What Is An Attestation Form In Student Loan Bankruptcy Discharges?
Are you planning to file for bankruptcy in order to have your student loan debt discharged? Now that the process outlined in the Biden administration’s new guidance is in effect, it is likely that more debtors will be seeking a discharge of their student loans in consumer bankruptcy cases. Indeed, the new guidance and its streamlined process for getting student loans discharged in bankruptcy is good news for debtors in West Palm Beach and throughout South Florida who are struggling with student loan debt. If you have begun looking into the new process as it is outlined in the guidance, you have likely come across something called the “attestation form.” Our West Palm Beach bankruptcy attorneys want to provide you with more information about it.
What is the Attestation Form?
What is an attestation form, and what is it used for? According to guidance issued by the Justice Department, the attestation “requests information about the debtor’s income and expenses to enable the Department attorney to evaluate the debtor’s present ability to pay.” In addition, the attestation form, according to that guidance, “seeks information that will help the Department attorney evaluate the other two factors” for the undue hardship requirement, including the debtor’s future circumstances and the debtor’s good faith attempts to repay their student loans.
In sum, the attestation form is where the debtor provides evidence that proves they meet the statutory “undue hardship” requirement in order to have their student loans discharged.
What to Expect on the Attestation Form
The attestation form is, quite literally, a form to be filled out, identified by the Justice Department as “Appendix A.” It is 15 pages long, and most debtors who are asking to have their student loans discharged in a bankruptcy case will fill it out with assistance from their attorney. What should you expect to see on the form, and what specific information will you need to fill out? The form has six parts, which include information such as:
- Part I: Personal Information, which includes your address, people in your household, student loan balance, monthly payment amount, employment information, and related details;
- Part II: Current Income and Expenses, which includes detailed information about gross household income and monthly expenses;
- Part III: Future Inability to Repay Student Loans, which includes details about age, education, unemployment, and disability;
- Part IV: Prior Efforts to Repay Loans, which includes the amount of past payments, details about applications for forbearances and deferments, and related details;
- Part V: Current Assets, which requires the debtor to list their current assets; and
- Part VI: Additional Circumstances, which gives the debtor an opportunity to provide additional and relevant information.
Contact a West Palm Beach Bankruptcy Attorney
Discharging student loan debt in bankruptcy has been complicated but not impossible in the past. Now, with new guidance on the process that relies heavily on the debtor filling out an attestation form rather than going through a lengthier and more complicated process, you may be able to have student loan debt discharged much more easily. The “undue hardship” requirement has not gone away, but the process is quicker, more streamlined, and generally easier for debtors. To find out more about filing for bankruptcy to have your student loans discharged, you should get in touch with an experienced West Palm Beach bankruptcy lawyer at Kelley, Fulton, Kaplan & Eller to find out more about your eligibility.