Student-Loan Bankruptcies: NACBA Inspires Need for Clarity

Dear NACBA Member:

As you know, the mission statement of NACBA is to serve the needs of consumer bankruptcy attorneys and protect the rights of consumer debtors in bankruptcy. It is also the responsibility of the organization to weigh-in on policy matters where the playing field may not be level in the area of bankruptcy law.

Over the past few days, the volunteer members of the NACBA Legislative Committee received notice that their efforts are gaining momentum in Washington D.C.

Three members of the United States Senate, Dick Durbin (D-IL), Jack Reed (D-RI) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), and four members of the United States House of Representatives, John Conyers (D-MI), Elijah Cummings (D-MD), Steve Cohen (D-TN) and Hank Johnson (D-GA), joined together to urge the Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan, to bring more fairness to struggling students by establishing clear standards of eligibility for “undue hardship” discharge of federal student loans in bankruptcy.

The action taken by the listed elected officials was inspired by a NACBA Legislative strategy dating back to 2012. For the past two years, NACBA members (and strategic partner organizations) have met with members of the United States House and Senate and urged their assistance for Administrative Action on the growing $1.2 trillion student loan debt. Not only did NACBA members voice concern on Department of Education practices but also suggested solutions that would not require legislative action. It was noted that the Department of Education should create “clear standards” for borrowers to qualify for discharging their student-loan debt.

During a time when Washington D.C. displays nothing but gridlock and partisanship, the voices of NACBA Members have not fallen on deaf ears. We will be closely following any response and keep you apprised.

NACBA works daily on state and national issues that impact bankruptcy law and will continue to do so. As a member of NACBA, you are providing much needed support for our work and help ensure the every segment of the population can participate in the bankruptcy system should their finances come under strain by layoffs, accidents, or other unforeseen life events, they will be protected.

Thank you for your continued membership.

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