Congress Decided to Punish Consumer Debtors and Failed Entrepreneurs in BAPCPA — This is Terrible Policy!

By: Donald L. Swanson U.S. politicians love to talk about helping poor people—unless, that is, the poor owe money that can’t be repaid. U.S. politicians also love to talk about helping small businesses and entrepreneurs—unless, that is, the small business or entrepreneur owes money that can’t be repaid. When uncollectible debts are involved, politicians turn surly... 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 →

Propping Up a High-Price Model of Higher Education: In re Pratola

By Donald L. Swanson The U.S. Government continues to prop up a high-price model of higher education, forcing students to bear the brunt of such foolishness! News reports are filled these days with student loan crisis stories. We hear how: --"the number of Americans severely behind on payments on federal student loans reached roughly 4.6 million... Continue Reading →

The Student Loan Debt Problem: Northwestern University as “Exhibit A”

By:  Donald L. Swanson Let’s juxtapose these two quotes: “Congress must act now to defuse the student loan debt bomb.” --From Jim Haller, Opinion Contributor, The Hill, February 27, 2017. “Northwestern’s [financial aid] options make higher education  more accessible.” --From Northwestern University's (Evanston, IL) “Tuition and Aid” online page. The Northwestern quote above uses the... Continue Reading →

Student Loan Crisis: High-Priced 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 →

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