Can you file bankruptcy on student loans? 36 Answers as of June 18, 2013

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The Law Offices of Katie M. Stone
The Law Offices of Katie M. Stone | Katie M. Stone
Student loans are considered non-dischargeable debt unless you can prove that the debt will impose an undue hardship on you and your dependents. A common test that most courts use to evaluate whether a particular debtor has shown an undue hardship is the Brunner test which requires a showing that 1) based on the current income and expenses, the debtor cannot maintain a "minimal" standard of living for the debtor and the debtor's dependents if forced to repay the student loans; 2) additional circumstances exist indicating that this state of affairs is likely to persist for a significant portion of the repayment period of the student loans; and 3) the debtor has made good faith efforts to repay the loans. The court interpretation of the three prongs have become increasingly stringent. It is difficult, but not impossible to have your student loan debt through bankruptcy. I hope you found this answer useful.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 6/18/2013
Indianapolis Bankruptcy Law Office of Eric C. Lewis
Indianapolis Bankruptcy Law Office of Eric C. Lewis | Eric Lewis
In the vast majority of cases, the answer is definitively, no.
Answer Applies to: Indiana
Replied: 6/9/2013
The Law Office of Marvin Wolf
The Law Office of Marvin Wolf | Marvin Wolf
A bankruptcy includes all debts, but student loans are generally not dischargeble in bankruptcy except for rare exceptions.
Answer Applies to: New Jersey
Replied: 6/7/2013
Noel Law Firm | Elizabeth V. Noel
Generally student loans are not dismissed in bankruptcy. You have to prove an extreme inability to ever pay it back and most cases are not successful.
Answer Applies to: Maryland
Replied: 6/6/2013
Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney
Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney | Janet Lawson
Very difficult to do. It requires a separate action to be filed in the bankruptcy case. You have to prove you can't pay them and will not ever be able to pay them. Sometimes you can get the amount modified. This type of case is not cheap.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 6/6/2013
    Law Offices of David A. Tilem | Michael Avanesian
    For most people, the answer is no.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/5/2013
    Gateway Legal Group | Christian J. Albut
    No, unfortunately they are non-dischargeable in bankruptcy.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/5/2013
    Law Office of Stuart M. Nachbar, P.C.
    Law Office of Stuart M. Nachbar, P.C. | Stuart M. Nachbar
    Negative.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 6/5/2013
    Kirk D. Miller, P.S. | Kirk Miller
    Generally, in the case of federally backed student loans, they cannot be discharged in bankruptcy. There are exceptions, however, such as if you are permanently disabled. If there are special circumstances, you should consult with an attorney bankruptcy practitioner to determine if your circumstance warrants an exception to the general rule.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 6/5/2013
    The Schreiber Law Firm
    The Schreiber Law Firm | Jeffrey D. Schreiber
    No, student loans are not dischargeable in bankruptcy unless you can demonstrate to the bankruptcy court that paying the student loan is a hardship on you, and that only goes to the extent that it is a hardship. A hardship is close to showing it is a choice between living under the freeway bridge or paying the student loan.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/5/2013
    A Fresh Start
    A Fresh Start | Dorothy G Bunce
    Yes, if you file bankruptcy, you must list your student loans. However, unless you bring a separate case within your bankruptcy to show that it would be impossible to every pay your student loans, such as a disability that prevents you from working, you will not eliminate your student loan debt with bankruptcy, at least at this time.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 6/5/2013
    Michael B. McFarland, P.A. | Michael B. McFarland
    Yes, but they will not be discharged unless you are able to show undue hardship would result from being required to pay them. If you are under age 70, and not permanently disabled, it will be an uphill battle. You should not try this on your own; talk to an experienced bankruptcy attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Idaho
    Replied: 6/5/2013
    Weber & Phillips, P.A.
    Weber & Phillips, P.A. | John G. Phillips
    Student Loans are not dischargeable unless you can show extreme hardship.
    Answer Applies to: Arkansas
    Replied: 6/5/2013
    The Law Office of Darren Aronow, PC
    The Law Office of Darren Aronow, PC | Darren Aronow
    Generally student loans are not dischargeable.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 6/5/2013
    Gonzalez & Tybor PA | David Tybor
    Most often, student loans are not discharged in a bankruptcy. However, there are times that they may be. The court bases the dischargeability of the student loans on the hardship it places on the debtor. Also, there are some opportunities in a chapter 13 to have student loans paid off ahead of other unsecured debt if certain conditions are met. It is best to consult with an attorney familiar with student loan dischargeability in bankruptcy.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 6/5/2013
    Law Office of Robert Sisson | Robert Sisson
    No.
    Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
    Replied: 6/5/2013
    Law Office of Sean P Fleming
    Law Office of Sean P Fleming | Sean P Fleming
    Private student loans are dischargeable, however government-backed student loans are non-dischargeable unless you can show substantial hardship under the Brunner Test
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 6/5/2013
    Morelos Law Firm
    Morelos Law Firm | Andrea Morelos
    Unfortunately, the general rule is no.There are some very extreme exceptions according to case law, but it is such a high burden and very highly unusual set of circumstances and legal arguments so safer to assume no. But you can always consult with an attorney to discuss further
    Answer Applies to: North Carolina
    Replied: 6/5/2013
    Law Office of J. Thomas Black, P.C.
    Law Office of J. Thomas Black, P.C. | J. Thomas Black
    It's very difficult to "discharge" or cancel student loans in bankruptcy. In chapter 7, to have your student loans discharged in bankruptcy you must show that: (1) paying them would not leave you even a minimal standard of living; (2) this condition or situation is going to last the rest of the repayment period of the loan(s); and (3) that you have made good faith efforts to repay the loans. Also, some courts require that you show evidence of a "certainty of hopelessness" such that there is just no way you will ever be able to repay them. Not only that, but student loan lenders argue that your loans should not be discharged in bankruptcy unless you have tried all your other repayment options, such as "income based repayment." Many low income federal student loan borrowers can qualify for a -0- or nominal monthly payment under an income based or income contingent repayment plan. So it can be very, very difficult to discharge student loans in bankruptcy. If you file chapter 13, at least the student loan lenders have to stop collecting, and stop wage garnishments and income tax refund offsets during your plan, which can protect you for up to 60 months or 5 years. Sometimes this gives people a chance to get back on their feet, and deal with the student loan after the bankruptcy is over. But interest continues to accumulate on non-dischargeable student loans during a chapter 13 case, so you could owe more at the end, than you did at the beginning. It just depends upon how much you were paying to your student loan lenders during your chapter 13 case. You should consult with us or with another experienced bankruptcy law firm to see what your options are, in your particular case. It depends on your circumstances.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 6/5/2013
    Edelman, Combs, Latturner & Goodwin, LLC | Daniel A. Edelman
    Generally student loans are not dischargeable without a very substantial showing of hardship.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 6/5/2013
    Stuart P Gelberg
    Stuart P Gelberg | Stuart P Gelberg
    They are nondischargeable, except for undue hardship (a difficult burden to meet) but they can be managed in a chapter 13 plan. You can prevent all collection activities and pay to the best of your ability for up to 5 years. At the end of the 5 years you will still owe whatever wasn't paid.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 6/5/2013
    Law Office of Barry R. Levine | Barry R. Levine, Esq.
    You can, but the big question is whether you will be able to discharge your student loans. The discharging of federally guaranteed student loans is next to impossible.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 6/5/2013
    Law Office of Thomas C. Phipps | Thomas C Phipps
    When you file a bankruptcy, you have to list all creditors and debts. The student loans are not dischargeable unless continuing to pay them would be a hardship on the debtor. Unless you are unable to work or pay any amount on the student loans, you will most likely still be liable even if you complete a bankruptcy.
    Answer Applies to: Missouri
    Replied: 6/5/2013
    Stittleburg Law Office
    Stittleburg Law Office | Bernd Stittleburg
    Student loans are not dischargeable in bankruptcy.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 6/5/2013
    Deborah F Bowinski, Attorney & Counselor at Law | Debby Bowinski
    Generally student loans are not dischargeable in bankruptcy. If you are struggling with federally guaranteed student loans there may be other helpful options or alternative repayment plans that could help.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 6/5/2013
    Law Offices of Terrell Monks
    Law Offices of Terrell Monks | Terrell Monks
    It is very very difficult to discharge student loans. I have had success in discharging student loans where husband and wife both had substantial student loans, they had 4 children, the wife was pregnant with number 5, and husband was terminally ill with brain cancer. On those facts the student loans were discharged. Perhaps facts less drastic could result in a discharge, but practically you need to be able to convince the judge that you are never going to be able to pay.
    Answer Applies to: Oklahoma
    Replied: 6/5/2013
    Hyslip & Taylor, LLC LPA
    Hyslip & Taylor, LLC LPA | Jeffrey Hyslip
    No, generally speaking student loans cannot be discharged in Bankruptcy absent extreme circumstances. There are a few federal programs though that can work to reduce the payments and attempt to assist consumers with the burden all of us are feeling with our student loans.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 6/5/2013
    Heineman Law Office
    Heineman Law Office | Jeff Heineman
    While you must list student loans on your schedule of debts, the discharge you obtain with your Chapter 7 will not discharge student loans. A debtor must file an adversary proceeding in the United States Bankruptcy Court to determine if you qualify to have part or all of your student loans discharged.
    Answer Applies to: Idaho
    Replied: 6/5/2013
    Stacy Joel Safion, Esq.
    Stacy Joel Safion, Esq. | Stacy Joel Safion
    Unless you can show an extreme hardship (i.e. severe medical disability), no you cannot.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/5/2013
    Law Office of D.L. Drain, P.A.
    Law Office of D.L. Drain, P.A. | Diane L. Drain
    Probably not. Please understand that bankruptcy is a very complicated process. It is wise to talk to an experienced bankruptcy attorney before deciding to take this important. Please take time to educate yourself about bankruptcy and to determine which attorney is the best to assist you in the process. Don't assume the attorney is being completely honest about their experience and capabilities. Check them out. Avoid the attorneys who advertise on TV or profess a 100% success rate in their Internet ads. It costs hundreds or thousands of dollars for these ads and someone has to pay for them - the clients. These attorneys mass produce the work and do not offer the client the hands on assistance that is necessary in a well-planned bankruptcy. Normally these firms assign all or most of the work to paralegals and the client rarely talks to an attorney. When interviewing the attorney ask them how long they have practiced bankruptcy law. Ask what percentage of their practice is focused on consumer work. Ask whether they are experienced in both chapter 7 and chapter 13 cases. Ask the attorney for references. Ask about their policy of returning phone calls. They should be committed to answering specific questions about your situation and help you understand your options. If, after talking with them you are still confused about the issues you raised, find another attorney. An attorney is should be your guide through this process. They should educate you, be there to assist you in how to avoid pitfalls and help you plan for your future after bankruptcy. There are hundreds of "bankruptcy" attorneys in Arizona. Of those just a few will fit the criteria set forth above. Again, bankruptcy is a very complicated process and you want to use an attorney who will be there when you need them.
    Answer Applies to: Arizona
    Replied: 6/5/2013
    Steele, George, Schofield & Ramos, LLP
    Steele, George, Schofield & Ramos, LLP | Alan E. Ramos
    You cannot file a bankruptcy "on" a specific debt. A bankruptcy filing includes all liabilities and all assets. You should also be advised that under current law, student loans are not dischargeable, except under very specific circumstances. You need to engage competent counsel before you file.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/5/2013
    Geneva Yourse | Geneva Yourse
    No. They survive bankruptcy.
    Answer Applies to: North Carolina
    Replied: 6/5/2013
    McMahan Law Firm
    McMahan Law Firm | Van D. McMahan
    Generally, no. However, it is possible depending upon how long ago you took out the loans and your ability to earn money in the future. You need to see an attorney and give him/her more information.
    Answer Applies to: Tennessee
    Replied: 6/5/2013
    Ferguson & Ferguson
    Ferguson & Ferguson | Randy W. Ferguson
    The answer is almost always no.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 6/5/2013
    SmithMarco, P.C.
    SmithMarco, P.C. | Larry P. Smith
    A federally funded or subsidized student loan is not dischargeable in bankruptcy except if you pass the hardship test. The hardship test requires that you prove that (1) if you were to be forced to pay the loans monthly payments, you would not be able to meet a minimum standard of living, (2) you have no prospects of it getting any better. No hope for more income. And (3) you have made good faith efforts in the past to make your loan payments. If you can show those 3 things, you can try to get it discharged. From my last reading, about 40% of all those who try to discharge student loans are successful.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 6/5/2013
    Idaho Bankruptcy Law | Paul Ross
    You must include your student loans in your bankruptcy. However, at present, for nearly all people those student loans are nondischargeable, not forgiven. If you have a student loan that is giving your particular problems, a Chapter 13 can help organized and resolve that issue.
    Answer Applies to: Idaho
    Replied: 6/5/2013
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