Why Didn’t the Bankruptcy Court Discharge My Student Loans? I’m a Teacher.

“Dear Steve,

My husband & I filed Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Arizona in 2011, discharged May, 2011. We filed due to his medical conditions, which caused our family to loose a decrease in wages, which eventually led to permanent disability. We lost our house & moved back to Arkansas (5/2011) to be closer to family. I am a certified teacher, since moving back I have been unable to find a permanent job & have been struggling with living expenses, medical care, etc.

I have $27,000 in student loans, that were never included on the bankruptcy because I was told that the Bankruptcy courts did not discharge student loans.

These loans have been in deferment since we moved back (3 plus years). I paid on them four years prior to filing bankruptcy, while working as a teacher in Arizona. It was only when we moved back to Arkansas that I had to file the deferments because I was not working. I have been able to do some substitute teaching off & on for the 3 years we have been living in Arkansas, just nothing permanent.

Can I file a “Complaint to Determine Dischargeability” form with the Arizona Bankruptcy court for these student loans & have them discharged since the Bankruptcy was discharged over 3 years prior?


Dear Dee,

I’m not a lawyer so I can’t give you legal advice. You’d need to consult with a bankruptcy attorney in Arizona or Arkansas to get legal advice.

What I can share with you is my opinion of what you have shared with me.

Because you say you have a deferment it leads me to believe you have private student loans, and not federal student loans.

If they were federal then there would be great options for up to zero dollar a month payment based on your income. See this guide for directions on how to do that.

If these are private loans then your best bet for discharge would be if they looked like these loans.

See also  Lauren is in a Fabulous Foreign Country and Can't Afford Her Student Loans

Federal loans have a teacher loan forgiveness program for teachers who meet certain requirements and work 30 hours or more a week, private loans do not have such programs.

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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