What to Know About the Attestation Form and Student Loan Bankruptcy Discharges
Do you have a significant amount of student loan debt, and are you planning to file for bankruptcy in hopes of having that debt discharged? Our firm wants to emphasize that the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) released new guidance in late 2022 concerning the discharge of student loans in bankruptcy, and that guidance makes it easier for debtors to have their student loans discharged in personal bankruptcy cases. The underlying requirement (of proving that continuing to pay your student loans would impose an undue hardship) has not changed, but the overall method for supplying evidence to show that you meet the requirements has shifted.
Most significantly, the DOJ, together with the Department of Education (DOE), will now be assessing a debtor’s information concerning their eligibility for a discharge of student loan debt and will be making a recommendation to the bankruptcy court. That information that the debtor supplies to the DOJ and DOE will be contained in a 15-page “Attestation Form.” What do you need to know about the Attestation Form? Our West Palm Beach bankruptcy attorneys have information to help you, and we can speak with you today about your case and your circumstances.
Attestation Form is Standard and Streamlined
You should know that the Attestation Form is standard and streamlined. All debtors seeking a discharge of student loans in their bankruptcy cases will use the same form, and they will fill in the information based on their personal finances and circumstances. The form largely requires debtors to “fill in the blank” in a number of places with information about when they incurred student loans, the current monthly payment of their loans, and whether and when they defaulted on the loan.
Attestation Form is Divided Into Five Sections
There are five different sections of the Attestation Form that include: I) Personal Information; II) Current Income and Expenses; III) Future Inability to Repay Student Loans; IV) Prior Efforts to Repay Loans; and V) Current Assets. Within each section, there are a range of questions that the debtor must answer and for which the debtor must provide detailed information. Together, the sections are designed to allow the DOJ and DOE to determine the debtor’s present ability to pay, future ability to pay, and good faith efforts to pay — the major factors in assessing the undue hardship requirement.
You Still Need a Bankruptcy Lawyer
Even though the Attestation Form is clear about the information you must supply, it is still critical to work with a lawyer on your case. Bankruptcy law is extremely complex, and in addition, you must still go through an adversary proceeding to have your student loans discharged.
Contact a West Palm Beach Bankruptcy Attorney Today
Whether you are just starting to think about bankruptcy as an option concerning your student loan debt or you know you are ready to file, one of the experienced West Palm Beach bankruptcy lawyers at Kelley, Kaplan & Eller can begin working with you. We have years of experience representing clients in South Florida in bankruptcy cases, and we are prepared to handle bankruptcy cases involving student loans. We know how important it is to do everything you can to have your student loans discharged in your bankruptcy case, and we are here to help.