Bankruptcy Law Questions? Ask a Bankruptcy Lawyer Now.
Student loans are no longer dischargeable in any chapter of bankruptcy unless you can prove that repaying the loan creates an undue hardship on you or your family. Prior law allowed their discharge once they had been in pay status for 7 years. The law changed in the fall of 1998.
Proving hardship usually requires showing that you can't provide a minimum standard of living for yourself and your dependents if you have to repay the loan. Some courts will discharge part of the loan on a showing that repaying it all would be a hardship.
Student loans are sometimes unenforceable due to school closures, fraud, etc. Chapter 13 can provide a way to cure defaults on student loans, or to pay them off over the course of the plan.
As for you, her filing of the bankruptcy will make you solely obligated to the lender. You'll be responsible for the entire amount of the debt IF she is allowed to discharge her loans.
I've been practicing for years, and I've never seen a judge discharge student loan debt.
A Chapter 13 will allow her to pay the money back at a reduced rate without interest. However, as my comments above indicate, it is very tough (if not impossible) to get the loans discharged, and difficult to reduce the loan obligation.
If you want to file to get the loans discharged, I don't think you'll be happy with the result. However, fi you want to file to reduce payments, then you can accomplish that.
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