Discharging Student Loans
If not for hard-working parents, numerous scholarships, and student loans a college degree and a law degree would have been out of reach for me. Our research shows that currently more than 37 million Americans owe education debt. This is over 1 trillion dollars in outstanding student loan debt. Furthermore, our research indicates that over 15% of all student loans are currently in default. At The Sellers Law Firm we have noticed that when student loans enter default many people do not know how to handle the situation. What is worse is that even more people ignore the situation and hope that they will somehow find a way to catch up in the near future. This outstanding debt is reported to the credit bureaus, and it can affect your ability to get further credit or affect your ability to even obtain employment! Eventually the default of your student loans will result will result in the loans going into collections.
At The Sellers Law Firm our attorneys have been trained on how to assist clients with student loan problems. We believe that there is actually a student loan crisis in this country, and the failure of universities, colleges, and Congress to act is just making the situation worse. Our Montgomery Bankruptcy attorneys can help with these problems and actually provide real solutions. We have seen the crisis when our clients have been faced with wage garnishments, Social Security offsets, or even the seizure of their tax returns. Furthermore, many people don't realize that you can be sued and a judgment entered against you for your failure to pay the student loan! When the judgment is entered against you, a lien can be placed against your home and against any other property that you own. At The Sellers Law Firm we can likely be able to help you stop this form of collection action.
Generally there are three types of student loans. First, a federal student loan is generally one that is subsidized by the federal government through the Department of Education. These loans are managed by a servicer, and many people do not realize that these are actually Federal loans because of the way the servicer handles the payments and collections. Secondly, many people have private student loans. These student loans are issued by private financial institutions or banks. These loans also generally require the student to have a guarantor to co-sign the loan in case the student defaults on the loan. Finally, some states may issue educational loans directly to a student. However, these loans also generally require a guarantor.
Discharging a student loan in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy is not easy. Many bankruptcy attorneys simply tell their clients that it can't be done; however, this is simply not the case. Most courts are left with some very small wiggle room in determining how to discharge a student loan. Factors that courts will consider are set out by the US Department of Education, and maybe paraphrased as such: first, can the debtor maintain a basic standard of living if the student loans have to be repaid? Secondly, is there going to be a substantial hardship in repaying the student loans that will last for most, if not all, of the debtor’s life? Finally, has a debtor honestly tried to repay the federal student loans before filing bankruptcy? Many courts look at what the current poverty level is and then determines if the debtor is actually living below the poverty level. If you co-sign a student loan or if you're a guarantor on a private student loan the same criteria apply to you as if you were the actual student who obtained the loan. Courts generally use the Brunner test and other factors to consider whether or not to discharge a student loan.
Our Montgomery Bankruptcy attorneys have had a great deal of experience in dealing with the possibilities of discharging a student loan in a Chapter 7 or even in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy. We have offices in Montgomery, Selma, Greenville, and Troy to help serve all of Central Alabama. All consultations are always free at The Sellers Law Firm. Call us today at 334-LAWYERS (529-9377) to set and appointment and meet the team that can help you! You may also use the “text us” link or the Contact Form on our website to reach us. Remember that doing nothing changes nothing so act today!