New Federal Guidance on Discharging Student Loans in Bankruptcy Is a Game Changer

The Justice Department, in partnership with the Department of Education, recently announced new guidelines that loosen the strict application of the “undue hardship” exceptionwhen defending a student loan dischargeability action. This new guidance is a game changer. In the past the Department of Justice narrowly applied the undue hardship exception when defending discharge of student loans to the extent that it was almost impossible to discharge federal student loans in bankruptcy. Now government attorneys have been given the green light to consent to discharge if a debtor fills out an attestation form and meets certain criteria.

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branson2
Branson Law PLLC (Orlando, FL)

Tammy Branson is a senior paralegal at BransonLaw for over 25 years in Orlando. She has been a Certified Bankruptcy Assistant since 1995. She is a member of the Central Florida Bankruptcy Law Association and the Association of Bankruptcy Judicial Assistants. She has presented topics covering Chapter 13 issues and Mortgage Modifications to the Central Florida Bankruptcy Law Association Paralegal Subcommittee. She has worked on over 400 loan modifications through the Orlando Divisions Residential Mortgage Modification Program. She has led the charge for Mortgage Modification Mediation programs across the Country and has taught hundreds of attorneys in the process. In 2016 she was nominated by all three of the bankruptcy judges in the Orlando Division, Middle District of Florida for the Orange County Bar Association Paralegal Section, Paralegal of the Year Award, for which she won. She is the current Committee Chair for the Middle District of Florida Student Loan Program Committee.

branson1
Branson Law PLLC (Orlando, FL)

Robert Bailey Branson is an attorney focusing on consumer bankruptcy for twenty five years in the Orlando area. He served proudly in the United States Army from 1978 to 1983. He obtained his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Central Florida in 1985 and a Juris Doctorate from the University Of Florida College Of Law in 1988. He is a member of the Central Florida Bankruptcy Law Association and the former Chair of the Orange County Bankruptcy Committee. He is a current member of the Steering Committee for the Middle District of Florida Bankruptcy Court. He is a mediator with the United States Bankruptcy Court and as mediator has performed over 500 mortgage mediations. As Debtor Counsel he has completed over 300 mortgage modifications since the program’s inception. Mr. Branson participates and has established Mortgage Modification Education, a company dedicated to training attorneys and staff to perform effective loan modification mediations.

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