Many of us have substantial student loan debt arising out of the very high cost of attending law school. Indeed, an alarming number of our colleagues owe in excess of $200,000. That’s like having a mortgage without the house, and it interferes with virtually every aspect of our lives!

We are attempting to obtain, augment and solidify relief in a number of ways:

  • through collective bargaining negotiations;
  • through New York State legislation which we have drafted and recently had introduced, in both the State Senate (S.8013) and Assembly (A.10180), expanding Education Law section 679(e) assistance beyond District Attorneys and Legal Aid attorneys to cover municipal attorneys whose agencies assist and protect indigent adults and vulnerable children
  • CSBA is working with a broad coalition of organizations, including Equal Justice Works http://www.equaljusticeworks.org/student-loan-forgiveness – and numerous medical, educational and other professional organizations around the country – to try to preserve the PSLF program, whose future is in serious doubt. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has spoken about cutting off eligibility for debt incurred on or after July 1, 2018. Virginia Foxx (R-North Carolina), the Chair of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, is pressuring her colleagues into supporting the so-called PROSPER Act, which would severely limit the help afforded by the PSLF program by greatly reducing the amount of loans available towards graduate education (and would also repeal consumer protections against unscrupulous for-profit schools).

DO NOW:

1. Contact your State Assemblymember and State Senator, and ask that they sign on as Co-Sponsors to our Student Loan Assistance bill –  S.8013  and A. 10180.

2. If you have not already done so, enroll in an advantageous Income-Driven Repayment plan, verify that your loans are of a nature that are eligible for the PSLF program, and apply for PSLF as soon as possible.

https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/repay-loans/forgiveness-cancellation/public-service

http://forgivemystudentdebt.org/how-to-apply/

3. Utilize the link below to contact your member of Congress. Demand that they stand up for the program that allows you to afford to remain working in the public sector by forgiving remaining student debt after ten years of service and 120 payments. http://actnow.io/C1soBhz

4. Reach out to friends and relatives, and ask that they do likewise. Especially helpful at this time are people in “red” states (which tend to elect Republican representatives) or in “purple” (swing) states.

5.  Join CSBA’s Student Loan Reduction Committee. We meet periodically, and are in the process of drafting legislation which, if enacted, would afford additional relief. Please contact us either by e-mail at csbainfo@local237.org or by phone at (212) 675-0519.