Debt seems to be a way of life for many Virginia residents. In a perfect world, it would be better to first earn the money before spending it, but there is a general concept of what is considered “good” debt. A mortgage on a home, for instance, falls into that category because it is a long-term investment that not only is tax deductible but may be instrumental in earning money if the house appreciates in value over time. Student loan debt is also typically a positive debt but not if it becomes overwhelming to the debtor.
Most people could not afford the cost of higher education without loans, but an uncertain post-education job market can thwart even the best of plans. Bankruptcy is not something one should take lightly, but it is a tool that is available to allow for a fresh start under the appropriate circumstances. Financial experts indicate that although student loan debt is in many cases not dischargeable, it may be if stringent criteria are met.
Whether an individual can have his or her student loan debt discharged is a matter to be determined on a case-by-case basis. If the person has made a good faith effort to try and pay the debt, yet an undue hardship would be suffered by continuing to make the payments, the bankruptcy court may consider including the student loan debt as part of the bankruptcy proceedings.
An experienced bankruptcy lawyer may offer advice and counsel on measures one should take prior to and in an effort to avoid bankruptcy. But if bankruptcy is the right path under the circumstances, then it must be decided whether Chapter 7 liquidation or Chapter 13 reorganization is the more appropriate option.