Student loans can be a very difficult debt to discharge when filing for bankruptcy. To do away with this type of debt, you must show that continuing to pay it will not allow you to have even a minimal standard of living. In law speak: “imposing an undue hardship on you.”
The Brunner Test
There are different ways to evaluate whether you have a so-called “undue hardship” with regard to your student loans. The Brunner Test is one such method, and in order to meet these qualifications, you and your bankruptcy attorney must show that:
- you (and you dependents) would not be able to maintain a bare necessities standard of living if forced to repay your student loans
- there are additional circumstances showing that your current financial situation is likely to persist for a significant portion of the repayment period of the student loans
- you have made efforts of good faith to repay the loan.
Whether your student loans are discharged based on hardship is not automatically determined in the bankruptcy process. First, you must file a petition called an “adversary proceeding” to receive a determination.
If you already filed for bankruptcy, but did not request a determination of “undue hardship,” you may reopen your bankruptcy case at any time in order to file this proceeding. It’s important to note that you should be able to do this without payment of an additional filing fee.
If you’re having difficulty keeping up with your student loan payments, and you’re thinking about filing for bankruptcy in Atlanta, don’t hesitate to contact the Adkins Firm. Marty Adkins is among the top Atlanta bankrupcy attorneys. He’ll help get you out of debt and ready for a new financial future.