Lancaster Student Loan Debt Lawyers
For many southern California residents, student loan debt is a burden that remains with them well beyond their college years. Indeed, it is not uncommon for people to enter their 40s or 50s still on the hook for thousands of dollars in principal and interest payments on student loans they took out as teenagers. And unlike many other forms of consumer debt, a student loan cannot be easily wiped out in bankruptcy.
Our Lancaster student loan debt lawyers can assist you in figuring out a strategy for dealing with this situation. Wadhwani & Shanfeld is a team of Board-certified bankruptcy specialists who can review your student loans and advise you of your options. Even if you do not meet the stringent requirements for discharging a student loan through bankruptcy, there are other ways to potentially navigate your debts to make it easier to pay off your student loans over time.
Discharging Student Loans in Bankruptcy Is Difficult
Filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy allows individuals to cancel or “discharge” most of their unsecured debts. For example, if you owe money on your credit card, a bankruptcy discharge can eliminate your legal obligation to pay back the creditor. Unfortunately, most student loans are subject to special legal protections that prevent an outright discharge. This means that after you complete the bankruptcy process and receive a discharge, your obligation to pay the student loans will remain.
It is, however, possible to seek a discharge of a student loan debt by filing an adversary proceeding in the bankruptcy court. Basically, you need to sue your lender and prove that you lack the ability to repay your student loans. This is done by proving it would be an “undue hardship” on you.
Different bankruptcy courts rely on different methods for determining what qualifies as undue hardship. Some bankruptcy judges will look at the “totality of the circumstances,” i.e., consider any relevant factors related to your life and finances. Other judges apply a standard known as the Brunner test, which makes a discharge of student loan debt possible if the debtor can prove all of the following:
- The debtor would not be able to maintain a minimum standard of living for themselves and their dependents if forced to repay the student loan;
- The debtor’s current financial situation would likely continue for a significant part of the repayment period of the student loan; and
- The debtor made a reasonable and good faith effort to repay the student loan.
Contact Wadhwani & Shanfeld Today
Even when bankruptcy cannot discharge your student loan debt, it can still help you in discharging and consolidating other debts, leaving you with more financial resources to focus on your student loans. A skilled Lancaster student loan debt attorney can also apprise you of other options for negotiating repayment plans with your lender to relieve you of some of the crippling financial burden
So if you need to speak with a student loan debt lawyer right away, contact Wadhwani & Shanfeld today to schedule an initial consultation.