How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask JoeLawyer Your Own Question
JoeLawyer, Attorney
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Satisfied Customers: 767
Experience:  Attorney in the practice of Bankruptcy Law since 1996
Type Your Bankruptcy Law Question Here...
JoeLawyer is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I owe 24000 in student loans and 10000 in medical bills. I ...

Resolved Question:

I owe 24000 in student loans and 10000 in medical bills. I make about 800.00 per month after taxes. My credit is shot. Should I declare bankruptcy and try and show extreme hardship?
Submitted: 9 years ago.
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Expert:  JoeLawyer replied 9 years ago.


If you file bankruptcy, you will in all likelihood be able to discharge the medical bills but discharging the student loans is a much tougher thing to accomplish. To discharge student loans, you have to file an Adversary Proceeding during your bankruptcy case and attempt to persuade the bankruptcy court that repayment of the student loans causes an undue hardship on you or your dependents to get the student loans discharged, and this is a very difficult standard to meet. I read one case where a man who was paralyzed from the waist down attempted to use his impairment to show that repaying the student loans caused him an undue hardship, and the court said that since he could still work a desk job, the hardship was not great enough and did not let him discharge the student loans.

So, if you have any ability to work at all, it is tough to get rid of student loans. Successful cases I have seen of discharging student loans have been elderly people whose only income is social security and who have no ability to ever return to the workforce.

You should discuss with your bankruptcy attorney whether your circumstances justify the risk of filing an Adversary Proceeding to discharge student loans. A local attorney will also be familiar with your court's disposition regarding student loans and can give you helpful facts to decide if it is worth your spending all the extra attorneys fees to file an Adversary Proceeding. It can really ruin your day to spend $5,000 extra in attorneys fees to file an Ad Pro and then lose and still have to pay back the student loans!

However, at the very least bankruptcy can get the medical creditors off your back, which may be a big help. Then, perhaps you could pursue non-bankruptcy forbearance, deferment, or forgiveness programs with the student loan lender(s).

I hope this helps and a positive feedback is always appreciated if this was useful to you.


LEGAL NOTICE: I am only licensed to practice law in certain state(s) and I cannot give legal advice to someone who does not reside in a state in which I am licensed, nor shall anything I say in the above answer or elsewhere on this site be deemed legal advice, even to someone who resides in a state in which I am licensed. Fees I receive for answering questions are paid for information, not for legal advice. This forum is designed to provide general information only, and information herein is not warranted to be correct or applicable in any way since laws may have been misinterpreted herein, since laws change from time to time, and since the impact of those laws on any particular situation varies. The information presented in this site shall not be construed to be formal legal advice nor the formation of an attorney-client relationship. Persons accessing this response are encouraged to seek independent legal counsel in their jurisdiction for guidance regarding their individual circumstances. Do not take any action or inaction based on information presented herein since it is informational and may not be accurate or applicable to you; it merely attempts to give you a basis of knowledge to help you formulate questions to ask a legal or other professional in a face-to-face meeting in your jurisdiction. Joseph Ross does not hold himself out to be a specialist or expert in any area, regardless of assertions made by any third party, and any implication of being an expert or specialist herein is made in error. I hope the information presented above is useful to you. Answer above is (c) Joseph Ross. All rights reserved.

JoeLawyer and other Bankruptcy Law Specialists are ready to help you