No discharge likely in Southern District of CA — but you could try.
Attorney at Law
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San Diego, CA 92108
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As it sounds like you are aware of, it is very difficult to obtain a discharge of student loan debt; however, there are rare cases where the debt can be discharged and your case certainly has a good fact pattern to argue. Each circuit (and even some district courts) have different rules regarding how to determine hardship. If you contact an experienced bankruptcy attorney in your area, he/she will be able to compare your facts to case law in your district and will be able to give you his or her opinion of your chances. The attorneys fees for an action to discharge your student loans can be very expensive; however, the payoff would be certainly worth it in your case (relief of 150,000!). I would not recommend going it alone if you want a serious shot at obtaining relief from your student loans. Good Luck!
Getting student loans discharged is very difficult. Further, it depends on many factors. The fact that you have been on permanent disability for 10 years is a factor in your favor. However, many more facts need to be known, which would have to be developed by you working with an experienced Bankruptcy attorney. Such facts would include, but are not limited to: your age, whether you have dependents, your living situation, the severity of your disability as shown by medical professionals, how long you have had these loans, and what payments you have made on them, if any.
The Bankruptcy Courts look at 3 factors, as set forth in the case of of Brunner vs. New York State Higher Education Services Corp., 831 F.2d 395 [2d Cir. 1987]).
These factors are:
(1) That the debtor cannot maintain, based on current income and expenses, a minimal standard of living for the debtor and dependents if forced to pay off student 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.
Obviously, more facts need to be known about your situation. So it is very difficult to say what your "chances" are of getting a discharge. You also must understand that ultimately, it is up to a judge, and whether he or she believes you have passed these tests. Finally, the court does have authority to grant a partial discharge of the debts.
Our office is located in Santa Ana, CA, and we handle cases throughout Southern CA.
I think the key issue here is whether or not your medical condition makes it very unlikely that you will not be employable for the duration of your life (i.e. you don't have any realistic chance of paying the loan back).
The fact that you have been of perm. disability is very favorable to you, but what has your employment history been during that time period?
It is likely that seeking a discharge of your student loans would be fairly costly if you hire an attorney to help you out. If you try and do it on you own, you might be successful, but it is not easy to practice law even as a lawyer.
I hope you get better some day.
I would agree with the other contributors. A discharge of student loans in bankruptcy is very difficult, unless you can prove that repaying the loan creates an undue hardship on you or your family. Proving hardship usually requires showing that you can't provide a minimum standard of living for yourself and your dependents if you have to repay the loan. Considering your situation, you have a good chance of proving hardship. But, you will need a lawyer.