The National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys (NACBA) was recently given the opportunity to testify before the House Judiciary Committee Subcommittee on Antitrust, Commercial and Administrative Law during the hearing “Oversight of Bankruptcy Law and Legislative Proposals”.
NACBA’s Vice President, Ed Boltz of North Carolina, as well as the other witnesses on the panel, made a strong call for restoration of the student loan bankruptcy discharge. The call for bankruptcy relief for student loan debtors was unanimously supported by the witness panel that included Ms. Hollister K. Petraeus (Former Assistant Director, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s Office of Servicemember Affairs), Mr. Robert Keach (on behalf of The American Bankruptcy Institute), Mr. John Rao (on behalf of The National Consumer Law Center), Ms. Dalié Jiménez (Professor, University of California Irvine School of Law) and The Honorable Thomas Small (Professor, University of California Irvine School of Law and former North Carolina bankruptcy judge).
NACBA strongly supports current bipartisan legislation in the Senate (S. 1414) and House (H.R. 2648), introduced respectively by Senator Dick Durbin and Congress members Jerrold Nadler and John Katko, to restore the bankruptcy discharge for student loan debt. “Growing evidence indicates that student loan debts not only severely restrict borrowers’ futures, but also are choking economic productivity”, testified Boltz. “These minimal efforts show the inadequacy of piecemeal, non-comprehensive changes that stop short of restoring the general dischargeability of student loans in bankruptcy.”
The hearing comes one day after Senator Bernie Sanders introduced legislation that would cancel all of the $1.6 trillion in outstanding student loan debt in this country. This follows recent proposals from other national figures, including Senator Elizabeth Warren, all of which are bringing into focus the fact that the student debt bomb is real and has already overwhelmed many Americans who do not have the ability to pay this debt back.
NACBA’s Legislative Co-Chair Ike Shulman stated, “Because eligibility for bankruptcy is limited to people who must demonstrate their financial difficulty and their need for bankruptcy relief, these bills will not affect student borrowers who are fully able to pay back their student loans. Instead, this legislation will help those who most need relief and are unable to pay back this debt.”
To further strengthen the call to restore student loan bankruptcy discharge, NACBA is proud to introduce a new project: studentdebtbomb.com, a social media campaign to promote the Student Borrower Bankruptcy Protection Act of 2019 (S. 1414 and H.R. 2648), which seeks to make student loans fully dischargeable. The goal of the social media campaign is to encourage people to contact their Senators and Congressional Representatives, urging them to cosponsor the bills.
For further information, please contact Krista D’Amelio, NACBA Director of Government Affairs & Communications, at firstname.lastname@example.org.