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Peter Griesch
Peter Griesch,
Category: Military Law
Satisfied Customers: 324
Experience:  Tax Counsel at AIG, Inc.
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My husband was in the Army HPSP program (Army paid school),

Customer Question

My husband was in the Army HPSP program (Army paid for medical school), but when he was finishing medical school, he was removed from the HPSP program and told he could either repay about $300,000 or serve 8 years in the Army (but not as a doctor). We were shocked, and met with JAG twice, who told us the best course of action is to request discharge from the Army and then appeal the repayment of the debt, or at least negotiate a repayment schedule that we could manage. It has been about two years, and my husband has been honorably discharged from the Army. We told his file would be transferred to another office who would contact him about repayment. We've heard nothing for many months. Now, our credit report monitoring has an item saying that DFAS has sent us to collections for failing to pay. My husband is calling DFAS now, but I'm terrified about what this means. We were intending to appeal, and if that didn't work, we wanted to work out a payment schedule we could manage. It's not like we can just write them a check for $3000 a month, especially since he is not a doctor (thanks to the Army). What can we do. We feel like we are all alone, and the Army doesn't communicate they just sent us to collections.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Military Law
Expert:  Peter Griesch replied 1 year ago.

Why was he removed from the program?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
He didn't pass one of his national board exams, but later retook it and passed. Because of the timing (at the end of school, right before he was supposed to report to his residency) the army decided to dismiss him for what I think is academic under performance. As I said, he retook the test, passed, graduated. But by then the decision was already handed down.
Expert:  Peter Griesch replied 1 year ago.

DFAS, by policy, requires any debt to be repaid within 10 years.

That said, DFAS will consider suspension of or reduced monthly payments due to financial hardship. Each account is reviewed on a case-by-case basis. You'll need to contact DFAS, submit certain financial information, and negotiate lower monthly payments.

If a reduced monthly payment plan is approved, you will be required to certify annually by providing an updated Financial Status Form and verification of full-time enrollment.

You can also apply to have the debt cancelled by applying to the Board for Correction to Military Records using a DD Form 149 and requesting termination of the debt.

Expert:  Peter Griesch replied 1 year ago.

If you have any further questions, I'd be happy to assist.

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Thank you.