During my time in private practice, I found it difficult to sympathize with some clients. Many of whom clearly spent beyond their means. However, I felt for those clients who attempted to better themselves by obtaining a college degree, only to be left strapped with tens of thousands of dollars of debt. It is an unfortunate reality and theEducation Department has recently acknowledged it is “far more dire than anyone knew”. These clients are left with few options regarding their student loans.
The Education Department recently updated its calculation to determine the extent of the student loan crisis. Previously, “students who default more than two to three years after leaving college didn’t count as defaulters.” The department now calculates “nonrepayment rates, which include both defaulters and borrowers who have never paid a single dollar of principal on their loans.” This includes people who pay only interest on their loans. Additionally, the nonrepayment rates were calculated up to seven years after the students left college. “All told, over 700 colleges and branch campuses…have over half of their borrowers fail to pay down any debt after seven years.”
Student loans are going to continue to be an issue for many debtors across the nation. Through a reform of the system, these individuals could obtain the relief they desperately need. The bankruptcy code must change or a substantial portion of the population will be straddled with this bad debt for the remainder of their lives.