Earlier today, Elizabeth Gonzalez, Public Law Center’s Consumer Law Unit Directing Attorney, appeared before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee to give voice to PLC clients and other low-income debtors. Informed by both the over 5,000 bankruptcy consultation PLC has provided since 2012 and the impact of the pandemic on already disadvantaged families, Elizabeth stated:
“The narrative that the bankruptcy courts and the federal student loan program will be overrun with students seeking to discharge their student loans in bankruptcy if the temporal discharge option is reinstated is a fiction. This did not happen before 1998, and in my experience, my clients do not want to file for bankruptcy if there is any way they can avoid it. However, the fact that lower-income borrowers are trapped in a cycle of poverty because they are unable to discharge their student loans in bankruptcy is very real and something I and PLC see far too often.”
The hearing comes at a time where student loan borrowers, particularly those who have suffered at the hands of poor quality for-profit schools, are staring down the void of the end of the pandemic forbearance set to expire in October.
To read Elizabeth’s full testimony, please click here. To view the entire hearing, please click here. Elizabeth’s testimony begins at the 01:01:30 mark. PLC assists hundreds of debtors each year through our courthouse-based clinics and in-house bankruptcy work. For assistance, please call (714) 541-1010.