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I Think I Have a Case for Geting My Student Loans Discharged in Bankruptcy But Can’t Find an Attorney

Question:

Dear Steve,

In 2007, I made the mistake of attending a private university (SLU) for my freshman year before I transferred out. They maxed out my federal loans and directed me to private loans. I took out a CampusDoor private loan serviced by Wells Fargo Bank currently around 30k and another private loan that is around 20k from younomics (formerly MyRichUncle). I just learned MRU filed for bankruptcy some time ago and I’ve been keeping up on the news on Wells Fargo for deceptive practices. CFPB in my response to a complaint I made about WF even suggested I seek legal assistance.

I am considering my options of either filing for bankruptcy, private student loan consolidation, or letting the private loan debt pass the statute of limitations. I have decided to apply for direct loan consolidation with an IBR 10 year plan for my federal loans. I don’t know if private loan consolidation has forgiveness.

The loan serviced by WF is already taking a dent on my credit score and is around 600. However, I wonder how my credit score would be affected if I let the statute of limitations pass (10 years in my state of MO). I try not to worry about my credit score too much, but I would like to obtain a job, apartment, or buy/lease a car some time in the future.

I do believe I have a case for bankruptcy and could prove undue hardship using the means test in my state. I have already researched lawyers, I just find it incredibly difficult to find a lawyer that is knowledgeable about consumer bankruptcy related to student loans near me in MO, as I think it would be best to have an attorney represent me. I believe I could argue that the private loans were not fully used for educational purposes. I only had a small remaining balance at SLU and most of the private loans were used to buy a laptop package including a printer. I used the rest of the loans to help my single mother with monthly rent while living at home during my sophomore year. Thank you for any input you can provide.

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Jalyssa

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Answer:

Dear Jalyssa,

Well, you’ve done an incredible amount of research already. It sounds like you are on a path worth pursuing. And yes, it is hard to find a bankruptcy attorney with experience in this area. Keep up your hunt. If you have not read These Private Student Loans Can Be Easily Discharged in Bankruptcy, you might want to.

You mentioned the IBR 10-year plan and I want to make sure what you are referring to is the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program. You need to be employed in certain public service fields and if so your loan balance can be forgiven after 10 years. Otherwise, the IBR payment can last for decades.

With the bankruptcy of MyRichUncle the loans were scattered among a number of lenders. It’s quite possible the new lender doesn’t even have proof the loan is valid or collectible. Attempting to validate that loan might end it cold.

Counting on the Statute of Limitations to stop a debt can be a complicated affair. I would suggest you get a legal opinion from an attorney who is licensed in your state to best understand the factors that can stop and start the clock. And keep in mind, you can still be sued for a debt past the statute of limitations, you’d have to raise that it has expired past the SOL date in your defense. Additionally, just because a debt is past the SOL does not mean collections can’t be attempted. They can. And it may be easy to slip and restart the clock unless you know what to avoid and not do. That’s why getting legal advice for this course is prudent.


Damon Day - Pro Debt Coach

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Steve Rhode is the Get Out of Debt Guy and has been helping good people with bad debt problems since 1994. You can learn more about Steve, here.
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