Discharging of Student Loans – 46 year old Pilot – Denied
I have covered before the Brunner test, to determine if you can meet the undue hardship requirement for student loan discharge. Here we have a case wherein a pilot is seeking the court to discharge his student loans.
Debtor came to the Bankruptcy Court with the following circumstances:
- Profession: Commercial Pilot
- Since he was 46-years old, he was too old to advance to the top of his profession at a national airline which has a mandatory retirement age of 65 for pilots.
- Pilot felt he would top out at a pay of regional pilot
- Took out 13 loans to finance his education.
- Consolidated 10 of his loans, owed a total of approximately $138,000.00 in student loans
- Made no payments at all on his student loans
- Focus of debtor’s attempt to discharge loans based on the difficulty he perceives in becoming a “legacy” pilot with airlines such as American Airlines, etc. and make about $300,000.00 per year is not a good test at all.
- Debtor may not earn at any time $300,000.00 but has the very probable ability to make $70,000 to $100,000.00 in the next 5-10 years.
- Debtor did not even make one of the 3 prongs of the Brunner Test of Good Faith when he had not made even one payment.
- Court concludes the debtor had not carried his burden of proof that he has persistent ability to make payments.
- Discharge of Pilot’s student loans DENIED.