Ablavsky:Disturbed Massachusetts Former Lawyer Bankrupts Student Loans

J Thomas Black
Board Certified, Consumer Bankruptcy Law- Texas Board of Legal Specialization
Posted on Mar 12, 2014

In this bankruptcy court opinion by highly respected U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Joan Feeney of the District of Massachusetts, a former lawyer was found to be so disturbed by mental problems that he was no longer able to work at more than menial jobs, and was able to have his student loans discharged in bankruptcy. In re Ablavsky, Bankr. Court, D. Massachusetts 2014.

What's notable to me is that although the debtor put on expert testimony by a Harvard-trained psychiatrist, the Dept of Education and the other student loan creditor still argued that the debtor was not entitled to an undue hardship discharge.

And of course the Department of Education argued that the debtor had not participated in any of its alternative repayment options, or applied for a disability discharge using the DOE's administrative procedures. Of course neither of those options are mentioned in the Bankruptcy Code or required by the statute to receive a hardship discharge.

The Court explained the "Brunner test" and the "totality of the circumstances test" and found that the debtor was eligible for a discharge under either test.

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