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Five Crazy Things Student Loan Lenders Say To Keep Debtors Under Their Thumbs: Part 1

Charlotte Bankruptcy attorney Bryan W. Stone answers the question: “Does my spouse have to file bankruptcy if I do?”

As most people have heard by now, student loans are notoriously difficult if not utterly impossible to get out from under. Despite the ballooning amounts of student loan debt that Americans are weighed down by (the Department of Education guarantees more than nearly $1 trillion), there is almost no way for the vast majority of people to escape it under current laws.


Thumbs UP 2 Charlotte Bankruptcy Lawyer North Carolina Student Loan AttorneyThough it can be almost impossible to have student loan debt discharged in a bankruptcy, it is technically possible given the right set of circumstances. However, this only occurs in cases where the debtor can prove that the educational institution perpetrated a fraud to extract the money or when the person is truly so poor that he or she will never be able to repay the money that was borrowed.


Given how hard it is to get out from under student loan debt, it comes as no surprise that less than 1,000 people try the impossible feat every year. The Wall Street Journal  recently ran an interesting piece on the subject that detailed five examples of outrageous demands made by lawyers for lenders (including the U.S. Department of Education) to explain to judges why student loan debt should not be forgiven. We will run through all five of the crazy explanations, with the first appearing below.


The first example of outrageous justifications given by student loan lawyers comes from 2007, when a woman from Minnesota attempted to have her $300,000 in student loan debt discharged. In that case, lawyers for the lenders went after the woman and her somewhat large family size. Specifically, the woman was asked about why she and her husband decided to have five children, even being asked whether or not the kids had been planned.

The woman noted that she had gone to medical school and intended to practice as a physician. However, she was Roman Catholic and did not use contraception, which led to the abundance of children. Two of the five kids were autistic and she was forced to stay at home to raise them, preventing her from working.


The lenders argued that the woman should not have had so many kids if she could not afford to pay her debt. The lawyers told the bankruptcy court judge that decisions regarding family planning should be made “in light of what you can afford.” The bankruptcy judge was horrified by the remarks, saying they were audacious attempts to infringe on a person’s religious practices and fundamental life choices.


The judge ruled that the couple brought five lives into existence and had managed to nurture them in a safe and intact home. The judge then discharged the woman’s loans, a decision that the lenders appealed twice.


If you find yourself needing the services of a Charlotte, North Carolina bankruptcy attorney, please call the skilled lawyers at Arnold & Smith, PLLC today at (704) 370-2828. As professionals who are experienced in the bankruptcy arena, our attorneys will provide you with the best advice for your particular situation.


“Things Student Loan Lawyers Ask Borrowers Who File For Bankruptcy,” by Katy Stech, published at WSJ.com.


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