Securing Student Debt Relief
for Low-Income People
LSNYC invites you to our complimentary 90-minute CLE webinar.
Available Media Formats:
Why You Should Attend
This training provides pro bono advocates with an overview of the student debt crisis for low-income clients, and how to obtain relief for clients who are in default. In particular, this training will cover how and when to seek debt discharge, consolidation, rehabilitation, and income based repayment. The training also provides tips on negotiating with student debt collectors and the Department of Education. Participants also receive a detailed manual, and become cleared to participate as pro bono advocates in Legal Services NYC’s Student Debt Initiative.
LSNYC’s Student Debt Initiative provides crucial relief to New Yorkers in need. Low-income people frequently obtain federal student loans to pay for programs that they believe will help them gain a decent education and secure a job. Many of these “schools” collapse before a student can obtain a degree, or fail to deliver on promised career placements. The education provided from sham schools has little lasting value, but the accrued student debt endures. Even those who attend legitimate institutions fall on hard times, and need help to address their student debt, and respond to aggressive debt collectors. Advocates are able to relieve clients from the tremendous stress and financial burden of being in default. Cases are straightforward, and usually take between 10 and 20 hours to complete.
What You Will Learn
- Awareness of the for-profit school system, the student debt crisis, and their impact on low-income people.
- Comprehension about the types of federal student loans, how repayment and default work, and methods for getting out of default.
- An understanding of the key forms of debt discharge and income-sensitive repayment plans.
- Familiarity with the outlines of case, how to make an effective effort on behalf of clients, and how to work with LSNYC mentors.
- Overview of Legal Services NYC: our mission, work, and pro bono opportunities.
- Introduction to the student debit initiative, including the impetus for the work, the client base, outcomes achieved, and scope of work.
- Overview of the upcoming training, and what it will address.
- A client story.
Overview of the Student Debt Problem & Governing Law (16 minutes)
- Key statistics about the student debt crisis.
- The for-profit student debt industry.
- The impact of the crisis on low-income people.
- Types of federal student loans.
- Statutory and regulatory background.
- Repayment and default on federal student loans.
- Income-sensitive repayment plans.
What To Do on a Case (68 minutes)
- How to identify the type and status of each loan.
- How to evaluate the loan for potential discharge.
- How to create a strong application for discharge.
- How to get out of default if discharges are not available.
- Enrolling client in income-sensitive repayment plans.
Practice Notes (6 minutes)
- How to identify larger patterns of wrongdoing.
- Working effectively with low-income clients.
- Dealing with private student loans when they arise.
(Speakers: Adam Heintz, Yan Cao and Johnson Tyler)
Director of Pro Bono Services, Legal Services NYC
Adam Heintz is the Director of Pro Bono Services for Legal Services NYC. Mr. Heintz works with staff and pro bono partners to create and manage pro bono projects, place cases, access in-kind resources, and match individual volunteers with appropriate LSNYC offices. Mr. Heintz also manages communications related to pro bono, builds and maintains relationships with private partners, and ensures that pro bono partners are adequately trained and supervised. Mr. Heintz has overseen a dramatic expansion of LSNYC’s pro bono program, with most measures more than doubling year over year. Prior to joining LSNYC, Mr. Heintz spent six years as a litigation associate at Morrison & Foerster, LLP, where he maintained an active pro bono docket. He clerked for the Hon. Cheryl L. Pollak, in the United States District Court, Eastern District of New York. Mr. Heintz has served on the Pro Bono Advisory Council for New York Lawyers for the Public Interest. He is also a founding member of the Brooklyn Family Defense Project’s Associate Advisory Board. Previously, Mr. Heintz was employed as the HIV-Related Violence Program Coordinator at the New York City Gay and Lesbian Anti-Violence Project, and as Director of Education at the Gay Men’s Domestic Violence Project. Mr. Heintz received his B.A. from Oberlin College, and J.D. from NYU Law School.
Staff Attorney and Skadden Fellow, Brooklyn Legal Services – a program of Legal Services NYC
Yan Cao is a Staff Attorney and Skadden Fellow at Brooklyn Legal Services. She advises and represents low-income clients on student loan issues including managing unaffordable federal and private student loan debt, defending against predatory lending, and discharging debt from schools that engage in fraudulent practices. Yan is a graduate of Stanford University and NYU Law School; prior to joining Legal Services, she clerked for Judge J. Paul Oetken of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York and Judge Raymond J. Lohier Jr. of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.
Staff Attorney, Foreclosure Prevention, Brooklyn Legal Services – a program of Legal Services NYC
Johnson Tyler is a graduate of Yale College and CUNY Law School. He has worked at Brooklyn Legal Services since 1989. He currently works on cases involving foreclosure, student loans and other consumer issues. He has filed numerous suits against unscrupulous collectors and deceptive businesses. He has provided expert testimony on debt collection practices and debt relief scams to the U.S. Senate, the Federal Trade Commission, the U.S. Treasury and local lawmakers and agencies, as well as the New York Times, the CBS Evening News, and the Associated Press.