End Student Loan Slavery Now!
End Student Loan Slavery Now!
Why this petition matters
END STUDENT LOAN SLAVERY NOW!
A NEW AMERICAN DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE
A PETITION TO THE U.S CONGRESS TO AMEND BANKRUPTCY CODE 11 U.S.C.§523 (a)(8) WHICH WOULD ALLOW THE DISCHARGE OF STUDENT LOANS
When in the course of Nation’s economic life over the last two decades, an Essential Fact has become abundantly clear, namely, the Utter Futility of Student Loan Borrowers trying to pay-off Student Loan Debt within their life times;
We, the undersigned, therefore, are resorting to Petitioning our Government for Relief from this Debt in order to protect our Right to Life ,Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. We cannot Reasonably Expect to pay-off our Student Loan Debts within our life time due to the Size of our Debt, NAFTA which has caused the loss of Middle Class Jobs from our hollowed out, de-industrialized, outsourced and increasingly automated economy which has ‘crashed’ due to the Greed, Wild Speculation and the Criminal and Fraudulent Misconduct of Wall Street and the Accumulating of Massive Interest with rates which should be classified as usurious and illegal.
Therefore, we are petitioning the U.S. Congress for a ‘fresh start’ which the United States Supreme Court has sanctioned under the United States Bankruptcy Code and We set-forth here the Usurpations of our Rights under Law and allege a Long Train of Abuses as follows:
Whereas, Prior to 1976, Student Loan Debt was dischargeable in a Consumer Bankruptcy case under the United States Bankruptcy Code 11 U.S.C. 523; and thereafter, by amendment, it became dischargeable only if the Consumer proved that paying off the Student Loans would constitute an “Undue Hardship”; and,
Whereas, due to a Bankruptcy Court decision in 1987 by the United States Court of Appeals, Second Circuit, in the case of Brunner v. NY State Higher Education Services Corp (831 Fed2d 395) which held that repaying a student loan had to constitute an ‘undue hardship’ in order to be discharged. This landmark decision interpreting 11 U.S.C. 523(a)(8)-Exceptions to Discharge, specifically the phrase ‘undue hardship’ set a standard so high that it has become impossible to prove repaying Student Loan Debt imposed an ‘undue hardship’ and hence Student Debt is for all practical matters no longer dischargeable in bankruptcy in the Second Circuit (Connecticut, New York and Vermont); and,
Whereas, Nine of the 13 Federal Regional Circuit Courts of Appeal for the United States have adopted the In re Brunner, supra decision and its erroneously restrictive standard for ‘undue hardship’ and, consequently, student loans are no longer dischargeable in the entire United States; and,
Whereas, in the year 2005, 11 United States Bankruptcy Code 11 U.S.C. 523(a)(8) was amended to include Private Loans as being ‘student loans’ under the bankruptcy code which JP Morgan-Chase and other banks which are ‘too big to fail’ took advantage of and began marketing and lending money for Student Loans; and,
Whereas, presently in 2016, 40 million students and former students owe over One trillion dollars in Student Loans; and,
Whereas, Millions of these Students are Hopelessly in Debt with Student Loans with no Realistic Means to pay those debts due to unemployment or underemployed, and can’t afford to rent an apartment, can’t even think of buying a home and starting a family, and many are still living in their parents’ basements out of economic necessity; and,
Whereas, parents have co-signed for student loans for their children which are called ‘Parent, Plus Loans’ and when that parent files for bankruptcy protection, the Trustee in Bankruptcy can demand that the University or College turn-over all loan proceeds to the Bankruptcy Court to be distributed to the parents’ creditors; and,
Whereas, this action against the University or College by the Trustee in Bankruptcy can result in a student being expelled from higher education for non-payment of tuition and causing the family to have more debt than when they initially filed for bankruptcy protection because the parents would still owe on the non-dischargeable student loan, and the child would now owe the same debt to the University or College even though said institution had initially been paid with a student loan; and,
Whereas, the Federal Government is Making billions of dollars in profit from Federal Student Loans and said Profit is paid to the General Fund of the Federal Government, and hence Millions of Students are living in ‘Debt Peonage’; and,
Whereas, the Federal Government is Profiting from the Misery of its Citizens who could be classified as ‘Debt Slaves’ which is antithetical to American Values and culture, and;
Whereas, Billions of Dollars in Student Loans are owed to Private Banks like J.P Morgan Chase which have recently received Taxpayer Subsidies in order to prevent their Financial Collapse due to Unregulated or Poorly Regulated Speculation, “Financial Engineering”, and “Flash Trading” of Wall Street; and,
Whereas, the members of J.P. Morgan Chase and other major ‘too big to fail’ banks in addition to receiving Taxpayer Loans or Subsidies bestowed Unconscionable Bonuses on their Executives, notwithstanding their Poor Judgment, Greed, Criminal Misconduct, and Unregulated Speculation; and,
Whereas, it is possible in Bankruptcy to discharge Income Taxes to Federal Government but impossible to discharge student loans, the result of this injustice and usurpation of our right to be free from debt is that the Corporate Flag of JP Morgan Chase is flying higher than the Flag of the United States of American; and,
Whereas, Senator Dick Durbin during the 114th Congress, 1st Session introduced to the U.S. Senate, Bill # 729 entitled, ‘The Fairness for Struggling Students Act of 2015’ which sought to amend Code 11 U.S.C. 523(8)(a) of the bankruptcy law whereby student loans would be dischargeable in bankruptcy; and,
Whereas, Senate Bill #729 was, also, co-sponsored by Sheldon Whitehouse (RI), Al Franken(MN), Richard Blumenthal (CT), (subsequently,Chris Murphy (CT), Patty Murray (WA), Jack Reed (RI), Elizabeth Warren (MA), Ron Wyden (OR), Barbara Boxer (CA), Tim Kaine (VA), Brian Schatz (HI), Kirsten Gillibrand (NY), and Mazie Hiorono (HI); and,
Whereas, U.S. Representative, Joe Courtney, introduced to the U.S. House of Representatives, H.R. # 1434 (Bank on Students Loan Fairness Act) which was formerly H.R. Bill 4582 of the 113th Congress ;and,
Whereas, Many Legal Scholars have argued that the Decision of In re: Brunner, is Outdated for the Economy of Today versus the economy when the standard was established and is presently Working Such an Economic Hardship that students have to agree to a Perpetual Payment on their debts which is Equal to or in Excess of a standard 30 year mortgage (or $285,000.00);
Therefore, in order to preserve, protect and defend ‘the America Dream’ and Our ‘Right to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness’, we are petitioning our U.S. House Representatives and U.S. Senators to grant us a ‘fresh start’ which is the purpose of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code according to the U.S. Supreme Court, and enact Senate Bill #729 and H.R. Bill #1434.
* Watch the documentary Default - The Student Loan Documentary which chronicles the stories of borrowers from different backgrounds affected by the student lending industry and their struggles to change the system.