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Bill seeks to amend bankruptcy code to allow discharge of some student loans

Every year around the country and in states like New York, students of all ages make the decision to attend or go back to college to earn a degree to better their lives. A college degree has long been revered as the golden ticket to a higher paying job and financial security.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, during 2007 alone, more than 18 million people in the U.S. were enrolled in college. This number is likely even greater today, as the number of employers who desire or require a college-educated workforce continues to grow. Unfortunately, for many who attend a higher educational institution, the costs of obtaining a college degree are too great and they are forced to take out student loans.

Today, economists estimate that Americans are carrying some $1.2 trillion in student loan debt. This mind-boggling figure has increased significantly since 2005 when changes were made to the bankruptcy code that prohibited the discharge of student loan debt from private financial institutions.

Consequently, the so-called student loan debt crisis has become even more apparent and burdensome as millions of Americans struggle to repay tens of thousands of dollars in high-interest loans. A report by the Institute for College Access & Success Project on Student Debt found that nearly 70 percent of 2013 college graduates leave school with an average student loan debt balance of $28,400.

Nearly all politicians agree that something needs to be done to help those struggling to repay student debt. Recently, several Senate Democrats introduced The Fairness for Struggling Students Act of 2015.The bill would change the current bankruptcy code to again allow the discharge of student loan debts issued by private financial institutions in bankruptcy.

We'll continue to provide updates on the student loan debt crisis as well as the status of the Fairness for Struggling Students Act of 2015.

Source: Consumerist, "Senators Introduce Legislation To Make Private Student Loans Dischargeable In Bankruptcy," Ashlee Kieler, March 12, 2015

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