Emory Bankruptcy Developments Journal


An increasing number of Americans are suffering from financial distress caused by educational debt. Some of those individuals seek relief from that distress through the bankruptcy system, where they must establish that repaying their educational debt would impose an undue hardship in order to obtain a discharge of such debt. The author focuses on § 523(a)(8) of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code, which sets forth educational debt as an exception to bankruptcy discharge unless the repayment of student loan obligations imposes an 'undue hardship.' The author concludes that the primary inquiry into a debtor's undue hardship claim must focus on the debtor's current financial circumstances without undue regard to pre-bankruptcy conduct or assurance of persisting financial distress.