The Orlando Law Group

Litigation

Our attorneys have extensive experience in a wide range of civil litigation, including actions involving personal injury, insurance, professional liability, real estate, construction, and more. While we believe in settling when it is appropriate for our clients, we also believe that there are some cases that should not be settled. Our lawyers can handle all aspects of litigation.

Our attorneys have past experience practicing insurance defense. They defended hospitals, doctors, nursing homes, and surgery centers in medical malpractice claims. They also defended insurance companies regarding slip and falls, product liability and car accidents. Because of this experience, we know how insurance companies think. Additionally, we have the experience to effectively and aggressively litigate your case.

It is important to remember that there are statutes of limitations that apply to personal injury cases. This means that there is a time limit in which you can pursue a lawsuit. For this reason, it is recommended that you contact an attorney without delay to protect your right to file a lawsuit.

Service Offerings:

  • Appellate
  • Business Disputes
  • Landlord Tenant Litigation
  • Mortgage Foreclosures
  • Construction Litigation
  • E-Discovery & Information Management
  • Employment Litigation
  • Insurance Litigation
  • Products Liability
  • Premises Liability
  • Real Estate Litigation
  • State & Local Litigation
  • Trusts, Estates, Guardianship & Other Fiduciary Litigation

Meet Your OLG Attorneys

Jennifer A. Englert

Jennifer A. Englert
Attorney & Managing Partner
(407) 512-4394
jenglert@theorlandolawgroup.com

Kimberly E. Hosley

Christie Mitchell

Jeffrey W. Smith

Sophia Dean

Brian T. Dunmire

Wendy Hernandez O’Donnell

Wendy Hernandez O’Donnell
Attorney
(407) 512-4394
wodonnell@theorlandolawgroup.com

Nicole Rofé

Cameron White


Cameron White
Senior Attorney
(407) 512-4394
cwhite@theorlandolawgroup.com

Jarrod Etheridge


Jarrod Etheridge
Attorney
(407) 512-4394
jetheridge@theorlandolawgroup.com

Marsha Summersill


Marsha Summersill
Attorney
(407) 512-4394
msummersill@theorlandolawgroup.com

By Attorney Sophia Dean

The Student Debt Crisis in Numbers

Photo of Sophia Dean - Attorney at The Orlando Law GroupThere are various reasons which prevent people from being able to make their student loan payments. As of 2019, Americans collectively owe over $1.56 Trillion in student loan debt. This is spread out by nearly 45 million individuals who are paying back their student loans. 

Out of this increasingly large group, there are, of course, individuals who will find themselves in circumstances which will prevent them from making their payments. These people are not alone. In fact, there are roughly 3.7 million student loans in deferment and 2.6 million in forbearance. The good news is that there are deferment and forbearance options which can alleviate some of this stress and allow you to get back on stable ground. 

What to Know About Deferments and Forbearances

While there are several options for individuals who are experiencing difficulty paying back their student loans, like income-based repayment, we commonly see deferments and forbearances. On the surface, these options may seem similar, but they actually have several differences which can make them more or less suitable for certain situations. Both allow you to temporarily stop making federal student loan payments or temporarily reduce the amount you pay. 

A key reason to look into these options is to help to avoid defaulting on your loans, which can cause significant consequences. 

Based on the type of loan you took out, your interest may accrue during this time. Because this will add to the total cost of the loan, it is important to be clear about these details. It is also important to make sure that you have completed the steps necessary to attain an active deferment or forbearance so you don’t miss payments and negatively affect your credit score. 

The important question is, Which choice is right for you?

What are the Differences Between Deferments and Forbearances?  

The most important thing to know about deferments and forbearances is that they are not one and the same. 

Deferment can be an excellent solution for people experiencing certain circumstances. On particular loans, you may not be responsible for paying the interest that accrues during this period. 

Your lender or loan servicer may offer different deferment options based on your particular situation. For example, federal loans have the following deferment options:

●     Economic Hardship Deferment

●     Graduate Fellowship Deferment

●     In-School Deferment

●     Military Service and Post-Active Duty Student Deferment

●     Parent PLUS Borrower Deferment

●     Rehabilitation Training Deferment

●     Temporary Total Disability Deferment

●     Unemployment Deferment

Forbearance is a period during which your monthly loan payments are temporarily suspended or reduced. If your particular situation includes financial hardship that prevents you from making loan payments even though you are willing, your lender may grant you a forbearance. During this period of time, the principal payments are postponed. The one caveat is that interest continues to accrue. 

You could potentially qualify for a forbearance if you are temporarily unable to make scheduled monthly payments for the reasons listed below:

●     Financial difficulties

●     Medical expenses

●     Change in employment

●     Other reasons acceptable to your loan servicer

Because the loans continue to accrue interest during the forbearance term, it is smart to continue paying at least the monthly interest. This method is helpful as it resolves any delinquency on the account. 

There are also two different kinds of forbearance—General and Mandatory.

Also known as a “discretionary forbearance”, a general forbearance can be requested due to financial difficulties, medical expenses, change in employment, and/or other reasons acceptable to your loan servicer. It is at the discretion of the loan servicer whether to honor this request or not, hence the name. These can be granted for periods of no longer than 12 months but can be requested again when this time expires. 

Mandatory forbearances MUST be honored by loan servicers as long as the individual meets the eligibility criteria. There are more options for eligibility for mandatory forbearances and each one has more specific qualifications and stipulations attached, but the major requirements are;

●     If you are serving in a medical or dental internship or residency program

●     If you are participating in a teaching service which would qualify you for teacher loan forgiveness

●     If the amount owed on your student loan is equal to or greater than 20% of your total monthly income 

●     If you qualify for partial repayment of your loans under the Department of Defense Student Loan Forgiveness program

●     If you are a recently activated member of the national guard but are not eligible for military deferment

As with discretionary forbearances, a mandatory forbearance is granted for a maximum of 12 months. However, this may be extended as long as you continue to meet the eligibility requirements. 

Postpone or Reduce Student Loan Payments Next Steps–How to Seek Out a Deferment or Forbearance

Both deferments and forbearances are excellent options for people struggling to pay their student loans due to temporary financial hardships. However, if your financial woes are likely to continue for an extended period of time, it may be a better option to change to an income-driven repayment plan. These are based on your discretionary income, size of your family and multiple other factors. If your loan is not repaid after 20-25 years, you may also qualify for student loan forgiveness as well. 

If your circumstances are likely to improve within a reasonable amount of time, it would be a good idea to consider a deferment or forbearance. It is important to remember that your loan servicer does not work for you. The best course of action is to use an outside source such as a well-versed attorney with expertise the variety of student loan options. They will assist you in deciding if a deferment or forbearance is the most applicable in your individual case. Having someone to trust can drastically help reduce the stress and worry associated with dealing with student loan debt. 

For the past ten years, The Orlando Law Group has earned a reputation as the Orlando-area law firm that cares about its clients and the communities it serves. Offices located in Waterford Lakes, Altamonte, Lake Nona, and Winter Garden. For more information, visit www.TheOrlandoLawGroup.com.

Exterior photo of The Orlando Law Group - Waterford Lakes office

The Orlando Law Group Welcomes Another Excellent Attorney 

Orlando, FL (September 6, 2019) – The Orlando Law Group is proud to announce the addition of attorney M. Florence King to the firm. King brings a plethora of leadership, along with 15 years of experience working predominantly within the community association industry. 

A graduate of Ave Maria School of Law in 2005, Ms. King spent the early years of her career working for Park Square Enterprises, gaining experience in title closings and land acquisition. After the Great Recession of 2008, she took an opportunity with Larsen & Associates, P.L., a small, local community association law firm in need of managing their unplanned growth in association collection matters. King, who’s unique background also includes accounting and computer programming, helped innovate and automate several processes, leading that firm towards becoming a top performing association law firm in Central Florida.

King was drawn to The Orlando Law Group’s dedication and commitment to the people and communities they serve. She believes these principles and values should serve as the backbone of doing community association law with a renewed dedication to the homeowners within those associations.

“Community association legal representation oftentimes brings an adversarial atmosphere to communities,” said King. “I think it can be done better. I think the real win is in fostering a mutual bond amongst the homeowners within the community where everyone properly understands the benefits of abiding by the rules and regulations, and how abiding by those rules and regulations helps create a powerful, common vision for the community where property values increase, community harmony is enhanced, and homeowners can obtain a genuine sense of pride for the place they call home.”

While King’s experience will enhance the firm’s community association representation, she is looking forward to diversifying her legal practice. “I’m passionate about serving people,” said King. “I’m thrilled to be given an opportunity to work with a firm that is founded on that same value, and I’m looking forward to utilizing my education and experience to enhance the lives of others through the practice of law.”

For the past ten years, The Orlando Law Group has earned a reputation as the Orlando-area law firm that cares about its clients and the communities it serves. Offices located in Waterford Lakes, Altamonte, Lake Nona, and Winter Garden. For more information, visit www.TheOrlandoLawGroup.com.

Reverse Mortgage

A reverse mortgage is a loan available to homeowners age 62 years or older, that allows a homeowner to borrow against the equity they have in their house in the form of a lump sum, fixed monthly payment, or line of credit.

Unlike a typical mortgage, with a reverse mortgage, the bank pays the owner of the house monthly mortgage payments, and when the owner of the house dies or sells the home, the entire reverse mortgage balance becomes due and payable.

As long as the borrower is 62 or older and lives in the home, he or she is not required to make any monthly payments towards the loan balance. The concept of the reverse mortgage came about as a way to help retirees with limited income use the equity they have built up in their house without having to sell the property.

With these types of mortgages, the owner of the property is responsible for the property taxes and homeowners insurance premium, utilities, fuel, maintenance, and other home-related expenses. If only one spouse signed the loan paperwork, in certain situations, your spouse may continue to live in the home even after you die if he or she continues paying the above-noted bills and maintains the property. However, since they were not a part of the loan, all payments under the reverse mortgage will cease.

Most reverse mortgages have a “non-recourse” clause which means that the value of the reverse mortgage cannot exceed the value of the home when the loan becomes due. This is beneficial upon the death of the homeowner because there will not be any bills related to the reverse mortgage outside of the equity in the house.

No other assets in the Estate of the deceased are affected. There are three different types of reverse mortgages. As with any type of transaction, it is important to shop around before locking yourself into a long term loan.

Single-Purpose Reverse Mortgage

Homeowners can use single-purpose reverse mortgage proceeds only to pay for specific items that are approved by the lender. This single-purpose may be for necessary repair and maintenance, or payment of property taxes. The lender on this type of file is a state, local, or non-profit agencies, and is considered the least expensive type of reverse mortgage. This option is beneficial to many people because it offers fewer expenses and fees than other types of reverse mortgages.

Home Equity Conversion Mortgage

This type of mortgage is likely to be more expensive and is the most widely used version of the reverse mortgage. This is because there are not any income requirements, and the proceeds from the loan can be used for any purpose. This loan does not carry the same single-purpose limit detailed above.

Counseling is typically required before applying for this loan due to the higher expenses, interest rates, and payback requirements of this loan. Because this is a federally insured mortgage, there are usually high up-front or monthly ongoing insurance payments. These payments are usually taken out of the loan itself, and actually reduces the amount you are able to borrow.

Proprietary Reverse Mortgages

A proprietary reverse mortgage is not available to the average homeowner. As of 2018, in order to qualify for this type of reverse mortgage, your home must have a value of $679,650.00. This is not a federally insured mortgage and often has less stringent insurance requirements.

If you are considering this type of loan, you should also apply for the Home Equity Conversion Mortgage. This way you can compare fees to find out which loan fits better for your situation.

Wrapping it up

Using this type of mortgage can eat up the equity in your home, meaning there is less value to your estate that is left for your heirs. If your goal is to leave the house for your heirs to live in, a reverse mortgage may not be the right type of loan for you. If you would like to discuss how a reverse mortgage may benefit your situation, please contact give The Orlando Law Group, P.L. a call.

© 2019 The Orlando Law Group.