Cosigner, considering Student Loan Lawyer

I am dealing with a private loan - spoke with McCarthy Law (saw them recommended in Motley Fool article) and they gave me 2 options: refinance the loan over 10 yrs (current payoff is 19 yrs) or let them help me settle, over 4 yrs. I have tried to refinance on my own, but no one will touch it, since I’m not the loan holder, and my son is currently jobless, with a horrible credit score. The 4 yr plan has me paying into a Trust until the debt is settled. I’m so torn, don’t want to get scammed.

Here is a letter I sent to a second lawyer:
My son had several loans from his time at Penn State, that ultimately became one private loan with Navient. The first of his loans was from 2005, when he started college. I cosigned because we were told I would be released after one year of on-time payment. That all happened after he graduated, but I couldn’t get released. Eventually, I gave up trying, because my son was gainfully employed and paying the loan on his own. Along the way, he did take 2 forebearances at Navient’s suggestion, when he had some income troubles. He continued to pay until about 2 years ago, when he had some severe mental health problems, and lost his job. That is when I took over payments, since I was the cosigner, and had that obligation.

From a starting balance of around 90k, we have paid on this loan for about 10 years, and still have a balance of $79k. My current payment is a little over $600/month. I have just learned I am getting a substantial paycut over 2 years, to the tune of a 14% decrease. I have a letter from my employer starting this, and was going to call Navient to see what they could do. However, I read the article, quoting you about private student loan settlements, and thought I’d see if you could help. I totally understand it will impact my credit. I am 60 years old, and was hoping to retire in 4-5 years, without this debt hanging over my head. I am not sure if my son will be working any time soon, and have just resigned to have the debt as my responsibility, much as I hate that.

Any thoughts or help is appreciated, thanks for your time!

I am moving forward with Mc Carthy Law at your suggestion to my post. I wish I had done this years ago! They offered light at the end of the tunnel. Three years for me vs. an endless cycle of bankruptcy! Good luck and best wishes! You are not alone! Let’s make our voices heard in 2020!

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But wait!!!
I spoke with another lawyer, with a seemingly less risky better deal. His name is Stanley Tate - Google him. I saw his name in a US World and News article.

Best of luck!!!

Call Stanley Tate and compare the two - he gave me a better scenario, with no escrow account. His initial retainer is higher, but the monthly payments I won’t be making will stay in my possession, rather than escrow. Good luck!!

Hi @Obxdew and @Cocacoley

A couple of thoughts.

First @Obxdew, if your sons private lender said that you could be released as a cosigner after one year, and you have that documented in writing, that seems significant and worth either holding them to the agreement or researching if there can be a legal challenge.

I’m not familiar with either of the lawyers you mentioned. There are a lot of debt settlement scams out there so you do need to be careful. If you need a lawyer I recommend starting with local legal aid centers and either working directly with them, or having them refer you to a reliable lawyer. Make sure you know how much it will cost up front.

You can always negotiate a settlement with a private lender. In fact, you don’t need a lawyer to do this, but it can sometimes be helpful to have legal help.

Thank you so much for your info. The loan is from 2005, I am pretty sure my son doesn’t have good records as he has moved quite a bit, as far as China for a few years. The lawyer I am hoping to work with was quoted in US World and News, as someone who has successfully negotiated with Navient, so I googled and am in communication with him. The first lawyer I spoke with wanted me to pay monthly into an escrow account, and I was leary. This second guy does not have me pay him, but rather pay Navient once it’s settled. He is thinking they will settle in 9months or less, at 60%. Hopefully this will work out!!