Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2007

Abstract

In fiscal year 2002, approximately 5.8 million Americans borrowed $38 billion (USD) in federal student loans. This was more than triple the $11.7 billion borrowed in 1990. As a rule of thumb, tuition has been increasing at roughly double the rate of inflation in recent years. This troubling trend of accelerating tuition, coupled with the fact that real income has stagnated for men and increased only modestly for women over the past two decades, means that more and more students are going to need to turn to borrowed money to finance their degrees absent a radical restructuring of the postsecondary education system. Policymakers have paid increasing attention to the problems and issues surrounding these student loans. Just recently, the U.S. Congress decided to cut funding to government-funded student loan programmes to help balance the federal budget deficit. But what has been largely unexamined in legal literature is the treatment of student loan debt in personal bankruptcy proceedings. This is so even as a 2005 overhaul to the consumer bankruptcy laws in the United States added yet another amendment to the student loan dischargeability provisions.


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