Hello and thank you for allowing me the opportunity to assist you.While it is sometimes possible to discharge student loans in bankruptcy, it is, unfortunately, difficult to meet the standard. Student loans can only be discharged if they pose an undue hardship. The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals, which has jurisdiction over Kansas, stated:The phrase "undue hardship" is not defined in the Bankruptcy Code. In Educational Credit Management Corp. v. Polleys (In re Polleys),XXXXXof Appeals for the Tenth Circuit adopted, with some limitations, a test originally established by the Second Circuit in Brunner v. New York State Higher Educ. Servs. Corp. 13 for determining whether repayment of student loans imposes an "undue hardship" within the meaning of § 523(a)(8). Under the "Brunner test," the debtor must prove by a preponderance of the evidence: (1) that the debtor cannot maintain, based on current income and expenses, a "minimal" standard of living for herself and her dependents if forced to repay the loans; (2) that additional circumstances exist indicating that this state of affairs is likely to persist for a significant portion of the repayment period of the student loans; and (3) that the debtor has made good faith efforts to repay the loans.A student loan debt is nondischargeable under § 523(a)(8) if the debtor fails to show any one prong of this test. Azwar v. Tex. Guaranteed Student Loan Corp. (In re Azwar), 326 B.R. 165 (B.A.P. 10th Cir. 2005).So, if you can prove (1), (2) and (3) above, then you can discharge the student loans. Unfortunately, proving (1), (2) and (3) is an extremely difficult burden to meet. In the same case, the 10th Circuit also noted that "undue hardship is something more than inconvenience or doing without luxuries . . . 'the discharge of a student loan should be based upon an inability to earn and not simply a reduced standard of living."In any event, since you may qualify to discharge the student loans, I suggest that you consult with a local bankruptcy attorney who can review your situation in detail and help you file for bankruptcy if it makes sense in your situation.Does that answer your question? Let me know if you need clarification, and please remember to rate me positively so that I receive credit for my efforts.Thank you and good luck!
DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.
The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).