21, the U.S. Department of Education issued a request for information and public comment on the
process for evaluating claims of “undue hardship”—the standard that student
borrowers must meet to be able to discharge their student loans through
It is quite difficult
to get student loans discharged through bankruptcy. Congress has not defined
the term “undue hardship” in the U.S. Bankruptcy Code and has not delegated the
authority to do so to the Department of Education. The federal courts have
established the legal standard for a student loan debtor to prove “undue
hardship” as authorized by Congress. Generally, the undue hardship test
requires several factors to be evaluated when determining whether repaying a
debt will cause a debtor and his/her dependents an undue hardship, such as (but
not limited to) the debtor’s:
work or family history.
of mental illness.
of educational attainment.
history and borrower’s willingness to consider all available repayment plans,
including income driven repayment plans.
Comments on the request for
information are due May 22, 2018.