committee on Taxation estimates they could increase tax revenue by an additional $1.1 billion. The “Tax Reform Act of 2014”…

February 14, 2014

5 Tips for Managing Student Debt

Heather loves National Public Radio and offering free advice to student loan borrowers and their families. She got to enjoy both last week as she sat down with Public Radio International's nationally-syndicated talkshow host Tavis Smiley to discuss how to avoid student loan debt or what to do once you’re in student loan debt.  Listen to the interview here.   Heather's Five Tips for Managing Student Loan Debt: 1.  Everyone should fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). 2.  Students should choose…

March 24, 2012

Prosecutors and Defenders to Benefit From Loan Repayment Assistance and Forgiveness Programs

Nearly all law students take on mortgage-sized student loan debt.  Public defender and prosecutor salaries have not kept pace with the rising costs of legal education.  Prosecutor and public defender offices find it difficult to attract and retain talented attorneys, resulting in overworked attorneys handling unmanageable caseloads and potentially affecting public safety and the administration of justice.  The John R. Justice Program was enacted to encourage qualified attorneys to serve as prosecutors and public defenders by providing…

September 20, 2011

CLAARP Benefits NOT Taxable as Income

Sweet!  The Internal Revenue Service has determined that recipients of the short-lived Civil Legal Assistance Attorney Repayment Program (CLARRP) do NOT need to pay income tax on the benefits they receive. I was somewhat concerned that repayment benefits might be deemed taxable, because both Federal Family Education Loans (FFEL) and Federal Direct Loans were eligible for repayment assistance under CLAARP, and tax free benefits require forgiving debt owed to the forgiver, rather than repaying debt owed to another. In it's analyis, the IRS…

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