Recently in New York, Chief Bankruptcy Judge Cecelia Morris discharged more than $220,000 in student loans for a borrower. In her ruling she criticized the fact that many lawyers "believe it impossible to discharge student loans." She stated, "This Court will not participate in perpetuating these myths."
Yesterday Chris Arnold of NPR Morning Edition reported on the lingering misconception that it’s nearly impossible to get help for student loan debt through bankruptcy. He reported that Jason Iuliano, a Villanova University law professor, has been researching this problem and says that Congressional action over the last 30 years, including the “undue hardship” standard, is the source of a lot of misconception and ignorance on the part of bankruptcy attorneys and the public in general. Iuliano discovered that more than 99% of debtors in bankruptcy who carry student loan debt give up on seeking relief for those loans. That’s a big deal when you consider that a quarter-million student loan debtors file for bankruptcy each year.
Iuliano’s research revealed that when student loan debtors in bankruptcy do try to seek relief for their student loan debts, about half of them succeeded in getting some or all of the student loan debt erased. Iuliano said, "So I think that's really important for bankruptcy attorneys to see that there are judges out there who are willing to grant undue-hardship discharges and that people are much more likely to obtain relief in bankruptcy for their student loan debt."
Another law professor, Robert Lawless of the University of Illinois, commented "I think we're reaching a tipping point with what the bankruptcy courts are doing." He has been researching this issue with a group of attorneys and former judges for the American Bankruptcy Institute. This professional organization has been petitioning Congress to rewrite the rules on student loans in bankruptcy and there is at least some support for that in Congress. Click here to read more about this story and listen to the recorded newscast on NPRs website.
If you are in financial crisis with student loan debt and need advice, a knowledgeable bankruptcy attorney may be able to help. Call attorney Chris Bush, at (619) 678-1134, for more information. He is an experienced bankruptcy attorney and passionate consumer debt advocate. He’ll help you obtain the best solution to your debt burden and get back you on a track to financial freedom.