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Can you include student loans when filing for bankruptcy?

Any of our Escondido readers who have seen discussions about student loans and bankruptcy in previous posts here know that it is next to impossible to get those loans discharged in a bankruptcy filing. However, does that mean that there is absolutely, positively, no way to get student loans discharged in any circumstances? According to a recent article, the answer is "no."

The recent article noted, as we have seen before, that it is extremely hard to get student loans included in a bankruptcy action and then get them discharged. But, the article also pointed out that there are certain, limited situations in which student loan debt can actually be discharged.

There is a crucial test consisting of three factors that could determine whether or not an Escondido resident who is filing for bankruptcy can get student loans included. All of the factors are based on the hardship someone who is filing for personal bankruptcy would experience if the student loan debts were not discharged in the action.

The first factor is that failing to discharge the student loan debt would leave the filer in a financial position that does not meet minimum living standards. Next, there must be an expectation that the filer's financial situation will not change - for the better - any time soon. And, lastly, the bankruptcy filer must have been making a "good-faith effort" to keep up with student loan payments prior to the bankruptcy filing. If these three factors are met, there actually might be a chance to get student loan debt discharged in a bankruptcy action after all. However, it should be noted that it will probably be an extremely rare occurrence for someone who is filing for bankruptcy to get their student loans included. Getting the best information about your individual situation is always important.

Source: usnews.com, "Debunking the Student Loan Bankruptcy Myth," Betsy Mayotte, Aug. 13, 2014

Source: usnews.com, "Debunking the Student Loan Bankruptcy Myth," Betsy Mayotte, Aug. 13, 2014

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