Student Loans and Chapter 13 – Federal Student Loan Debt in Bankruptcy: Recent Movement Towards Income-Driven Repayment Plans in Chapter 13

By Jeff Kellner, Chapter 13 Trustee (Dayton, OH)

Over the past several years, Chapter 13 and Student Loans have not played well together. Student loans were generally nondischargeable due to the courts following Brunner, and most courts were not going to allow separate classification of the student loans due to ‘unfair discrimination’.

While ‘hardship discharge’ of student loans is still bound by the harsh 3-element requirements of the Brunner test, there is a growing trend of the bankruptcy courts to allow ‘separate classification’ of student loans.

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