Restore the Dischargeability of Private Student Loans in Bankruptcy
Sen. Richard Durbin (D-Il) has re-introduced legislation, S. 114, The Fairness for Struggling Students Act of 2013, originally proposed by Sen. Durbin in 2011. This legislation would re-introduce the possibility of a discharge in bankruptcy for private student loans, which have become one of the largest debt burdens not just on American students but also on American taxpayers at large. Student loan debt in the United States has reached the trillion-dollar mark, according to recent reports, even as tuition has sky-rocketed while job-prospects have radically diminished and as for-profit "educational institutions" have proliferated the educational "market" with high-priced associates's and other degree programs in such pop-culture-fueled curriculum concentrations as crime scene investigation and fashion design, which have little to no chance of landing students an actual paying position, statistically speaking. The Hilla Law Firm, PLLC has had many clients and potential clients who are simply being crushed by student loan debt, particularly private loans originating from such lenders as Sallie Mae and AccessGroup, among others, whose collectors are among the most voracious, vicious, and unsympathetic out there, that I cannot help but endorse this legislation. Bankruptcy has been unable to help these people in nearly every instance, thanks only to the unconscionable BAPCPA "bankruptcy reform" act drafted by financial industry lobbyists in 2004 and rubber-stamped by our Congress in 2005. The BAPCPA legislation, for the first time in our history and with no discussion among members of Congress, simply made one entire, huge class of consumer debt non-dischargeable in bankruptcy. No member of the Senate or Congress has spoken up to claim "credit" for inserting the single sentence accomplishing this into BAPCPA. All without any evidence that graduating students of any sort ever ran straight from college to bankruptcy court. There has been no suggestion by anyone that student loans are more sacred than any other sort of debt (including IRS tax debt, which can indeed be dischargeable). The legislation was quietly and quickly adopted, to no one's benefit but Sallie Mae, AccessGroup, and the other huge loan servicers. The "student loan debt bubble" is now threatening to burst. Entire generations of graduating students have been fed monster-sized loans by unrestrained lenders who know all too well that the students will have no means of escape. Financial aid departments of the universities charged with educating our students have aided and abetted this predatory lending scheme, quickly referring students applying for financial aid packages to private loan lenders with little or no accompanying education regarding the actual terms of repayments. Our young people are thus graduating already broke, unlikely to find employment in this beleaguered economy, forced to move home, unable to buy homes, buy goods and services, marry, or even have children. Is this really helping our kids? Our economy? Support this legislation. Contact your Senator to urge them to ignore the calls of the financial industry whose lobbyists wrote the legislation in 2004 that made private student loans non-dischargeable in bankruptcy for the first. Urge them to consider, first, not only the needs of their actual, human constituents but also the well-being of our economic system at large, which, ultimately, although it may enrich the coffers of the financial industry elite, cannot tolerate a vast majority of economically depressed citizens. Neither Democracy nor Capitalism can function under that pressure. Click here if you need to find out who your Senator is and how to contact them. If you are a Michigan resident and would like to explore your options for a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy with an experienced Michigan bankruptcy attorney, please contact us at (866) 674-2317 or click the button below to schedule a free, initial consultation.
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