Student loan repayment presents a hardship for many families across South Florida. Fortunately, on March 30, Chief Bankruptcy Judge Laurel Isacoff entered an order adopting procedures for the Chapter 13 student loan program (SLP) for the Southern District of Florida. The program, which represents the 18-month effort of Judge Robert Mark and Standing Chapter 13 Trustee Robin Weiner, as well as a committee of legal professionals, represents a meaningful opportunity for student loan borrowers to find relief from their increasing debt loads.
The New York Federal Reserve Bank reports that as of the end of 2020, there was $1.58 trillion in student loan debt. Immediately prior to the pandemic, 11.1% of the 44.7 million Americans with student loans were more than 90 days delinquent and in default. Pandemic-relief programs provided direct federal loan borrowers with an automatic forbearance of payments and 0% interest. These provisions lowered default rates, but they expire in September 2021.