Student loan debt is among the most common financial obligations facing Washington residents. While educational loans have expanded access to many colleges and universities, the high cost of college education leaves many students with a staggering amount of debt. For many, changes in the job market, unemployment, and changing family needs can significantly impair their ability to repay the loans. The amount of debt may seem insurmountable. Student loan debt is not normally dischargeable in bankruptcy, however, there are some instances when relief may be possible. Ben Cushman has represented Washington residents for more than two decades. He has experience in collection actions involving student loans. If you need assistance with a bankruptcy matter, contact our office today to schedule a consultation. Our firm also serves Tacoma as well as other areas in Washington, including Grays Harbor, Mason, Cowlitz, and Pacific Counties.
Olympia lawyer helping residents determine if student loan debt is dischargeable in bankruptcy
It is extremely difficult, but not impossible, to successfully discharge student loan debt in a bankruptcy proceeding. Generally speaking, debtors remain liable for educational loans after the bankruptcy case has concluded. If the debtor can prove that they have an “undue hardship,” and therefore cannot repay the debt, it may be possible to eliminate, reduce, or renegotiate the loan terms to achieve a lower rate or payment amount. The undue hardship standard is complex and will be evaluated on a case by case basis by the courts. After filing your Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 Petition, your attorney will be required to file a special complaint, called an “adversary proceeding”, requesting the discharge of a student loan. Factors that may be considered include the debtor’s income potential, family needs, a spouse’s income, one’s cost of living, or other special circumstances.
For example, a student accumulates $150,000 in student loans while attending an Ivy League college and medical school. After graduation, she develops a medical condition that prevents her from becoming a practicing physician. Her medical bills are extremely high and she is unable to work more than part-time. Given her condition, she may be able to demonstrate that repaying her loans is an undue hardship. The success of any such argument will depend on the specific facts of each case. An attorney can review the current case law and standards to evaluate the appropriateness of requesting this relief, and to prepare and present your case to the court.
Ben Cushman is an Olympia attorney who has experience seeking relief for student loan debt. Once he is retained on your behalf, Ben will review your financial statements, employment history, family earnings, and more in support of the potential discharge of your student loans. He understands that every case and client is different and will provide individualized advice to meet your needs. Contact us today to speak with an attorney.
Olympia attorney assisting Washington residents with student loan debt through bankruptcy
With the costs of college skyrocketing and the economy at a standstill, Ben is a lawyer who understands how student loan debt can quickly become a burden. He knows that bankruptcy may be the only option to avoid wage garnishment or lien judgments. Ben treats his clients with respect and gives each case the attention it deserves. We believe that every client is entitled to the highest level of customer service. Attorney-client communication is our priority. Ben will promptly answer emails and phone calls throughout the case. This is true whether you are in Olympia or elsewhere.
Our firm also serves the Thurston County cities of Lacey, Tumwater, and Yelm, the Pierce County cities of Tacoma, Puyallup, and Lakewood, the Lewis County cities of Centralia, Chehalis, the King County cites of Seattle, Auburn, Bellevue, Burien, and Federal Way, as well as other areas in Washington, including Grays Harbor, Mason, Cowlitz, and Pacific Counties.