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TJ, Esq.
TJ, Esq., Attorney
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Satisfied Customers: 11779
Experience:  JD, MBA
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Hello, I filed Chapter 7 BK back in Nov. 2008 and it was dis-charged

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Hello, I filed Chapter 7 BK back in Nov. 2008 and it was dis-charged Feb. 2009. In the bankruptcy I had added a Sally Mae student loan which I co-signed for a friend (which I have no conatct with since 2005....( it was not my loan) and it was discharged by the court. It clearly says Sallie Mae Discharged. But I am still getting sent to collection company year after year. Most companies stop calling after I explain but it is happening every year. What do I need to do to stop this I tried to contact Sallie mae many times and get left on hold for hours with no results. Thank you
Hello and thank you for allowing me the opportunity to assist you.

Unfortunately, although this issue has not been decided at the appellate level in Florida or in the 11th Circuit, the middle district in Florida has ruled in at least two cases that co-signers of student loans cannot have them discharged in bankruptcy. See In re Salter, 207 B.R. 272 (Bankr.M.D.Fla., 1997) and In re Lawson, 256 B.R. 512 (Bankr.M.D.Fla., 2000). That is also the majority opinion around the country. Even if you're not in the middle district in Florida, its prior rulings would likely be very persuasive in the other Florida districts (it's important to note that the decisions would not be binding, however, so it possible that the other districts could disagree).

Therefore, you do have the option of reopening your bankruptcy and filing an adversary against the creditor, alleging that the creditor violated the permanent stay inherent in your discharge. However, you'd have to go into that case knowing that it would likely be an uphill battle. If you lose, then you could appeal it and blaze new legal trails. Depending on the amount of the student loan, it may be worthwhile, or it may not be worthwhile.

You can also sit back and do nothing, and hope that the creditor also continues to do nothing other than to bug you every now and again. As an aside, the fact that your discharge states that the student loan is discharged does not actually have any bearing on the issue. The creditor does not have to file an adversary proceeding to have his debt excepted from discharge if the law already clearly states that it's excepted from discharge.

I regret that my answer is generally unfavorable, but please understand that it would be unfair to you (and unprofessional of me) to provide you with anything less than a truthful response. With that in mind, I hope that you found value in my answer. If your concerns were not satisfactorily addressed, then feel free to let me know, as I will be happy to clarify my answer or help with your follow-up questions. In the meantime, please remember to click the green accept button so that I will receive credit and compensation for my time (doing so does not end our session). Positive feedback is always appreciated as well. Thank you and good luck!
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