Education is expensive, and it is more and more common for people to take on crippling amounts of student loan debt to get their degrees. In a perfect world, debtors would be able to make enough money to repay their loans according to the terms of their agreement with the lender, but life can throw curveballs and put people in circumstances where they find themselves falling behind on student loans and other payment obligations. Those who file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Georgia may wonder if their student loan debt will be discharged – this is exceedingly difficult to do. We are going to examine the procedure for seeking discharge of student loans in Georgia during a Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
The Brunner Test
It is extremely difficult to discharge student loan debt through a Georgia bankruptcy – doing so requires a showing that repayment would present an “undue hardship” to the debtor. Though many courts use the three-factor Bruner test, it is not required. Bankruptcy courts may also consider the totality of the circumstances to determine if your case constitutes an undue hardship. Factors may include your:
- Likely time frame income problems may persist; and
- Health condition.
The Brunner test sets out three factors to determine if repayment will cause a debtor undue hardship and qualify them for a full or partial discharge of student loan debt. A bankruptcy judge evaluates whether:
- If you are forced to repay your loans you can’t maintain a minimum living standard for you and your dependents based on your current income and expenses;
- Your current financial situation will likely persist for much of the repayment period; and
- You have made a good-faith effort at repaying the student loans.
No matter how the court evaluates undue hardship, many are very hesitant to discharge student loan debt. However, that does not mean it is an impossible feat – an experienced bankruptcy attorney can help you present yourself as the best possible candidate for discharge during a Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Atlanta.
Get Your Bankruptcy Questions Answered by an Atlanta Attorney
Student loan debt can be overwhelming, and the procedures for seeking discharge of that debt during your Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Atlanta can be even more daunting. Don’t go it alone – the skilled Georgia bankruptcy attorneys at The Ballard Law Group are here to answer your questions and help you get the best results possible if you have decided to file bankruptcy. We have spent years handling bankruptcies and representing clients just like you. Our knowledgeable attorneys will review your unique situation, help you understand your options and the most advantageous way to proceed and work to secure the best possible outcome for you. We offer a free bankruptcy consultation to begin fixing your financial future. Call us at (404) 800-9939!