Can I bankrupt the judgement on my student loan that was obtained prior to the 2005 student law changes?

I got a student loan in 1996. I failed out of my school shortly thereafter, but quickly transferred to a new school and continued my education. I was then re-accepted back into the first school and failed out again, finishing my degree in the second school. So, I got my degree, and it was a fight.

I made some payments on the student loan but at sometime failed to continue with the payments. A judgement was obtained without serving me personally, which I know can be correct, but I never moved, changed my phone, or anything, and I never had heard of the person listed on the service papers.

1996 Loan $5,000
Judgement, shortly thereafter
2005, balance was 17K, and they garnished my bank account for $2,200
Now they say I owe 20K

They wont settle with me. Can I bankrupt this? I have other things I am going to try to bk, such as credit cards and IRS debt. Do you know a good attorney for this type of bk?



Dear Ron,

It sounds like a fairly straightforward bankruptcy filing. You can click here to find a local bankruptcy attorney. Make sure it is someone you like and can communicate well with.

My hunch is that the loans will not be dischargeable. The 2005 change was directed at private student loans. Government loans were already limited from discharge in 1998. It is my understanding that cases had to have been filed before those enactment dates.

Please post your responses and follow-up messages to me on this in the comments section below.


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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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