I know how difficult it is to prove "undue hardship" but here's my case:
Income = $46,000 (Public K-12 Education)
Total Debt = $197,000 (no mortgage either)
Student Loan Debt = $174,000 ($134,000 - Private, $40,000 - Federal)
Debt To Income Ratio = 114%
On top of all this, I can easily prove that my private loans were not all used for educational expenses and from what I've researched I think I have to have as good of a case as anyone.
With that said, can anyone recommend an Ohio lawyer with experience in student loan debt law/bankruptcy?
Thanks in advance.
I'm kind of in the same boat you're in because I wasn't making enough at my job to get out of the hole and no matter how much money I would put in I would always come out being in more debt than I could handle. With the high interest rates I would be paying this loan till I'm dead. I tried to seek help from a lawyer in Loveland, Ohio (in the Cincinnati area). His son worked for some student loan company which specialized in helping with student loans. I put to together my financial papers showing how much I made, monthly bills & payments etc. After reviewing it and discovering that I had two private loans, thats where all the help they could offer me ended. There is nothing I can do with those two pesky private loans on my hands. I mentioned me being able to take the "undue hardship" route but my lawyer informed me that unless you were in a car wreck or disabled paying medical bills...I'm stuck with this loan.
You could have your attorney file the bankruptcy claim anyway. You have nothing to lose if you lose. I believe that an undue hardship occurs when you cannot meet your minimum monthly (interest only) payments for a long period of time. This is because you will continually build on your loan with no end in sight.
I have read the blogs, emails, and all that has been published on this web sight. We have but only one solution.
STAND UP AND BE HEARD.
WITH THE MASSES POWER IS IN OUR HANDS.
WITH THE MASSES EARS WILL HEAR, EYES WILL SEE.
WITH THE MASSES WE WILL BE HEARD.
WE MUST MARCH ON THE CAPITAL JUST AS THE CIVIL RIGHTS MARCHES HAS OPENED THE HEARTS OF THE ALL THE NATION.
I PROPOSE THAT WE MARCH IN THE THOUSANDS ON THE WHITE HOUSE AND THE CAPITAL AND STAY TILL WE HAVE A RESULT.
IT WILL BE HEARD AND REPORTED AND IT WILL TAKE NATIONS NEWS BY STORM.
ON NOVEMBER 5TH 2009 WE WILL ALL GET TOGETHER AT 12:00 NOON AND START OUR MARCH.
YOU MAY CONTACT ME ON MY EMAIL. I WILL ANSWER ANYONE WHO HAS THE SMARTS TO AGREE WITH ME AND MY MARCH ON THE U.S. CAPITAL.
LETS GO AND BE LOUD.
LETS GO AND BE AS LOUD AS A.I.G.
LETS GO AND BE AS LOUD AS THE BANKS.
LETS GO AND BE AS LOUD AS G.M.
WE HAVE DONE NOTHING WRONG. HAVE ALL THOSE WHO HAVE GOTTEN A BAIL OUT, HAVE THEY BEEN STRIGHT WITH ALL OF US........
Another thing to consider is that your federal student loan creditors will probably argue that the new ICR plan makes it impossible for anyone to qualify for the "undue hardship" discharge. They will argue that you can't suffer an undue hardship if the payments are structured according to your income.
Have you applied to your local Legal Assistance Bureau for counsel? It's been a while since I went to my local bureau, but they were helpful. Also, try student clinics at the law schools.
That said, it is hard to get hardship status without significant and permanent medical problems.
This is going to sound very pessimistic, but here it goes:
Not many lawyers deal with student loan issues in any fashion, let alone take on hardship discharge cases. The legal standard for proving hardship is incredibly difficult and not many lawyers want to get involved. Moreover, how are you going to pay their fee to litigate this if you can find one to take the case? You are probably talking tens of thousands of dollars in legal fees. Your set of circumstances do not suggest a situation where someone is going to take this on pro bono. Many hardship discharge cases are litigated pro se by former law students or people who think they can handle it on their own, which partly explains why so many fail.
That said, the standard for a hardship discharge varies by judicial circuit. If you are in the 4th circuit (Mid-Atlantic states), the standard is so strict that you pretty much have to be brain dead to get a hardship discharge. Courts in the upper plain states and New England are a tad more lenient. Find out what judicial circuit you are in and then do some research to find out the current precedent case on student loan hardship discharge there. Get a copy of the court's decision. Read it and ask yourself if your situation comes close to what the standard is in your circuit. If you think you might have a shot, find out what law firms have litigated these cases there in the past and approach them about your case.
As Robert says, I am not endorsing any specific action in your set of circumstance, always seek your own legal counsel.
Good Luck, you're gonna need it.
The California federal district courts also tend to be much more lenient. Three recent cases involving student loan debt went against the one in debt (debtor). One was from the 8th federal circuit court of appeals in MN, one in federal district court in Texas, and one in NY state court.
It is especially difficult to prove, because undue hardship with student loans involves a variety of factors. The government says you only need to maintain a minimum standard of living.
This minimum standard of living involves a studio apartment, no vehicle, no television, no air conditioning, etc., which means at or below the poverty line. The more lenient federal districts may allow minimum to mean above the poverty line.
Thus, in theory, the government maintains anything above the poverty line should be used toward your student loans. If what you can provide above the poverty line is not sufficient to meet your minimum monthly student loan payments, you have a chance because the interest on the loans are accruing faster than you can pay.
This also means that the judge may expect you, as a young man or woman, to work more than one job.
Frankly, I think the undue hardship burden is BS, but this is what we have to live with. Good luck!