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My Sallie Mae Student Loan Was Discharged in Bankruptcy But I Have a Wage Garnishment

Written by Steve Rhode


Dear Steve,

I received a Sallie Mae school loan back in 1989 and went through a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy I think in 1995ish. Sorry I do not have the paperwork in front of me.

The judge discharged the Student loan on the Bankruptcy. I continued to receive and fight all collection notices. I then went to Consumer assistance program and paid their “Donation” in full. They failed to help me. I have been paying on a Garnishment via my paycheck for the last year+.

Do I have a case?



Dear Wendy,

If this Sallie Mae loan was a private student loan, when you filed bankruptcy in 1995 it should have been discharged. If it was a federal student loan then it would not have been automatically discharged at that time.

So let’s say this was a private student loan. In that case you would have some actions that you could take under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. A good consumer attorney would salivate to represent you and recover their fees through the case. One place to find such an attorney would be through

If the garnishment you are paying was an Administrative Wage Garnishment (AWG) for a federal student loan then you should read Lip Smacking, Joke Cracking Guide to Stopping Federal Student Loan Wage Garnishments.

Based on the information you gave me, it simply isn’t clear if the loan was private or federal. If you want to give me more information, post updates in the comments below.


You are not alone. I'm here to help. There is no need to suffer in silence. We can get through this. Tomorrow can be better than today. Don't give up.

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About the author

Steve Rhode

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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