In a recent appeal before the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, Michael Hedlund has given hope to students drowning in student loan debt. Mr. Hedlund was able to discharge (eliminate) $58,000 of his $85,000 student loan debt. Hedlund’s case may be important to you because he was a middle-wage earner, not an individual in extreme poverty. He incurred his student loans with the intent of becoming an attorney, but after failing the bar exam several times, he gave up on becoming an lawyer. Hedlund got a job as a juvenile court services counselor, but he still could not afford to pay his overwhelming student loan debt. After numerous attempts to resolve his financial difficulties through debt relief options, Hedlund finally filed for bankruptcy. In order to discharge student loans, a debtor must prove “undue hardship” that means showing:
- The debtor will be unable to maintain a minimal standard of living if required to repay the student loans.
- The circumstances that lead the debtor to this state of financial crisis are likely to continue through most of the repayment period of the loans.
- The debtor has made good faith efforts to repay the debt.
Hedlund had to fight for the discharge of his student loan debt over a period of 10 years. And, while the “undue hardship” standard is difficult to meet, the Hedlund case is a step in the right direction for students who borrowed more than they can afford. If you have student loans and you are considering filing for bankruptcy protection, contact Levitt & Slafkes, P.C.for advice and guidance you can trust. If you are interested in learning more about including your student loans in a bankruptcy filing, contact Levitt & Slafkes, P.C. We are experienced in handling a variety of bankruptcy issues. Our offices are conveniently located in South Orange, New Jersey. Please call us at 973-323-2953 or online to schedule your free initial consultation today.