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Are Student Loans Dischargeable in a Bankruptcy?

In my practice as an Orlando bankruptcy lawyer, I get this question in nearly every consultation in my office. The question is, “Can I get rid of my student loans in a bankruptcy?”. The answer is not so simple. It’s not yes and it’s not no. Lawyers love to say, “it depends.” In this case, that rings true.

First, the easiest question to answer when it comes to student loans and bankruptcy, are private student loans dischargeable? The answer is no. The law says any loan utilized for education purposes is non-dischargeable. That law changed in 2005. Before that, you could wipe out private student loans in a bankruptcy.

My law firm has successfully wiped out student loans in bankruptcies, but it wasn’t easy.

When someone comes to my office in Orlando and asks me if they can get rid of their student loans in their bankruptcy, I first ask how much student loans they have. If it is an excessive amount (say $50k or above) compared to their income I proceed to ask the next question.

Is there anything that you suffer from that prevents you from being able to pay them?

In the instances I was able to get rid of student loans in a bankruptcy, the client had a permanent physical ailment that prevented them not only from paying their student loans but from actually having a job. Most clients have nothing wrong with them; they are just tired of not having enough money. I get it. I have been there.

So what if you do suffer from a physical illness or even a mental illness (i.e. bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, etc.); What’s next? The problem is that it is not enough to just file the bankruptcy and hope the student loans go away. As a bankruptcy attorney, I have to file a lawsuit inside the bankruptcy estate. And usually that is an additional fee and no attorney can make a guarantee they will be successful.

If you are looking for student loan forgiveness or in student loan repayment, you should look into the Income Based Repayment (IBR) Program. It allows you to pay 10% of your gross income toward your student loans so if you are unemployed, your student loans payment will be zero! I attached the link below.

Call me if you are having problems paying your debts. Having debt make you stay up at night. It stresses you out. It ruins relationships. I went though it. Boldly, I mustered up the courage to call a bankruptcy attorney and I pressed the restart button in 2008. And even though ten years has passed since I made that decision to reset my life, I never forgot what it did for me and how it helped me start over. It even inspired me and my law firm to become the largest filers of bankruptcies in the country and in the top two in Florida all from our offices in Orlando and Kissimmee. Remember, we are local in your hometown.

Go to www.407Bankrupt.com or call 407-777-7777 to set up a free private consultation and learn more information. Because Life Has a Restart Button.

Law Offices of Walter F. Benenati: Bankruptcy Attorney

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