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Judge Rules Woman's Law School Debt Forgiven due to Asperger's Syndrome

Posted on in Bankruptcy

A judge has ruled that a Maryland woman will not have to pay back her law school debt due to her diagnosis of Asperger's Syndrome.

U. S. Bankruptcy Judge Robert Gordon of the District of Maryland on May 17th ruled that Carol Todd met the often difficult burden of showing that she is incapable of repaying a debt of almost $340,000 in law school loans.

Aspergers, a mild form of Autism, prevented Todd from getting a job and maintaining a minimal standard of living. During the bankruptcy proceedings, Gordon noted that Todd would become overwhelmed during routine questions and would become fearful and agitated for no apparent reason. Gordon concluded that her behavior demonstrated that she would suffer from the same reactions in a work setting.

“[T]o expect Ms. Todd to ever break the grip of Autism and meaningfully channel her energies toward tasks that are not in some way either dictated, or circumscribed, by the demands of her disorder would be to dream the impossible dream,” he wrote.

Todd's attorney admitted that the cases where a disability is used to discharge a student debt are rare, adding that Todd's disabilities were serious.

Student debt of any kind is one of the most difficult to discharge. Individuals who file for bankruptcy must prove that in order to repay that debt, it would prove an unusual financial burden for the person to repay. If you believe that you may meet the the requirements for discharge of student debt and you are in the process of filing bankruptcy, contact a Lake County bankruptcy attorney who is versed in bankruptcy law today.

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