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Crushing Debt Podcast

The Crushing Debt Podcast is for people who want to eliminate the financial bullies in their lives. It is for listeners who want more money at the end of the month, rather than more month at the end of the money. The podcast provides answers around such topics as real estate litigation, partition, quiet title, chapter 7 liquidation, chapter 13 reorganization, and Chapter 11 business bankruptcies, short sales, loan modifications, creditor harassment and other related topics.
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Feb 20, 2020

Student Loans are not dischargeable in bankruptcy, right? Maybe they are!

This week’s Crushing Debt Podcast Episode is about the case Rosenberg v. NY State Higher Education Services Corp. For those of you who want the case cite, it is pending in the Bankruptcy Court in the United States District Court, Southern District of New York.  Case No. 18-35379, Adversary Proceeding 18-09023.

The majority of states (including Florida) use a standard for dischargeability of student loans spelled out in the Brunner case, (Brunner v. N.Y. State Higher Educ. Servs. Corp.) which interpreted Section 523(a)(8) of the Bankruptcy Code.  To discharge a student loan, the borrower must prove that paying that loan creates an “undue hardship.”  The Brunner case interpreted “undue hardship” to require that the borrower prove:

  1. That the debtor cannot maintain, based on current income and expenses, a “minimal” standard of living for herself and her dependents if forced to repay the loans;
  2. That additional circumstances exist indicating that this state of affairs is likely to persist for a significant portion of the repayment period of the student loans; and
  3. That the debtor has made good faith efforts to repay the loans.

What makes the Rosenberg case so interesting, and good for student loan borrowers, is that the Court refuses to consider the cases that restricted the Brunner decision, making student loans difficult to discharge, and rules that the Debtor’s student loans are dischargeable in bankruptcy court!

The debtor, Mr. Rosenberg, borrowed student loans during his undergraduate time at the University of Arizona between 1993 and 1996, and obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in History. After serving five years in the Navy, he attended Cardozo Law School at Yeshiva University, and borrowed again between 2001 and 2004. After graduating from law school, Mr. Rosenberg consolidated his student loan debt in the principal amount of $116,464.75. By the time he filed bankruptcy, in 2018, Mr. Rosenberg owed over $220,000!

The decision is on appeal and, regardless of how it is decided, the case would not be binding authority other than in the State of New York, but this case certainly has grabbed the attention of Judges and lawyers all over the Country.

Stay tuned to the show to hear future developments in student loan dischargeability.

Please also visit our NEW sponsor, Attorneys First Insurance, if you are an attorney or title company looking for Errors & Omissions Insurance (called E&O Insurance or Malpractice Insurance).  You can contact them at www.attorneysfirst.com.

If you have any questions or comments for me, you can reach me at Shawn@YesnerLaw.com or www.YesnerLaw.com. If you enjoy the content, or know someone struggling with student loan debt, please share this episode! 

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