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Phillips Esq.
Phillips Esq., Attorney-at-Law
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Satisfied Customers: 17532
Experience:  B.A.; M.B.A.; J.D.
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I filed for bankruptcy in 1996 and received the letter of discharge

Customer Question

I filed for bankruptcy in 1996 and received the letter of discharge in January 1997. After all these years I recently started receiving letters from a collection agency regarding a perkins loan. The claim that I did not complete the seven years of repayment. How can this be if I have the letter of discharge and the confirmation from the Connecticut Bankruptcy Court that they were notified? Is there anything I can do?
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Expert:  Phillips Esq. replied 7 years ago.

Unless you filed a Complaint to Determine the Dischargeability of your student loans and the Court made a determination that your student loans are dischargeable, you are still liable for the student loans.

 

If you included the student loans in your Chapter 13 plan but the student loans were not paid off during your Chapter 13 case, you are still liable for the remainder of the loans. The fact that you were granted a discharge after the confirmation of your plan is irrelevant as your student loans payments are most likely going to outlast your Chapter 13 plan, which was either a 3-year or a 5-year plan. Thus, you are still going to be receiving collection letters on the student loans if they were in fact not paid off during your Chapter 13 plan.

 

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
I did not file for chapter 13, I filed chapter 7. Why wasn't I notified that this loan did not meet the requirements, either by my lawyer or the bankruptcy court, if all bankrupcy proceedings went normally even my hearing at court itself? What is a complaint to determine dischargeability? Shouldn't have the lawyer or the court have determine the dischargeabilty of the loan before proceeding to issue the letter of discharge?
Expert:  Phillips Esq. replied 7 years ago.

You said "confirmation" in your narrative which implied that you filed a Chapter 13 because with a Chapter 13 you have a confirmation hearing as to your Chapter 13 plan. There is no confirmation hearing in Chapter 7 case.

As for the complaint to determine dischargeability of your student loan, it is not the Court's responsibility to tell you how to handle your bankruptcy case. Student loans are generally not discharged in a bankruptcy case unless you as the debtor file a separate action to ask the court to discharge it. This action is called Complaint to Determine Dischargeability. This is a separate hearing from your Section 341 Meeting. The fact that you file a complaint to determine dischargeability does not automatically mean that your student loans will be discharged. Court has to collect evidence, hold hearings before a decision is made. Most attorneys charge separately to handle this proceeding and they charge hourly.

I do not know what kind of discussions that you had with your bankruptcy attorney with regard to your student loan so I cannot comment why you were not notified that your student loans are not dischargeable. You may want to review your fee agreement to see what your attorney agreed to do for you.

If you look at your Discharge Order, it specifically lists your student loan as one of the debts that will not be discharged in your bankruptcy.

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
That is has me doubting this whole process. This discharge letter does not have any exceptions.
Expert:  Phillips Esq. replied 7 years ago.
Well, you need to go to the bankruptcy court where your case was filed to see what happened in your case.

I am afraid that I do not have anything else to add.