Student Loans, Frequently Asked Questions

Are you licensed?

Yes. All our attorneys are licensed to practice in the state or states they represent.

Is your law firm accredited with the Better Business Bureau?

Yes we are fully accredited and have earned the BBB’s highest rating.

My student loans are close to being in default and I can’t afford the monthly payment that they are requesting.  Are there any options available to me?

Yes, depending on your circumstances, there may be some options available to you.  There are many factors to consider including the type of loans you have, your income, and how you have handled your student loans previously.   As part of our consultation, we review all of these issues and help you develop a strategy to deal with your student loans, to the extent possible.

Can the government garnish my wages, Social Security or my income tax refund?

Yes. The government can initiate an Administrative Garnishment. Unlike other creditors, who must first go to court, the government simply fills out the paperwork and sends it to your employer, Social Secuirty Administration and Internal Revenue Service.
We don’t have to tell you this can be a very embarrassing situation with your employer.

Can I be sued for not paying my student loans?

Yes. If you neglect your student loans and fail to make payments, the Department of Justice (DOJ) may file a lawsuit against you.

Can they go after my husband or wife for my unpaid student loans?

Possibly. If the student loan debt was acquired during your marriage and you live in a community property state Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington and Wisconsin.

Can you defend me against a DOJ lawsuit?

While we can represent you against the DOJ, please understand a DOJ lawsuit is almost impossible defend and nearly always results in a judgment against you..

The Collection Agency added 25% to the balance of my defaulted student loans, can they do this?

Yes. The law allows collectors to add a “collection fee”. However, during our review if we find the collector engaged in illegal behavior or failed to follow specific guidelines, you may be entitled to damages which may include forgiveness of this fee.

Can I be arrested for not paying a debt?

No. This is an illegal tactic used by unscrupulous debt collectors.

In what states do you accept clients?

We have offices located in California, Georgia, and Texas. Our attorneys are also licensed in New York, and New Jersey.  We also maintain relationships with attorneys in other states.   Since there are many factors that determine what is the appropriate forum regarding student loans, including where the loans were incurred, the location of the servicers, etc.   Please call us for a Free Case Review.

How can you help me?

By reviewing all of your options. Most collectors only review one or two with options with student loan borrowers. The reality is there may be several different options available to you. The first step is a Free Case Review (described below)
and consultation if necessary.

What is a Free Case Review?

We offer all clients a Free Case Review. During the review, one of our Case Analysts will ask you questions related to your student loans. They will also ask you for some documents (statements etc.). Once we have the specifics, one of our attorneys will review your case to determine if we are able to help you or not. If so, we will schedule a consultation. If not, we will let you know as well.


What information do you need from me for the Free Case Review?Generally speaking we need the names of your creditors and balances owed along with your monthly income and expenses. We will also ask you questions regarding your current employment status.What is a Consultation and what happens during the Consultation?

One we determine we can help you, we will schedule a consultation between you and one of our attorneys. Most consultations take between one and two hours (depending on the complexity of your case). During the consultation, the attorney will review your case in detail with you. Most importantly he or she will review all of your options. Most clients are very surprised by the amount of information gained through the consultation. Additionally, we will provide you a letter and outlining all of your options in writing.

How much does it cost?

We charge a flat fee starting at $399 (no hourly rates) to resolve your case.  The exact fee to resolve your case is based on the total debt amount and the complexity of your case.  Keep in mind; we will only take your case if during the case review we determine we are able to help you.  If we are not able to help you, we will let you know and there is no charge. If your case requires litigation against a debt collector; you may be able to recover the cost of the consultation. Most of our student loan clients agree it is the best money they ever spent.

Do you take credit cards?

Yes, We accept all major credit cards as well as personal checks, check by phone, cash and money orders.

Can I make an appointment to come into your office? What are your hours?

Yes. In addition to our regular business hours 7:00 AM to 6:00 PM Monday-Friday including most holidays, we are also available evenings and weekends by appointment. Most Student Loan consultations are conducted over the telephone.

Are there any repayment options with respect to my private student loans?

While there are various repayment and cure options with respect to government student loans, currently, the same options do not exist with private student loans.   That doesn’t mean that there is no hope.   Private student loan creditors and debt collectors have the same burden of proof and obligations as all other creditors.  We will review the actions of your private student loan servicers to determine if there are possible defenses to any private student loan lawsuit brought by your lender.

Is bankruptcy an option?

Generally speaking, you will not be able to discharge your student loan obligations in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy as the standard required for a student loan bankruptcy discharge, in most jurisdictions, is very difficult for most people to meet.   However, there are times where a Chapter 13 bankruptcy will be appropriate for repayment of your student loans.  Click here for more detailed information concerning student loans and bankruptcy.

When would litigation be required?  How will it help me?

Sadly, all too often, debt collectors provide bad information to student loan borrowers and deny them their legal right to cure their student loan.  Even though they may be collecting on government student loans, they are still required to follow the federal and applicable state collection laws and if they fail to do so, they may be held civilly liable for their conduct. The Law Offices of Craig Zimmerman currently represents numerous student loan borrowers in actions against debt collectors, including several class actions.