I'm on social security and have health problems. Would I be eligible for Bankruptcy discharge?
Estate Planning Attorney
Student loans can not be discharged in bankruptcy.
The answer given does not imply that an attorney-client relationship has been established and your best course of action is to have legal representation in this matter.
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Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Attorney
It would depend on how serious your health problems are, but student loans are unbelievably difficult to eliminate through bankruptcy. I would urge you to consult with the best bankruptcy litigator you can find in your community by using the "Find a Lawyer" search feature here on Avvo. Hope this perspective helps!
21 lawyers agree
Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Attorney
My colleagues are, collectively, correct. discharging student loans, while technically possible, is ridiculously tough to do, and requires and highly experienced bankruptcy trial lawyer -- and those are not particularly easy to find either since while there are lots of bankruptyc lawyers, there are precious few who regularly handle full-blown trials.
Definitely explore the several non-bankruptcy options that maybe available to you. Finding a lawyer with expertise in student loans could be a great assistance to you as there are ways to protect yourself outside of bankruptcy when it comes to student loans.
Divorce / Separation Lawyer
Student loans are dischargable for people who are elderly, have health problems or otherwise can show clearly that the debt will never be paid and would cause an extreme hardship for you. In your situation, I would say that it is likely that you would be able to discharge the student loans as to you based on income, but there are some issues with that. If you have a considerable amount of property that could be sold to pay the student loans, you may have to give up something. If you have a lot of equity in your house, you may have to sell your house or if you have expensive personal affects, you may lose some of them. The other issue is that if you discharge the debt, you will not be helping your grandson, so just keep in mind that the student loans are going to stay with him, no matter what. Since you cosigned, I'm assuming these loans are private student loans and are subject to a statute of limitations on lawsuits. It is important that you know where the loans are in that tolling process to make a decision on what to do and when.
You should talk to a local bankruptcy attorney about your qualifications for debt relief.
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Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Attorney
Sit down with an experienced bankruptcy attorney, most have a free consultation. While you might not be able to discharge this debt, if you have little or no assets and social security is your only income, you may be "judgment proof." Private lenders cannot garnish/attach/levy Social Security payments. It may be that you don't have to do anything.
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Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Attorney
Student loan debt is typically not dischargeable in bankruptcy without a finding of "undue hardship". You can file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy yourself, however you would need to also file a adversary proceeding against the student loan company to have the court determine the issue of undue hardship. Basically the court has to determine that to pay these loans back would be an undue hardship on you and that you have no future ability to pay them at all. If you are elderly on social security and have health problems you should be able to show that, however it may cost you in attonrey's fees to have an attorney do that. The adversary proceeding is a lawsuit within the bankruptcy itself and is a seperate action. Both would need to be done to discharge the student loan liability. Your grandson would still be liable for the debt.
12 lawyers agree
I concur with the majority of the posts on this thread; student loans are incredibly difficult to discharge in bankruptcy. You definitely need to sit down with an experienced bankruptcy attorney and discuss your situation in greater detail. One thing that you should discuss is what assets you have that can actually be 'gone after' by your creditors. For example, social security income is generally exempt from garnishment. Do you own property? Is there equity in it? These are topics you should discuss with a local bankruptcy attorney; you may be 'judgment proof'.
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