You are not alone if you are struggling to afford the payments on your student loan from the Higher Education Student Assistance Authority (HESAA) or if you have defaulted. Lots of New Jersey residents are facing that problem and need help figuring out what to do or if there are any solutions.

But then, after defaulting, you get a lawsuit in the mail or handed to you by a court officer, saying that HESAA wants to get paid right now! This can knock you for a loop and be very stressful, and the question on your mind at that point is:

What Do I Do With the HESAA Lawsuit?

What do I do now? You may think that there is nothing you can do. After all, you borrowed the money, and you have to pay it back. You just can't afford to do so. So you might just put it aside and take no action.

But that is exactly what you should not do!

You have 35 days from the date you receive the lawsuit to do something. A judgment will be entered against you by default if you do not do anything. You do not want that to happen!

Understand that taking action does not just mean filing an answer and disputing the debt; it means facing the debt head-on and trying to work out payments. Believe it or not, it can be done with the help of a New Jersey student loan lawyer.

Letting HESAA Get a Judgement Will Make Things Worse!

Once HESAA gets a judgment, you put them in the driver's seat, especially if you own or hope to own your own home. This is because once they get a judgment, they will record it as a lien against real estate. This is bad!

Look at it this way: Let's say you wait until they get a judgment before you work out a deal for monthly payments. You make the payments on time every month for a few years, then go to sell or refinance your home. At that point, the judgment lien will show up, and HESAA will be standing there with its hand out, wanting a portion, or all, of the sale proceeds you were hoping to put into your pocket.

Refinancing? You may be forced to borrow more money against your home to give HESAA their lien share of the equity. This you definitely don't want!

Making a Deal Before Judgment Is Better!

On the other hand, let's say you take the lawsuit as a wake-up call and reach out to the law firm representing HESAA to negotiate an affordable repayment plan. You succeed in obtaining an agreement for monthly payments without the entry of judgment as long as you make all of the payments on time.

In this scenario, you make payments, don't miss any, and if you choose to sell or refinance your home, you can do so without any interference from them. You can get on with your life!

Help Is Available

You don't have to go it alone if you get sued. You can call in the cavalry to help you hammer out a deal that will protect your home from judgment liens (if you take action right away). I have negotiated many agreements with all of the New Jersey law firms that represent HESAA‚Äčand can do so for you, too.

Steven J. Richardson
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Bankruptcy, Collections, Student Loan, DUI and Traffic Court attorney in Woodbury, NJ.