Massachusetts debtor discharges law school lawns in bankruptcy case

ivy leagueStudent loans are impossible to discharge in bankruptcy, right?

So goes a lot of street wisdom, but take a look at what actually happened in court in Massachusetts in January, 2014.

A disbarred lawyer with criminal convictions stemming from some wild incidents in his law practice (he was tossed from the bar after a mere five months) was able to secure a determination of undue hardship from bankruptcy judge Joan Feeney, and get all his law school student loans wiped out.

You may or may not want to trade places with this particular debtor, whose tale is told in the Ablavsky case, who put himself through college and law school, but who struggled all his life with crippling mental health problems, and had criminal convictions from some escapades when he was in manic states.

Although all those bad facts were thrown back at him at his trial, this debtor was able to persevere and all of his school loans were erased in bankruptcy on the grounds of undue hardship.

One of the more interesting facts hidden in this opinion is that four lenders named as defendants didn’t even answer the charge, and so were defaulted by the judge. That wiped out over $109,000 in supposedly non-dischargable student debt automatically, without a fight.

Sometimes, when crushing student loan debt is involved, it’s worth the gamble of going to bankruptcy court.

by Doug Beaton

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