Last November, the DOE and DOJ issued new guidance regarding bankruptcy for student-loan borrowers to attest to their hardships and help the agencies assess their discharge requests. It is a step in the right direction, and while the guidance could be helpful for some, the “undue hardship” requirement is still subjective, and the Biden administration's decision would not codify the changes into law, meaning the next administration can disregard these changes.
It would take an act of Congress to permanently rewrite this wrong and change the bankruptcy requirement for student loan borrowers. And you can do that!
In 2021, Democratic Sen. Richard J. Durbin and Republican Sen. John Cornyn sponsored the “FRESH START Through Bankruptcy Act” which would allow borrowers to discharge their federal student loans through bankruptcy after ten years. Although the legislation stalled in committee, the bill has clear bipartisan support and would have a monumental impact on borrowers struggling the most under the student debt crisis.
The ability to declare bankruptcy is a beacon of hope for people facing harsh economic setbacks, but student loan debt is still the only type of debt people cannot escape from through bankruptcy. With the fate of President Biden’s student debt forgiveness program in the air, a Congressional move to allow student loan debt to be discharged through bankruptcy would be a lifeline for student loan borrowers in the tightest of economic circumstances.
Please pass legislation allowing student loan debt to be discharged through bankruptcy. Thanks.
▶ First sent on February 6 by Jess Craven