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Lawyer argues that his $220,000 student loan debt is so huge he shouldn't have to repay it — and a judge agrees


The case could make it easier for other student loan debtors to dismiss their debt

Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call

A lawyer argued in court that his $220,000 student loan debt was so massive that he shouldn't be expected to pay it back, and a bankruptcy court judge agreed.

Navy veteran Kevin J. Rosenberg argued that the debt constituted an undue financial hardship because at the time of the filing, his annual salary was $37,600, and he would not be able to make payments to lessen his debt.

Rosenberg borrowed $116,500 to obtain a bachelor's degree and also a legal degree.

But by 2018 when he filed for bankruptcy, the amount had ballooned to $221,400 including the interest charges.

Judge Cecilia G. Morris in New York bankruptcy court ruled in his favor and said he did not have to pay the massive debt.

She said that banks had been misinterpreting a rule for dismissing debts, and that she would rule against that interpretation.

"This Court will not participate in perpetuating these myths," Morris said in her ruling.

The company holding the loan argued that he had not met the test for dismissal because he did not make a living as an attorney and thereby did not make use of the education that he paid with those loans.

Student loan debt has become a key political issue, with many politicians on the left promising to dismiss the loans, while critics have bemoaned the massive price tag that such a policy would incur.

Others argue that such a policy would mostly benefit those who are already socio-economically privileged.

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