Economic conditions, the COVID-19 pandemic, and draconian laws have come together to create the perfect storm for many college graduates who come out of college with a large student debt burden. While the federal government has made it virtually impossible to escape college loan debt, a student loan lawyer Columbia MD can help you to get relief.
Why is Student Loan Debt Different?
If you’ve been looking for a way out from student loan debt and find yourself feeling some despair, it’s understandable. Most other forms of unsecured debt have a statute of limitations, including credit card debt and even child support. This doesn’t mean the debt goes away, it simply means that the creditor cannot pursue court action against the debtor after that period.
Until 1991, federal student loans were eligible for discharge in bankruptcy. This changed under the first Bush Administration: the Higher Education Technical Amendment was signed into law, which eliminated any such statute of limitations on student loan debt. It can now literally follow a borrow beyond the grave: if the borrower passes on before the loan is paid off, the creditor can come after his/her survivors. There have even been cases in which creditors come after a borrower for a debt that has already been paid off, or was taken out decades ago (sometimes known as “zombie debt)!
What Can I Do?
Even though federal student loan debt cannot be discharged in bankruptcy (private student loans are dischargeable under certain circumstances in some jurisdictions), significant relief is available if you are able to demonstrate to the court that payments are creating severe hardship for you and your family. Some of the options that may be available to you include, economic hardship deferments
or extended repayment plans that can reduce your monthly payments to a manageable level.