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I Thought My Student Loans Went Away in My Bankruptcy? – Keri

Written by Steve Rhode


Dear Steve,

I have federal student loans that I thought were included in my Bankruptcy because when I called ACS 2 years into my Bankruptcy, they told me I had no federal student loans.

I tried finding those loans for years, but they were gone. After my Bankruptcy, thinking I had no student loans, I applied for a FHA loan to buy a home and I was approved. There is no way I could have been approved if I had any federal student loans.

But, now AES is coming after me, they’ve turned me over to a collection agency and I do not know what to do! Do you have advice, do you have a name of a lawyer that can help me? Thank you for your time.



Dear Keri,

I’m not sure which entity you are talking about. Both ACS and AES have a role in dealing with student loans, but they are different companies. You mentioned both.

No credit report lists all of your debts. Only debts reported to the credit bureaus will appear. Reporting is voluntary. Unless the debt is listed on your credit report or you tell a potential lender about all of your debts, they would not have a way to know about it.

The single point of information for all federal student loans is the National Student Loan Data System. You can login for free and look at the loans under your name. If the purported loans are not listed in this site, then they may be private student loans instead.

While listed in your bankruptcy, federal student loan debt is not automatically discharged. As the U.S. Court says, “An individual receives a discharge for most of his or her debts in a chapter 7 bankruptcy case. A creditor may no longer initiate or continue any legal or other action against the debtor to collect a discharged debt. But not all of an individual’s debts are discharged in chapter 7. Debts not discharged include debts for alimony and child support, certain taxes, debts for certain educational benefit overpayments or loans made or guaranteed by a governmental unit, debts for willful and malicious injury by the debtor to another entity or to the property of another entity, debts for death or personal injury caused by the debtor’s operation of a motor vehicle while the debtor was intoxicated from alcohol or other substances, and debts for certain criminal restitution orders. 11 U.S.C. § 523(a). The debtor will continue to be liable for these types of debts to the extent that they are not paid in the chapter 7 case.”

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In general, if you want to pursue a discharge of federal student loan debt in the past your bankruptcy attorney would have to file a second court action, an adversary proceeding.

At this point you should probably rehabilitate your defaulted student loans to avoid a wage garnishment. See The Easiest Way to Stop a Student Loan Wage Garnishment – Loan Rehabilitation for more information.

You can then get your loans on an income driven repayment plan to lower the payment as much as possible.

If you wanted to try to find a student loan attorney to assist you, you could try this link.


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.

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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