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Student Loan Debt Relief Attorneys in Seattle

Are you struggling with student loan debt or being sued by lenders or student loan collectors? If so, you aren’t alone. Most bachelor’s degree recipients borrow from the federal Stafford Loan program or private lenders to complete their schooling. Because the cost of tuition has increased dramatically over recent decades, the financial burden that graduates now face is unprecedented, and countless individuals are facing student loan litigation.

You are likely aware of the fact that some types of debt are more difficult to reduce or discharge than others. Student loans are often grouped with back taxes, child support, and alimony as types of debt that cannot, under any circumstances, be forgiven. But our team at Henry & DeGraaff is here to tell you that obtaining relief from student loan debt is certainly possible. Not everyone can qualify for relief, and it can be a difficult process to complete. With our guidance, however, you will have the best possible chance of freeing yourself from unmanageable student loans.

Additionally, we are one of the few law firms that provides litigation services and debt collection defense for student loan disputes. In some cases, these lawsuits result in a debt discharge for our clients. Other times, we are able to get the lawsuits dismissed with prejudice for lack of standing, or we even bring affirmative claims against lenders. We have a track record of successfully taking our clients’ cases to court and winning against various lenders, which makes us uniquely qualified to help you overcome your legal or financial crisis.

Looking for a team with decades of legal experience? Call (206) 483-0505 today.

Your Options for Student Loan Relief in Washington State

Private Loan Litigation

Due to the lack of regulation surrounding private loans, these student borrowers are more likely to find themselves facing aggressive collection actions and even violations of borrowers’ rights. At Henry & DeGraaff, our team is fully equipped to litigate on behalf of borrowers, and we will not hesitate to take your case to court if this is what is necessary to protect your rights. We have a track record of holding private lenders accountable for their violations of the FDCPA and CPA, and we have discharged hundreds of thousands of dollars in private student loans.

Bankruptcy Adversary Proceeding

To discharge federal student loan debt through bankruptcy, we will need to file an adversary proceeding, which is a separate lawsuit. In this proceeding, our goal will be to prove that you meet a certain level of “undue hardship,” which will warrant a court-ordered student loan discharge. No matter what type of litigation we handle, you can trust us to fight skillfully and tenaciously for your best interests.

The Henry & DeGraaff Difference

  • Experienced, Creative & Sophisticated

    With years of experience between our attorneys, our goal is to deliver a higher level of service, only taking cases where we can add value.

  • Personalized Attention

    We understand that no two cases are ever the same. We provide tailored solutions for every client and strategize in order to provide optimal results.

  • Comprehensive Service

    As a law firm that focuses on creative and collaborative solutions, we always seek opportunities that go even beyond the law to help provide the results you deserve.

  • Groundbreaking Results

    Our ability to tackle complex issues has allowed us to win appellate decisions and push the law in our clients' favor. We pursue compensation arrangements that reward success.




Obtain a Disability Discharge

The Department of Education’s definition of “total and permanent disability” is more restrictive than other definitions, and you may not be automatically eligible if you’re collecting Social Security Disability benefits. However, we have been able to help clients obtain a disability discharge without filing bankruptcy, and we can determine whether you may qualify.

Loan Consolidation

You may also have taken out a consolidation loan at some point to combine multiple student loans into a single loan with more manageable terms. Consolidation loans can be either federal or private, and federal consolidation loans are offered through both the FDLP and FFEL programs. In some cases, you may lose certain rights by consolidating your loans, especially if you consolidate federal loans into a private consolidation loan or if you consolidate different types of federal loans together.

How the Type of Loan Could Affect Your Case

As a student loan borrower in Washington, the rights and responsibilities you have depend on the type of loan you are repaying. Especially if you are facing repayment problems, it’s important to know the difference in order to fully understand what options are available to you.

Federal student loans are offered by various lenders through the U.S. Department of Education and can include:

  • Stafford loans
  • Perkins loans
  • PLUS loans
  • HEAL loans

They can be subsidized (the government pays the interest that accrues while the student attends school) or unsubsidized. The largest lender for these loans is the federal government itself, through the Federal Direct Loan Program (FDLP).

The Department of Education also coordinates loans from private lenders through the Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program, which guarantees the loans (i.e. paying off the lender when a borrower defaults on a loan). Federal loans are the safest type of student loan, as the government provides a variety of programs to help borrowers who are delinquent or in default, and it is required by law to notify the borrower about these programs.

Private loans, on the other hand, are made by lenders without the participation of the Department of Education. As such, they are not subject to the same borrower-friendly regulations as federal loans (e.g. fixed interest rates, income-driven repayment plans, etc.).

Private student loans may come from banks, schools, credit unions, and other private organizations, such as the following:

  • Sallie Mae
  • Navient
  • Ascent
  • National Collegiate Student Loan Trust
  • Wells Fargo Bank
  • Towd Point
  • College Ave
  • LendKey

These should not be confused with FFEL loans, which are made by private lenders but are coordinated and guaranteed by the federal government. Private loans are often made by the same financial institutions that make FFEL loans, but they are not subject to the same regulations as federal loans, and lenders are not required to provide the same repayment options to borrowers who are delinquent or in default.

If you’re not sure what kind of student loans you have, you can use the National Student Loan Data System to retrieve information about any federal loans you have taken out.


Financial freedom is just around the corner if you retain our dedicated counsel. Contact us online or give us a call at (206) 483-0505 today.


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