Woman Discovered the Hard Way that ECMC Student Loans Can Really Suck But Gets Bankruptcy Discharge

Laurina Kim Bukovics enrolled as a freshman at the University of Wisconsin in 1985 and graduated five years later. She took out about $20,000 in student loans to finance her studies. Over the years, she paid back $29,000–almost 140 percent of the amount borrowed. Nevertheless, 25 years after she graduated, Bukovics owed $80,000 on her … Read more

Judge Grants Discharge of Federal Student Loan Interest in Bankruptcy. Upheld.

Interest rate negotiation can result in a lower interest rate than you are paying now.

Vicky Jo Metz borrowed $16,613 back in the 1990s to attend a community college, but she never got a degree. Over the years, she filed for bankruptcy three times, but she continued making payments on her student loans under court-approved repayment plans. In fact, she paid almost 90 percent of what she originally borrowed. Nevertheless, … Read more

ECMC and Department of Education Kick Hard at Student Loan Debtor But Court Award Discharge

Barbara Erkson, an unmarried 64-year-old woman, filed an adversary proceeding in a Maine bankruptcy court in an attempt to discharge $107,000 in student loans in bankruptcy. The U.S. Department of Education and Educational Credit Management Corporation (ECMC) vigorously objected, but Judge Peter Carey rejected their heartless arguments and granted Ms. Erkson a full discharge. This … Read more

Federal Student Loan Bankruptcy Discharge Upheld on Appeal

In a previous essay, I wrote about Alan and Catherine Murray, a married couple in their late forties who defeated Educational Credit Management Corporation in a Kansas bankruptcy court. ECMC appealed, and the Murrays prevailed again–a victory that has important implications for middle-income student-loan debtors. The Murrays took out student loans in the 1990s to … Read more

Bankruptcy Court Appeal Rules in Favor of Discharging Some Federal Student Loan Debt

Back at the end of 2016 a Kansas bankruptcy judge ruled on this bankruptcy case that included federal student loan debt Educational Credit Management Corporation was responsible for. This truth is starkly illustrated in the case of Murray v. Educational Credit Management Corporation, which was decided in December 2016 by a Kansas bankruptcy judge. At … Read more

Bankruptcy Groups Jump In to Support Student Loan Discharge to Avoid Cement Life Preservers

The National Consumer Bankruptcy Rights Center (NCBRC) and National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys (NACBA) have decided to support the bankruptcy discharge in ECMC v. Murray with an outside briefing supporting the effort. The Murray case is very interesting in that the bankruptcy court agreed a substantial part of their student loan debt should be … Read more

Educational Credit Management Corporation is a bad actor: Rafael Pardo’s article about ECMC’s litigation misbehavior

In recent blogs, I discussed two cases in which Educational Credit Management Corporation, the Department of Education’s most ruthless student-loan debt collector, was sanctioned by a court for misbehavior. In the Bruner-Halteman case, a Texas bankruptcy judge assessed punitive damages against ECMC for garnishing the wages of a bankrupt Starbucks employee in violation of the … Read more

Bankruptcy Court Wipes Away all the Accrued Interest on a Married Couple’s Student Loans

Do you remember political consultant James Carville’s famous line during the 1992 presidential campaign? “It’s the economy, stupid,” Carville supposedly observed. That eloquently simple remark became Bill Clinton’s distilled campaign message and helped propel him into the presidency. Something similar might be said about the student-loan crisis. “It’s the interest, stupid.” In fact, for many … Read more

Will Mark Tetzlaff Be Our Student Loan Hero?

Mark Tetzlaff is a law school student who might not have achieved his dream of being a licensed attorney but the guy surely deserves some props for championing the cause through the courts of being impossibly in debt with student loans and seeking a legal remedy. My last story on Tetzlaff, here, talked about how … Read more

Brunner Test Needs to Die Say These Heroes in Student Loan Bankruptcy Discharge

On July 29, 2015 the National Consumer Law Center (NCLC) and National Association of Bankruptcy Attorneys (NACBA) jointly filed a court document arguing a position in support of discharging student loans through the bankruptcy laws. Much thanks to the readers and tipster who slipped me the document. The matter of dealing with overwhelming student loan … Read more

Law School Debtor Loses Bankruptcy Decision to Discharge His Debt, But Lessons Learned

The United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh District just ruled that a student loan debtor could not discharge his loans in his consumer bankruptcy case. Lately I’ve been writing about bankruptcy cases where consumers have been able to discharge substantial amounts of student loan debt. You can see the articles here. Before I … Read more

Teacher Discharges Loads of Student Loans in Bankruptcy. ECMC Fights Back.

Today I’m looking at another bankruptcy discharge case, see more here, where a bankruptcy judge felt it was appropriate to allow for a legal discharge of student loan debt. In this case the consumer represented herself in the action and has fought a valiant battle. Even though President Obama and the Department of Education have … Read more

Bankruptcy Court Wants to Discharge Spousal Consolidation Student Loans. Educational Credit Management Corporation Says, “Not So Fast.”

I have to admit I am totally perplexed by the media and popular myths that believe student loans can’t be discharged in bankruptcy. Even a lot of bankruptcy attorneys believe this wildfire myth. Thanks to some amazing readers and tipsters I’ve just received a collection of cases where the consumer managed to have their student … Read more

Nonprofit Student Loan Debt Collector Makes About Half a Million

Bloomberg Businessweek is reporting that Educational Credit Management Corporation, an IRS educational charitable nonprofit group, paid Joshua Mandelman, a student loan debt collector for ECMC, nearly $500,000 in a single year. ECMC’s debt collectors earn bonuses as a reward for extracting money from defaulted borrowers. In 2010, the bonuses for top performers amounted to as … Read more