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Over forty-four million Americans owe more than $1.6 trillion in student loan debt. This debt is nearly impossible to discharge in bankruptcy. Attempting to do so may require costly and contentious litigation with the Department of Education. And because the Department typically fights every case, even initial success can be followed by years of appeals. As a result, few student loan borrowers attempt to discharge their student loan debt in bankruptcy.

In this Article, we call on the Department of Education to develop a set of ten easily ascertainable and verifiable circumstances in which it will not contest a debtor’s attempt to discharge their student loan debt. Nearly every category of no-contest discharge we recommend represents a circumstance where the debtor would clearly suffer an undue hard-ship if forced to continue to attempt repayment. In those circumstances, the Department of Education should conserve taxpayer dollars by consenting to discharge.



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