Student Loans At US Supreme Court: A New Loss For Students / Win For U.S. Government (McCoy v. U.S.)

Brunner's "certainty of hopelessness" test? (photo by Marilyn Swanson) By: Donald L Swanson “Petition DENIED” That’s the ruling of the U.S. Supreme Court, dated June 21, 2021, in McCoy v. United States (Case No. 20-886). The question in McCoy v. United States focuses on the test for discharging student loans in bankruptcy, under the “undue hardship”... Continue Reading →

The Student Loan Problem — A Solution: Stop Making Bad Loans!

A good intention gone awry (photo by Marilyn Swanson) By: Donald L Swanson It is the lot of good intentions—to go awry. And so it is with the federal government’s student loan program.  Its good intentions are obvious: making a college education available to everyone—even at high-price colleges. Catastrophic Consequences Such good intentions have gone awry, with... Continue Reading →

Student Loans: U.S. Supreme Court Can Overrule A Harsh Rule (McCoy v. U.S.)

Brunner's "certainty of hopelessness" test? (photo by Marilyn Swanson) By: Donald L Swanson One of the human tragedies of our time is this legal opinion: Brunner v. New York State Higher Education Services Corp., 831 F.2d 395 (2d Cir. 1987). Brunner creates a three-part test for discharging student loans in bankruptcy, under the “undue hardship” standard... Continue Reading →

The Crazy-Season for Student Loans is Nearly Here . . . Again!

By Donald L. Swanson The crazy-season is when millions of people incur easily-obtained student loans they can’t afford, for another semester of college.  That time is nearly here, again, as a new school semester begins after the turn of the year. An even-crazier part is this: the U.S. Government guarantees payment of those unaffordable loans—which is... Continue Reading →

Student Loan Crisis: High-Price Colleges Support Beautiful Campuses (and Other Luxuries) on the Backs of their Students

By:  Donald L. Swanson “Back when I was in school . . .” This is a tired-old phrase, usually followed by tales of hardship. The Olden Days But here’s an opposite twist: Back when I was in college (during the 1970s), you could actually pay your way through, with little-to-no debt, by working part-time jobs... Continue Reading →

Corporate Welfare for High-Price Colleges Creates Long-Term Servitude for Students

By: Donald L. Swanson “the borrower is servant to the lender” Proverbs 22:7 (KJV). The long-term drag of student loans on the lives of many college graduates is a horrible thing. And discussions about relieving that problem are important. But long-term effects on students are a mere symptom of the problem. The underlying problem is this:... Continue Reading →

Sometimes Good Things CAN Happen in Bankruptcy for Student Loan Debts

By: Donald L Swanson Every now and then a good thing happens in bankruptcy. It’s not very often—but good things do happen. Here’s a story of one of those good things [Fn. 1]. Our Hero (the bankruptcy Debtor) is a 54 year old, single mother of two college-aged children. She is a self-employed professional in a... Continue Reading →

Student Loans: “Best Value”(?!), An Erroneous Idea, and Next Steps

By: Donald L. Swanson “We don’t want loans.  We want grants!”      —Yours truly, circa 2000s, on paying for college "We are creating a 'lost generation' of young adults; they're overwhelmed by their student loans!"  —Recent comment from a friend This article identifies two things that are wrong with our student loan system (Exhibits “A”... Continue Reading →

“Undue Hardship” Discharge — The Top Priority for Student Loan Solutions

By:  Donald L. Swanson The student loan crisis and potential legislation to solve it are in the news these days.  Lots of ideas are bandied about on what legislation might look like. Top Priority There is a top priority for such legislation that dwarfs all others.  The number one priority, bar none (and it’s not... Continue Reading →

Student Loans: The Modern-Day Debtor’s Prison (A “Certainty of Hopelessness” Standard for Discharge?!) and a Tax Glitch

By: Donald L Swanson A student loan cannot be discharged in bankruptcy, unless the loan “would impose an undue hardship on the debtor and the debtor’s dependents.” --11 U.S.C. § 523(a)(8) So, what qualifies as “undue hardship” under § 523(a)(8)? --You might think that an, “I can’t pay both rent and child care, let alone student... Continue Reading →

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