Student Loan Debt & Bankruptcy in White Plains
Discharge STudent Loans in Westchester County
In 2020, national student loan debt reached $1.56 trillion, with 10% of borrowers defaulting on their loans. Student loan debt is at an all-time high, and many can't afford the costs. There is hope, however, and bankruptcy is a viable option for many students who qualify.
If you’re among the many borrowers facing massive student loan debt, you may feel like your situation is hopeless; but, that doesn’t have to be the case with the right help. An attorney can help guide you through your financial options and determine if bankruptcy is right for you.
Seeking a hardship discharge or discharge for other possible reasons pursuant to a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy may be an option for those who cannot afford to pay their student loans. Both types of bankruptcy can be viable options or you may only qualify for one depending on your situation. So, what is the difference between Chapter 7 and Chapter 13? I’ve written a Q&A that explains this in further detail.
What Is The Brunner Test?
Currently, borrowers looking to discharge their student loans in bankruptcy in our area need to prove that repayment would impose an undue hardship (known as the Brunner test) or that alternatively, the type of debt at issue does not qualify as the type of student loan envisioned by the bankruptcy code as non-dischargeable.
What Is Considered an Undue Hardship?
An undue hardship means that paying your loan makes it impossible to maintain a minimal standard of living based on your current income and reasonable expenses.
However, you must also show a few other things to qualify for an undue hardship:
- That you have made a good faith effort to repay your loan
- And that “additional circumstances exist indicating that the state of afairs is likely to persist for a significant portion of the repayment period”
If you can make a successful showing of all three elements, the bankruptcy court may fully or partially discharge your loan. Your case's outcome is not guaranteed, but a qualified attorney can help you make a plan to protect your future.
“Natasha Meruelo is professional, knowledgable and a solid attorney. She made sure I was well informed, prepared, and empowered throughout the court process. Having her support was invaluable. I am so grateful I followed my intuition and chose her to represent me. I highly recommend her!”
There is another option in our district when you file your bankruptcy case which is referred to as our student loan mediation program. Through this option, prior to filing an adversary proceeding seeking to discharge the student loan debt (which can be quite expensive), you can try to mediate your issue with your student loan lender or servicer and see if an affordable repayment or other arrangement can be reached. My office is experienced in assisting individuals with student loan issues and can also assist you with the mediation process.
Discuss Your Case With a Compassionate Attorney
The decision to file for bankruptcy is not an easy one to make. Bankruptcy is complicated and can affect your credit score. The most important step you can take when considering bankruptcy for student loans is talking about your situation with a lawyer like myself.
I have over a decade of experience helping clients with bankruptcy in White Plains. When you feel hopeless over your student loan debt, choose an attorney who will give you the personalized attention you need.
If you need a lawyer to help you with student loan debt, contact Natasha Meruelo, Attorney at Law, today.
Over 15 years of Experience to Apply to Your Case.
Strategies Tailored to Meet Individual Needs.
Personalized & Straightforward Counsel.
Consultations to Evaluate Your Case Are Available.