Monday, December 10, 2012

Bankruptcy Case Update: Student Loan Discharge

In a recent decision out of the Central District of Illinois, the Court held that while a debtor's prior, sporadic payments on her student loans were likely all that she could afford, given that she was unemployed, her unexplained failure to participate in the income contingent repayment plan (ICRP), along with her extreme hesitance to consider jobs outside her chosen field of study and admission that, after unsuccessfully applying for such jobs, she had effectively given up looking for work, precluded a finding that the debtor had made the requisite "good faith" effort to repay her student loans and prevented her from obtaining an "undue hardship" discharge of this debt. To find that the debtor had made a "good faith" effort to repay her student loans, based on the fact that the debtor had paid off one of these loans with proceeds of a divorce settlement and made sporadic payments on others, the bankruptcy court, at a minimum, had to correctly explain why the ICRP or a similar program was a bad deal for that particular debtor, and could not simply dismiss her admitted unwillingness to participate in the ICRP as "not dispositive."
Educational Credit Management Corp. v. Krieger