Can my U.S. passport be confiscated because of student loan default?

Asked over 2 years ago - Washington, DC

Because my original professional school lost it's accreditation, I was forced to start over in a new program, but all the old loans were still payable. The school did not close, but continued to operate without accreditation. My student loan balance is now about $325,000 (this is not a typo) and I was advised that on my expected salary I would never be able to repay them. My financial advisor said that my best bet is move to Europe unless I want to be poor with no chance of getting credit or buying a home, and hounded all my life. I did this but now I am worried about my passport when I come back to US to visit.
Also, is there any other action that can be taken if I continue to live out of the country?
I expect to have a European passport in a couple of years.

Attorney answers (4)

  1. Keith R Havens


    Contributor Level 15


    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . Your US passport cannot be consfiscated because of a debt.

    The fact that you live in another country does not mean that you cannot be sued in the US. Further, while it is more difficult, a judgment obtained in the US can be enforced in Europe.

    I would recommend that you consider filing bankruptcy. While student loans are not normally dischargeable, they may be discharged if not discharging them would cause an undue hardship. This certainly seems to be the circumstance in your case. Obviously, an attorney would need to get more facts to come to a conclusion.

    Please be advised that any information or advice given herein does not constitute an attorney client relationship.... more
  2. Dorothy G Bunce


    Contributor Level 20

    Answered . The US government is never going to revoke your passport because you owe a debt. As you know, when our country was founded, one of the big problems we had with England was the idea of debtor's prisons.

    I think your financial adviser has given you rather radical advice about your student loan. I would recommend seeking a second opinion about ways to possibly resolve this debt, and am posting a link to the National Student loan website.

    Hope this perspective helps!

  3. Theodore Lyons Araujo


    Contributor Level 20

    Answered . No.

    Disclaimer: This answer does not constitute legal advice. I am admitted in the States of New York, New Jersey and... more
  4. Nicholas I Fuerst

    Contributor Level 13

    Answered . No.

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